Does everybody tell you that you should aim to publish content that goes viral?
There are countless articles on how to craft online content that spreads to be read by millions of people.
Who wouldn’t want to replicate the success of Gangnam Style, a video that is about to reach 2 BILLION views on Youtube?
But are there any reasons why you might NOT want your content to go viral?
I believe so and here they are.
1. Your Business Is Not Scalable
If your business does not lend itself to satisfy 100x (or more) the number of customers that you are currently serving then going viral might negatively affect it.
Professionals that sell their time (e.g. lawyers, accountants, surgeons) are not the best people to benefit from viral content.
There are only so many billable hours in a day/week so receiving multiple times the amount of traffic is not easily translatable into higher income. Sure you can push your hourly rate up but a truly viral piece of content will be a wasted opportunity.
2. You Only Have Limited Stock
If you sell physical products and have a limited supply, going viral might cause too many headaches when compared to the benefit of the extra revenue.
You are likely to run out of stock and end up with large number of unhappy customers.
Do you really want give these potential customers a negative first impression of your company?
If you sell apps for digital download virality is exactly what you want as there is no limit to the number of units sold.
If, on the other hand, sell canned fruit and your warehouse is all you can sell until the following picking season, virality is not the answer to your problems.
3. You Build a Business for the Short Term Only to See it Fail in the Long Term
Your content goes viral and you scramble to build the business in order to make the most of the crazy volume of traffic.
You hire people, you buy stock, you lease warehouses.
Unfortunately you later find out that the viral content that fuelled this expansion was a fluke (as most are) and you are not able to replicate it.
At this point however you already have oversized the business and scaling it down proves to be more difficult than first imagined.
You have now a large infrastructure for a small volume business which you find out is unsustainable.
4. The New Audience is not Your Target Market
Virality means that the “world” sees your content but you don’t want the world as your customer.
Your product or service is relatively niche and your target customers are a well-defined set of people.
The vast majority of people that now dedicate their time to you (and want you to dedicate their time to them) are not potential customers.
Now you are popular but you can’t be effective at reaching your business objectives.
The bottom line is that depending on what kind of business you are running, aiming for viral content might not the best way forward.
Instead you should focus on crafting online content that supports a steady, sustainable, long-term growth for your business.
Viral? Maybe Not!