‘Going viral’ is all about ensuring that your online content is shared and reaches the masses. When your content goes viral, it spreads like wildfire across social media.
In the business world, you will not be expected to create a ‘Gangnam’ style video to reach the masses. Instead, it could be your videos, eBooks, images – even your blog posts. Social Networks and blogs have sharing functionality built in, making the perfect environment for almost a domino-effect to occur on all levels of social media with the perfect piece of shareable content.
Marketing professionals might call a simple infographic or special offer a ‘viral sensation’ if it gets shared automatically just a few times. In reality, there are varying degrees of virality that could result in different outcomes for your brand.
So the question on everyone’s lips is ‘how do I actually make my content go viral?’ The truth is that it’s impossible to predict what will go viral; however, there are certainly factors which make a piece of content more susceptible to landing the big time.
Here are our top six tips to get you started.
1. Tell a story
Everyone is a sucker for a good story, the more authentic the better. Telling your brand’s story and demonstrating its values and qualities is the best place to start. Ask yourself, what is unique about your brand? Why would people want to hear from you? What is the story you want to tell them?
2. Appeal to self identity
In order to warrant more shares brand’s must create content which appeals to the self identity of its fans. Social media, by nature is a platform where people use online content to carefully curate their own public personas. People share particular types of content to make themselves appear cool, funny, well educated, philosophical, trendy, smart or all of the above. The Content Marketing Institute examined a new study which theorises the difference between the types of content people prefer to share versus liking or commenting. Users are more inclined to share content, which they feel most appropriately represents them or their own experiences.
3. Include quality imagery
Big, beautiful images are bound to grab the attention of people scrolling through their news feed. Imagery needs to represent your brand’s personality, be it humorous, serious, arty, innovative, quirky or straight laced. You need to make sure the visual content is engaging and mainstream enough to relate to a wide enough audience.
4. Be funny, relatable and valuable
Not everyone is a born comedian but humour is known to produce viral effects. People share things they can relate to or get a good laugh out of. Solving common problems within your industry and helping your audience find the answers will put you in good stead. If your content is good enough and clearly outlines how to solve the problem, then people are more likely to share it.
5. Trigger an emotion
It’s like the saying goes in good ol’ fashion print journalism, if it bleeds it leads. Stirring up emotions whether it’s fear, happiness, empowerment, excitement or any other emotion capable of a human beings should warrant a social reaction. People want to be moved and feel connected and usually respond to positive, happy and inspiring quotes, messages, images, videos and articles.
6. Make sure people can find your content
So now that you’ve created all of this wonderful, helpful, funny and inspiring content it would be a shame not to show it off. Social channels are the fuel to the flame and allow your content to spread more quickly. Promote your content through LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and on your blog and website.
The truth is, there is no magical, foolproof strategy which will bring your content widespread fame or Internet glory. The answer is simple, create meaningful, helpful and useful content aimed at making people feel, react, laugh, cry, share or nod along in agreement.