How To Make Your Content Go Viral – Jonathan Creek

By Phoebe Chongchua

So you’re ready to make a video?

How do you get lots of people to see it? 

There is a formula for successful viral videos; it’s not just luck, even though it might look like it at first.

Jonathan Creek is a former TV journalist who, after 14 years in broadcasting, has launched a company called where he helps clients create viral videos and social media campaigns. 

Below are Jonathan’s top five tips for creating viral content. Listen to the Brand Storytelling podcast for the full discussion. 


1) Make yourself an authority

Most of the brands we consider an authority in the market are content- driven brands. Companies such as Coca-Cola and Red Bull started producing large volumes of quality content a long time ago. 

The big challenge for most brands today is to understand the difference between creating high-quality, interesting and helpful content versus simply posting and existing on social media. This is the challenge for content marketers – to educate the market and turn it around.  

Take a look a this case study about 2XU. The performance sports clothing company saw extreme success after creating a video that went viral. The videos tapped into the brand’s position as an authority in the market and capitalised on that in an interesting and emotive way. 

Listen to the podcast to hear how Jonathan helped create a strategy around these 2XU videos that went on to be highly shared.  

Watch the video to see the type of content that 2XU created after the Navy Seals started wearing their apparel.

Posted by 2XU Australia on Tuesday, May 5, 2015


By creating consistent video content, Jonathan helped the brand increase engagement. “The one thing that we’re probably the most proud about is that our video content, with no money behind it, was outperforming the paid boost content in terms of engagement.”

He credits a regular publishing schedule and high-quality content creation for the success of the videos.

2) Think about context and content when posting

Brands used to be in control of the message and able to deliver specific messages that they crafted to consumers, but that’s changed.

Now, consumers tell the story by sharing content. They use social platforms to let everyone know what they think of a brand and its services and products.

Jonathan says it’s not just about how frequently you’re posting content to Facebook. Instead, brands should think about the following when posting content:

  • What does it stand for?
  • How is it valuable?
  • What emotions will this post trigger?

The emotional connection is the one thing that sticks. Then if you’re really relevant or relatable, that’s when it triggers the sharing.

— Jonathan Creek


3) Create emotional content

Not all emotions are created equal when it comes to making video.

Videos that create emotions of awe, anger, or happiness in the video content will likely get shared five to six times more than videos that are boring or frustrating.

Sad stories also see lots of shares, but there is a quick decline in the sharing after their initial launch. For instance, the Cecil the Lion story was shared significantly when the story first broke but quickly dropped out of favour over the next week.


4) Have rules for your content and curated posts

Brands must have rules for posting created and curated content just as publishers have editorial guidelines they follow.

“If you can find someone else’s content that fits within your rules, then it’s fine to post. But if it’s off context and doesn’t resonate with the audience that’s following you, then you’re at risk with [the audience] not engaging with you. If they don’t engage with [your content], then Facebook basically closes them down,” says Jonathan.


5) Viral videos aren’t just the result of luck

The success of a video is based on a formula that engages the audience and creates an experience. 

Quality is important but you don’t have to match TV standards. Sometimes something under produced is more realistic and relatable. 

Jonathan says one final tip is to remember that the quality of your content depends on the team you use. Hiring journalists to produce your video and written content has one significant benefit. They are trained to be flexible and stay ahead of the game. 

Journalists can react to real-time changes, and brands need to think like more like publishers. They need to be nimble and able to respond to change and constantly adapt their content. 


Find out more about Jonathan Creek

Twitter @JonathanCreek

Facebook JonathanCreekAu

Jonathan Creek is an award winning Investigative Journalist who, after fourteen years in TV reporting, now concentrates on the world of social and viral content.

His agency is called Virable. Virable is the result of years of research into how to grab an audience’s attention and then trigger them to share it. Drawing on what he learnt as a Journalist working in the cut-throat world of current affairs, and combining it with 3 years of study and dissecting viral trends and content, Jonathan has formulated an approach that breaks down what makes content popular, particularly viral brand videos, and also how to measure the likelihood of content being shared.