How to create viral content that Generation Y will love

Want to produce content that is topical, shareable and will get your start-up noticed? UNILAD founder and CEO Liam Harrington shares tricks of the trade

UNILAD is a social platform by Generation Y for Generation Y. What that means is that our whole company is aged between 18 and 30 and so is our audience.

We live, breathe and consume everything we do and creating content that appeals is easy because it’s what we want to see.

What is ‘viral’ content?

Creating ‘viral’ content just means creating something that is topical, shareable and relatable, UNILAD’s success is all down to this.

When it comes to creating content we all get involved in the brainstorming of ideas and we’re lucky enough to have a talented in-house video team who create most of the content. This team is headed up by our co-heads of video, Chris Goodson and Liam Bagnall and the team under them can all produce, edit and direct. We call them predators because they are able to carry the story from start to finish.

It means content can be produced quickly and there is a consistent narrative from start to finish ensuring the message remains clear and concise. This is very important for Generation Y as they are being communicated to by multiple sources and brands all the time.

When thinking about creating viral content it’s essential to think about what you are really trying to achieve with the content you are producing. Do you want to inform potential customers about what your company does? Are you trying to encourage viewers to buy your product? Or do you want to increase brand awareness?

Good content is simple so try and figure out what is the most important question for you to answer and take it slow. Doing too many things at once will confuse your messaging will end up with your content being boring and indigestible – the complete opposite of what you want.

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How to create ‘viral’ content

Below are our top tips on how to create video content:

1. Videos should be optimised on as many devices as possible. 91% of our audience own a smartphone and this is how they consume media. If it’s not mobile friendly, it won’t work.

2. Each video should be around 1 minute and 30 seconds in length. We know this as our own analytics shows that content of this size does perform well. However, if we need to tell a longer story because the topic needs it, we will.

3. Make the first five seconds of your video the most engaging, without compromising the content. From five seconds on Facebook counts this as a view but our audience is time poor, so if you don’t hook them you lose them.

We’re constantly evaluating what works and what doesn’t to ensure we put out the strongest content. We pulled together this video on trends we’ve noticed with our own audience in the first quarter of 2016 to help understand what really works from a numbers perspective.

How to distribute content in the most effective way

You then need to make sure you are able to shout about your content in the best way. Social media is a channel that you can use to distribute your messages and engage with your audience no matter what your business is.

Social media should be carefully considered; it is not a one size fits all approach. You should ask yourself the question of whether your audience will be more willing to engage with you on, say, Snapchat or Twitter. It’s okay to be selective; again it all depends on what you’re trying to achieve.

When we were looking for inspiration, we would often look to free webinars or articles (available on sites such as, The Drum, Digiday and Campaign). Always sign up to newsletters and websites because free information is all around you and could help your content strategy immensely.

All in all, knowing what your company is, what you do, and who your audience is inside out, should stand you in good stead when compiling the best content strategy. Keeping your community and your target audience at the heart of everything you do is the key to ‘viral’ success.


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  1. Some great points made and just to reinforce your comments on the distribution of your content – here’s some useful stats about millennials that may help your readers:

    Roughly 81% of Millennials are on Facebook
    , and other social networks are almost as popular. 62% of this generation say that they are more likely to become loyal if a brand engages with them on social networks, while 43.5% will use social media to spread the word about products or services.