Chances are you’ve seen the video of a man discovering a nest of adorable baby bunnies underneath a patch of dead grass. It’s been viewed over 3 million times on Facebook, and is one of the most viral videos of 2017 so far. If you haven’t seen it yet, watch it now.

Seriously. We’ll wait. Your day needs baby bunnies.

See? Baby bunnies make everything better.

Illustration of baby bunny on green grass

So, why is the video so popular? It’s more than twitching noses and cottontails. Cuteness–even baby bunny level cuteness–can only take a video so far. After all, there are LOTS of baby animal videos online.

A desire to help created an internet sensation

Jared Houlistan, the man in the video and the owner of Ontario Wildlife Removal Inc., is passionate about humane wildlife removal. He told Scott Stratten of the Unpodcast in an interview that his company had received multiple calls about the terrible discovery of a rabbit’s nest in someone’s lawn … after they’d mowed.

Houlistan was at a client’s house for an unrelated call when he found the nest of sleeping bunnies. He recognized the opportunity to help others and acted on it. He whipped out his phone and made the video right there on the spot. He didn’t make the video to sell his service or promote his company. He did it to help people. And save the lives of baby bunnies. It was empathy, not profit, that inspired the content.

The baby bunny video fits with Ontario Wildlife Inc.’s brand. They’ve also shared super-cute pictures of fawns and other animals on their Facebook, reminding people to resist the urge to pet or “rescue” fawns they may come across.

Photo of fawn in grass from Ontario Wildlife Inc. Facebook

Put down the product, turn off the sales pitch

Cuteness helps, but the real secret ingredient to creating viral content is empathy. And not for the fuzzy stars of this video. It’s empathy for your customers and leads. Stop viewing them as potential sales, and start looking at them as an audience. Make content for them, rather than for you and your goals.

When it comes to viral content, remember: it’s not about You.

Listen to your audience. What questions and concerns are they sharing? Create content that answers them thoughtfully and authentically. Educate, entertain, have fun and be yourself. This won’t guarantee your content goes viral, but it definitely increases the odds.

And if your content happens to feature baby animals, send it our way. We can’t get enough of them!