Creating Viral Content: What I Learned From Money Heist

It’s been mid of the 3rd week since I am quarantined, and all I am doing is spending more time with family (significant) and friends over zoom.

We are also #Workingfromhome and trying to help businesses and agencies with regards to their SEO, Email, and Link Building needs.

Besides work, I spend a good amount of my after-work time watching Money Heist, which out of nowhere started to break the internet, and according to IMDB, it’s the top 3 most popular show.

(Tiger King on number 2 makes less of a sense to me)

Over the weekend, I started doing research on how come a failed TV series started to pick up and became the best TV show ever around the world?

The actors who were only known in Spain are now world celebrities, and obviously, there were many aspects to it, but I started digging and went for the core, the content.

Mark Hughes, in his book, discusses the 6 buttons for Buzz Marketing’s success. Regardless of what industry you are in and what audience you are trying to capture, if you push these 6 buttons, chances are you will get the audience’s attention, and if the content is something they can relate to, they will make it viral for you.

In this post, I am going to discuss what these 6 buttons are, how the team at Money heist (intentionally or unintentionally) pressed it, and how we as small business owners can do it for our own audience.

6 Buttons to Hit and make your content go viral!

1. Taboo

As per the definition: “A taboo is an implicit prohibition on something based on a cultural sense that it is excessively repulsive or, perhaps, too sacred for ordinary people.”

In simpler terms, Taboo is the kind of topic or content that is not easily digestible by society or when it comes to online content, something that the online community is not willing to accept easily.

  • Money Heist: The story is a taboo on its own on many folds. The robbery is not acceptable, ethically, morally, and religiously. But, the professor and the team were not only in there for the money. They were there to show the true face of the government. Something that ordinary men will be too scared to do.
  • Ideas for Small Business: Oh boy, this is going to be scary for many business owners, but the fact is if you are not touching taboo, you are just a regular business owner trying to pass a message that target audience might or might not listen and react to.

Imagine you are on a dinner table with 15 other people all dressed up, and one says, “This is good food” (regular). This is ok and digestible as this is what others are expecting of him, but what if he goes something like this, “this is a fucking awesome, better than sex” well, nobody was expecting that many people might not digest it easy but they will surely talk about it.

See, the point here is to create the content that can go viral, and that might or might not please 100% of your target audience, but they will surely talk about it and help you create the buzz.

2. Unusual Content

5 Unusual Resume Additions That Can Be Surprisingly Effective

Anything that’s not common or ordinary can qualify for unusual. The type of content that allows others to continue to read/watch can be classified as unusual content.

Note: #Trumpjokes can no more be considered as unusual content.

  • Money Heist: That was indeed an unusual content on many levels. The romantic movie is where making love is fine, and action money is where guns and violence are ok. What they did was a mix of two. The people who are ok with robbing a bank but have the heart what beats for each other. They can make people hostages, but taking care of them was something I never heard before.
  • Ideas for Small Business: This sounds easy, but when it comes to content creation, what most brands are missing is doing something unusual or coming up with something that other competitors aren’t doing at all.

Unusual is not something coming out of the box, but something that is not common should work. Like for ecommerce websites, having product explainer videos is something few brands do, but it’s still not a norm, so maybe doing videos for each of your products can be unusual that will allow you to get an edge over your competitors.

Instead of creating boring educational content, coming up with something like this would be amazing. All in all, when it comes to creating unusual content, the idea is to understand your audience’s interest a little more and come up with something that surprises them pleasantly.

3. Outrageous Content

Bella ciao (english subtitles) - YouTube

Many people consider Outrageous as shockingly bad, but I personally don’t think it has to be bad always. I think what I mean here is something that creates reasonable bounds, something unconventional that allows people to share their sentiment when they are alone or on the internet.

  • Money Heist: If you are binge-watching the TV show, I can confidently say that there were times when you would have said things like, “Professor is fucked!”, “The fuck is wrong with Tokyo,” “Denver is an a**hole,” and more. That’s precisely what they did by pressing the Outrageous button. They come up with the storyline that talks about freedom and taking power back, and as this is the universal issue, it ignites your anger and makes you speak your mind and share with others around.
  • Ideas for Small Businesses: This is difficult, but if you are creative and know your industry well, coming up with something outrageous is relatively easy. Remember, fit 2 fat 2 fit campaign? That is a classic example of outrageous content in the health and fitness industry. Another great example of viral content is the Z.E.R.O zombie kit.

My idea is to focus on your persona and learn more about them, what they do, what they like, what they hate and come up with the outrageous content that allows them to stick with you, love/hate you but in any case talk about the content and help you create the iconic ripple effort you ideally was looking for.

4. Hilarious Content

The one-word definition of hilarious content is “funny.”

  • Money Heist: The Denver’s Laugh

In the most intense situations, the best thing that can defuse tension a little bit is the fun part and what is funnier than the ridiculous laugh by Denver.

  • Ideas for Small Businesses: Even if you are in a boring or serious niche like law or healthcare, a quick funny punch can allow the audience to stick with you and allow you to go viral. I have seen people do tons of hilarious stuff that allow the audience to stick with them. This video by Ashraf Habibullah will make you laugh and inspire at the same time.

Again, think about your audience what kind of humor they will like and go from there accordingly.

5. Remarkable Content

A simplistic way to define the remarkable content is something that makes you think, extraordinary. As easy as it may sound, it’s actually challenging to create, but well anything that comes easy is usually not worth it, right?

  • Money Heist: What’s remarkable about this TV series is the attention to details and small things that many other TV shows forget to discuss, but they leave no stone unturned and come up with something truly remarkable.
  • Ideas for Small Businesses: This is precisely what you have to do with your content piece if you want it to go viral. People share things when they are inspired and shocked. Remember that World’s toughest Job ad by American Greetings? It allows them to get the world’s attention, shit tons of links, and defiantly monitory benefits.

Come up with something that leaves people to inspire you. Maybe a good idea for law firms to share their side story of how to approach cases and how dedicated they are when they understand that it’s more than just winning the case, it’s about changing the lifestyle that badly needs it right now.

The above given was just an idea in the boring niche, but you can look into your business model and audience to see what can inspire them and think of content accordingly.

6. Secret Content

The secret doesn’t really have to be how Russians helped Trump win the elections. It has to be something that should be new to your audience, and they should feel more informed after consuming your content.

  • La Casa De Papel: Depending on how you look at the show, you will find many secrets that they reveled. How the Spanish government is not as clean as they pose (apply to any government around the world) secrets of each character, secrets behind the robbery, and more.
  • Ideas for Small Businesses: If you want your audience is stick with you and help you viral your piece of content, you have to share secrets that they find valuable, and please share it with the world. They should feel good about sharing the secrets they are revealing.

Like, if you are a plumbing company, sharing a video that exactly tells how to fix few toilet flushing issues and when is the right time to call the plumbing company so they get the worth of bucks you are spending will be the very good secret that people would love to share in their circles and that can help you go viral.


Let me be honest. There is no guarantee that if your content has all of the points mentioned above, your content will go viral for sure. I will again quote Money Heist here when the show gets aired on a local Spanish channel, it failed and then when Netflix came in and aired it again to the international audience, that’s when things started to work.

Basically, what I am saying is creating a beautiful house in the middle of nowhere is not going to help you win attention. You need to build that road too so that people can drive up to the house and appreciate it.

Similarly, creating content is not enough, you need to have a great content promotion strategy in place to make everything happen and finally win the objective, and that is to go viral.

Note: In the next part, I am going to discuss, how you should be promoting the content that can help you go viral. Till then, Bella Ciao!

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published.