In the digital marketing world, the big dream is to create content that goes viral.
Everyone loves the old story of a simple idea or story that hits the big time and goes global all at the click of a share button.
There are plenty of reasons why content goes viral, it can be due to the amusement of the content, the fact that the info is smart or will provide the sharer with the sensation that they are smart or informed, they could be great lists or infographics that people find helpful or it could be info from sources that are trusted and entertainment and people want to get the word out.
Successful content can have one or more of a number of characteristics which may include surprising content, content that engages and provides positive emotions or empathy, is newsworthy, is quick to be consumed, is simple to share, doesn’t reflect negatively on the individual sharing the content and/or content that appeals to a broad audience.
With all this in mind, if you’re a startup looking to create a solid content strategy there are a number of ways to create content that has the potential to go viral. While there is no guarantee your content will be the next global sensation, keeping this tips in mind is a good way to ensure you’re creating content that could potentially reach a worldwide audience.
We’ve all been caught up in viral content and probably shared some articles or posts on one social media platform or another. If you’re looking to create some amazing content that goes viral, here are a few tips for how you can get your startup in front of a viral audience.
Ways To Make Your Content Go Viral
Creating content for your business is critical and in today’s digital world is it a simple and cheap way to get your business’s key messages and name out there, without having to spend big bucks on advertising.
Here are a few ways to help you create great content that gets read and shared:
Create lists and content with ‘tips’ - Everyone loves a list or top 5 tips, and it is a simple and engaging way to share information. Think about some of the last content you clicked on and read; you’ll probably find the hook was something along the lines of a list or a top 10 – this is an easy way to go viral and is used commonly for content, blogs, and online marketing materials.
Lists are by far the most popular way to make content go viral and if the content has a cracking headline and great images, the content will be even more likely to go viral.
Try and dispel a myth - It’s easy to create topics that grab people’s attention when you’re trying to get content to go viral. Creating content that works to dispel a myth is one way to generate some interest. Consider topics such as busting old wives tales, or general myths that are fairly mainstream to see if you can go viral.
Make some comparisons - Content that works to make comparisons whether it is gender-based content or occupation-based comparisons can get some serious attention if you choose the right group to compare.
Rivalry is a great way to go viral so creating content and an engaging topic that makes comparisons and generates a little rivalry is always an effective technique.
Challenging the norm - Nothing goes viral more than a bit of a challenge. Consider topics that might challenge a common perspective and work on content that puts a new angle or spin on the normal thinking. While you don't want to be negative if you put out a challenge or offer a thought or content that is a little outside the box you could be rewarded with a viral campaign.
Topics and content that includes stats- Everyone loves a good stat and if you combine great content with some tangible data you might get some leverage. Topics such as “Why 75% of men get jobs over women” and “How 3 Factory Workers Went From Broke to Millionaires in 5 years” are the sort of topics and content that can resonate and get some viral action happening.
Celebrity tie-in - Who doesn’t love a little gossip? When a celebrity’s name is dropped into a piece of content or a headline more often than not it will prick up our ears and get some interest. Regardless of the topic, references to celebrities in topics especially will be a great way to general some interest for content.
Tying in with a holiday or special calendar event - With Valentines Day, Easter, Christmas, and Thanksgiving there are always plenty of great tie-ins for content that will get some impact. Consider some top 5 lists that incorporate calendar events and you really could be onto a winner.
Most of all, shares are usually generated for a number of reasons such as to share advice (in the case of tips and helpful hints), warn of potential dangers, amuse, inspire, amaze (usually with facts, pictures, and figures) and to unite.
Making your content go viral is a super simple way to save on your marketing spend and to use the online community to build awareness without the need to outlay heaps of cash on advertising.
As well as this, viral content is usually perceived as more genuine that traditional marketing which means if you have your website set up and all your online channels you could grow your pipeline and engagement without months and months of blood sweat and tears.
What Are The Elements Of Viral Content?
Now we’ve outlined ways to make your content go viral, it’s probably an idea to get a brief idea of the features commonly found in viral content that increase the chances of the content going viral.
It’s important to note, there is no magic potion, and some content goes viral without much planning however if you’re a startup that is looking to add viral content campaign into your marketing strategy it’s important to be aware of some of the essential elements that can give your content a leg up in your marketing campaign.
Being unique - Unique content gets attention as if you’re going to regurgitate the same information that has been seen again and again you’re not really going to be that interesting. A unique view goes a long way.
Useful info - Tips and useful info that makes someone’s life a little easier is an essential element of viral content. Instructions, life hacks and general guides are helpful and will attract attention.
Evoking emotion - If you’ve ever read something that’s made your teary, angry or upset online you’ve connected with content in a strong emotional way. The aim of the viral content game is to provide content that evokes emotion and connects with the reader.
Surprising content - Taking people by surprise is an element of viral content creation. Whether you provide comparisons from communities around the world, shock stats or revelations the surprise is engaging for readers.
Quick and easy to read - Let’s face it; most of us are time poor so we want to read something that captures out attention can be consumed quickly and easily. This means dot points and easy to read layouts. Whatever you do avoid creating content that waffles on and is hard to read, you just won’t get your readers to engage.
At the end of the day, you have a pretty short time to engage the interest of your reader to create content that has a catchy title or headline, is short and sharp to read and offers unique information that isn’t rehashed and you’re on the path to creating content that has the potential to go viral.
As a side note, always make sure your content is well written, free of spelling and grammar errors and is simple enough for a wide range of audiences to read and share.
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