Every blogger, marketer, or brand dreams of creating that magical piece of content that goes viral the instant it’s posted. Going viral is a great thing no matter what industry or niche you are in, apart from maybe the adult film industry. You definitely want your brand or posts to be seen by as many people as possible and hopefully gain a lot of leads or sales in the process. It always comes down
In this article, we look at what viral content is and suggest several ways through which you can promote your posts and make them even more viral.
What is Viral Content?
Viral content can be defined as published material such as a Facebook post, an article in your blog, an image, a video, or infographic that spreads virally on the Internet through social sharing or website links. A good example of viral content is a meme, which is usually an image or video with a few lines of text, shared virally by almost everyone who comes across it. Viral content is basically any type of online content that appeals to viewers so much that they feel compelled to share and spread it virally.
There are many reasons why interesting content is shared virally. For instance, entertainment value is a common characteristic of viral content. People simply love sharing with friends, colleagues, and family anything they feel is entertaining. Other characteristics of viral content are the usefulness of the information, shock value, artistic merit, and promotion of group or social value. Content can also go viral if it is shared by a social influencer with a massive audience and reputation in the society. Social influencers are considered as opinion drivers or authorities by their followers. They usually have a large following on social media platforms such as Twitter, Facebook, or Instagram. Everything they share has a huge potential for going viral.
Going viral is great but it is a very unpredictable game. However, you can always leverage on elements of human behaviour to promote your content and make it go viral. Here are a few fresh ideas that you can rely on to generate more exposure to your viral articles, videos, and images:
Evoke Compelling Emotions
Humans have a tendency for sharing any piece of information that inspires them in a certain way or simply evokes emotions. A study done by Frac.tl marketing showed that emotion is the top cause for sharing content. This is why savvy bloggers and marketers usually infuse their articles and videos with titles that have some form of shock value. Emotional titles have a tendency to demand clicks from the audience.
People love sharing content with “high-arousal emotions” such as amusement, awe, and excitement. Content that leaves readers feeling excited, awe-inspired, or amused has a greater chance of being shared than low-arousal content that does not evoke strong emotions. It’s interesting how people share virally content that evokes negative emotions such as anxiety and anger. So before you think of promoting what you believe to be potentially viral content, make sure the article, image, or video will evoke a passionate emotional response from the audience.
Make it Visually Appealing
Humans interpret visual content faster than plain text. Visuals such as images and videos will make your content more appealing and even more shareable. A study done by Social Media Examiner found that adding a photo to a tweet increases retweets by 35% and that Facebook posts accompanied by photos have an interaction rate of 87 percent.
Visual appeal should not be limited to images and videos only but should also include text fonts and general layout of your content. The goal is to make the content readable and enjoyable enough to encourage the user to share it with the rest of the world.
People Still Love Sharing Lists (for some reason?)
Ever wondered why most of the viral articles or posts found online have titles such as “Best 10…” or “Top 5…” or something similar? It is because people love lists. Listed content is easier to digest and more appealing. Lists with titles that evoke emotions have a high chance of going viral.
Leverage on the Power of Digital Influencers
A single tweet from the Kardashians gets hundreds of thousands of shares instantly. Well, you may not have direct access to huge celebrities but you can always find regular internet influencers with massive followings and work out a deal to share your content. All you need to do is build relationships with these influencers as a part of your marketing strategy and after some time you can politely ask for help to share your content. Keep in mind you need to have highly engaging and interesting content worth sharing before asking social influencers to help promote it.
You can also ask family members, colleagues, friends, and even your customers to share your potentially viral posts with their followers. You can even add a small disclosure at the end of your article or video giving fellow bloggers and readers the right to share your post with full credit. This way, you may find it republished on major blogs where you can capture a new audience and more shares. In some cases, all it takes to make an interesting piece of content to go viral is just a little push to give it the momentum it requires to snowball.
Social Distribution Channels
There are many articles, blog posts, images, and videos that have gone viral thanks to social distribution and bookmarking sites. These social distribution channels can be of great help in getting your viral content in front of millions of internet users. Good examples of top sites that can help get your content go viral include Reddit, Digg, Del.icio.us, StumbleUpon, and YouTube among others.
Promote at the Right Time
Timing is important in everything you do in life, including promoting your viral posts. Your interesting emotion-evoking post could go viral if it’s published when a relevant topic is currently trending. Bad timing could mean the end of you and your content.
The time of posting, especially on social media, matters too. If you are posting viral content on Facebook, check Facebook Insights to find out when your audience is most active. You can also do an A/B testing between content posted at different times of the day or night to find out the best posting time.
Promoting viral content should be easier if you have created highly engaging emotion-provoking content. You can do it by reaching out to social influencers in your industry or niche, asking for shares, and leveraging on the power of popular social distribution and bookmarking sites.
When you find a strategy that works, stick to it like glue. You don’t need to deviate from what’s working well for you, as most marketers often do in pursuit of greener grass across the fence. Stick to what works and you’ll soon start seeing great results from your viral posts.