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Forget Viral: Why Content Marketing Consistency Beats Cool Almost Every Time

Friday, December 7th, 2012

You may have seen this tom Fishburne cartoon. Oddly, there are still folks who think “going viral” is the goal.

Tom Fhishburne going viral cartoon

Good luck with that. Here’s why the big hit isn’t what you should be chasing.

First, I will 100% guarantee that you are waaaaay underestimating how difficult it is to get something to go viral. Predicting what the culture at large will latch onto is just about impossible. Just ask the folks who make movies or release music or publish hardcover books. (And don’t try to convince you that you saw the whole “Gangnam style” thing coming years ago …) It’s hard, hard work.

That means your resources are better spent elsewhere.

Second, have you given any thought to what happens if you succeed in going viral? Specifically, what happens next? By definition, you’re the flavor of the day – or week – and next week the crowd will be on to something else. The next big thing. Without the next big thing in your pocket, your flash in the pan is unlikely to turn into any long-term business improvement. 

A better approach is consistency. Create great content and create it regularly enough so that you have an audience waiting for your next release. It doesn’t have to be flashy, though that’s not a bad thing. It has to be relevant and it has to be informative. Most importantly, it has to be updated regularly – partly because your audience’s attention span is short and partly because you want to stay in front of your audience so that you’re top of mind when they’re ready to engage.

In the process, you also build up credibility, which helps your audience engage with you rather than a competitor when they’re ready.

Enjoy the latest viral craze but remember that for all but a very few – Orabrush and Blendtec come to mind – viral simply isn’t going to produce the results you want.


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