Capitalizing on Viral Content

The act of something going ‘viral’ on the web isn’t something new, but the act of capitalizing on that viral success can still prove to be elusive.

When the Dispatch’s video of the man with the “golden voice” went viral a few weeks ago it marked a missed opportunity for the paper. The video was copied from the Dispatch’s website and anonymously posted to YouTube where it really picked up steam. As soon as the company caught wind they took action and issued takedown notices through YouTube.

The Knight Digital Media Center recently offered some tips for companies to deal with and wrangle viral content. Surprisingly, one of the suggestions is not spending time issues the majority of YouTube takedown notices.


Many of the KDMC’s suggestions illustrate some of the changes facing media and marketing in the 21st century. The overarching message is that companies should be prepared, already have a social media presence (on as many services as possible), and pay attention to the social channels.

Another good idea is for news organizations to have a designated URL for popular or ongoing stories – as the Dispatch has done with the “golden voice” story – where readers get get updates and ongoing coverage.

Got questions about going viral? Who better to ask than a panel of social media and marketing experts. Send questions on Twitter using the hashtag #askSoCon11 in the run up to SoCon11 in February for a chance to win some social media literature.

If you’re ready to make your own viral content learn to shoot, edit, and upload video on your cell phone with award-winning producer Amani Channel (@visualeyemedia). See how CNN handles its online content, and how Ford hit social media ground running for the Fiesta Movement campaign. Check out all SoCon11 events and speakers.

Join the conversation on Twitter: #SoCon11

SoCon11 Keynote Panel

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