How do you send content viral?
Viral content is any piece of media that becomes wildly popular overnight.
Viral content starts to work for you on autopilot, as your brand gets exposed to a whole new audience that you couldn’t ever quite reach organically.
You might think getting your content to go viral is as likely as you hitting the lottery, but nothing could be further from the truth. If you’re looking to generate buzz for your business or if you just want your own 15 minutes of fame, continue reading.
Tip: I use SEMrush to research SEO-optimized content ideas, create high-performing content, and monitor its performance.
I’ve put together 11 ways to make your content marketing go viral (and none of them involve buying a lottery ticket!)
1. Plan for search engine domination
Without a doubt, search engines deliver the most sustainable and long-term traffic to websites. So, to make your content marketing go viral, identify potentially viral and low-competition keyword phrases and then optimize your content for these words.
Want a way to simplify this process? SEMrush’s Keyword Tool is the perfect solution. This tool;
- Unearths over 2 million keyword ideas.
- Enables you to segment keywords into groups.
- Picks the best keywords based on whether or not you can rank for them.
2. People want to look smart (so let them)
When people think about sharing content, they consider social currency. If it makes them look clever or smart, the more likely they are to pass it onto their friends and followers.
In February of 2012, LinkedIn sent out emails to select members that were part of the top 5 percent of most viewed profiles for the previous year.
Thousands and thousands of people flocked to Facebook and Twitter to spread the good news. The biggest beneficiary of this was LinkedIn because it raised its profile and probably got thousands of new members.
3. Keep it short
The vast majority of viral content is short. Videos tend to range from around 30 seconds to one minute. Anything longer and you might lose your grip.
Tip: Use tools such as InVideo to create stunning professional-level videos in minutes with pre-made templates.
The same goes for blogs. People have short attentions spans; so make it easy for them with “scannable” content such as images, dot points and subheadings.
4. Take a human angle
Perhaps you have found the perfect drink to have on your wedding anniversary? Maybe you want to share some traits your boss has that you hate, and you figure most people can relate to?
If people can relate and apply it to their own lives, they are much more likely to share. When something is personal to someone, they will pass it on.
5. Make it genuine
Most people are not looking for videos or blogs that seem highly produced or overdone. There must be a genuine feel.
A “how to” guide is a good example, and videos behind the scenes of an interesting event is also an excellent example.
6. Go interactive
Do you have expert knowledge on an interesting subject?
People want and expect content they can discuss, and the more this is true, the more it your content will get shared.
Interactive content such as quizzes are a great way to do this.
7. Let readers comment
If you are a blogger, you need a good comment section system, such as Disqus, if you want a chance to go viral.
If you get a good comment or a controversial one, respond to it. A good community of people commenting will always increase your chance of virality.
8. Use lists and images
People love lists and images.
If you make your blog post a list, your chances of going viral increase a great deal. If you then pad out that list with some creative imagery, you increase your viral chances even more.
9. Create a compelling headline
With so much content out there today, you must make a great first impression, or you’ll be passed in favor of another.
Make your headline catchy, benefit-driven and curious…
A good acid test, is to ask;
“Would I click on that headline?”
10. Don’t make anyone feel foolish
When people share content, they are actually putting their own reputation on the line for all to see. So be careful not to alienate groups or down talk minorities.
Public figures, on the other hand, are often fair game. For example, the presidential run of Donald Trump is a controversial subject. If you support him or not, there is enough information out there to support either view, and you are sure to get a reaction from those on both sides of the fence.
11. Make posts appropriate
If you are going to post on Facebook, make sure you use proper grammar and formatting to make your content readable. Nothing is more annoying than one big, huge, long paragraph.
If you are going to Tweet, do not use all 140 characters. Be sure to leave at least 10 to 12 spaces (this helps for encouraging re-tweets).
Getting your content marketing to go viral is not an exact science by any means. But if you follow these proven guidelines, you can certainly increase your chance of having a viral blog, Tweet or share that gets you the exposure you want.