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At nextMEDIA, everyone’s a broadcaster but only some go viral (Includes first-hand account)

While it’s a gamble as to what will take off and what won’t, there are several things one can do to make sure content — be it a tweet, a video, a photo, or whatever else — spreads. On hand for the panel, moderated by Bloomberg TV’s Michael Bancroft, was Jonathan Skogmo, founder and CEO of Jukin Media; Tessa Sproule, CEO of Vubble; and Jacqueline Poriadjian, senior vice president of global brand marketing, UFC.

The panel agreed on a few main principles. As the marketing adage goes, “content is king,” and your content should evoke emotion from your audience — something Skogmo knows well, as he makes a business of finding viral videos and amplifying their presence across the web. For example, he found the “pizza rat” video when it had just 300 views.

Sproule said content should also be related to what people are already talking about, Using the pizza rat example again, some pranksters built a pizza rat robot to scare new Yorkers; of course it went viral.

Poriadjian also suggested injecting yourself into a conversation where applicable. This was best exemplified when Ronda Rousey’s challenge to Floyd Mayweather went viral.

It’s also a good idea to know where to post content. Poriadjian said using Periscope to livestream UFC fighter workouts have been popular; and in fact, Periscope saved the day when an Australian press event feed went down.

One aspect that matters less and less is quality of the video; there’s a proliferation of HD photos and videos, but even a vertical cellphone video can still go viral. In fact, Snapchat encourages shooting vertical video for brands.

Finally, once a video goes viral, the next step is monetizing it. As Skogmo explains, deals can work in different ways. If a video is licensed or repackaged, the original content creator can get a one-time payment up front (anywhere from $100 to $5,000) or take part in some kind of revenue-sharing plan.

There’s no hard and fast rules to making something popular, but one of Poriadjian’s last pieces of advice works well; don’t be afraid to take risks, and use all tools available. You never know, you might end up with a “pizza rat” on your hands.

Stay tuned for more coverage from the nextMEDIA conference tomorrow.

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