Most likely, you have already heard the term ‘viral content’. Today, many marketers increasingly use viral marketing as an add-on to their traditional marketing campaigns. Let us look at what viral content and the actual ways to make it go viral.
What is viral content?
Viral content is something that users actively share on the Internet and which generates new targeted traffic. In this regard, going viral means getting your content shared by a great number of people. Essentially, viral content has two main tasks, which are reaching as many people as possible and in the end, generating new inbound targeted traffic. Below, we will talk about that in more detail.
The tasks of viral content
Task 1. Acquire targeted traffic. These are the people who belong to your target audience and make things good for your business. This is the so-called first phase of customer generation when you fill your funnel with potential customers. In other words, you bring to your site people who are potentially interested in your products or services.
Task 2. Grab the attention of the target audience. Use advertising, SEO, and anything you can literally think of for this purpose.
Task 3. Engage with opinion makers. Some may think this one is rather secondary, but in fact, it can play a crucial role in promoting your products or services. With viral content, you can draw the attention of opinion makers. Why does this matter? Because very often, if you manage to interact with opinion makers, you can quickly raise both the recognition of your brand and fill that funnel with potential customers. Behind opinion makers, there are huge audiences. If the opinion maker recommends something, then their fans, their pool of readers and admirers will listen to them.
Criteria of virality
You have probably heard about some blog posts or videos going viral on the Internet. But how do they actually do that? How to go viral on social media?
In his book Contagious, Jonah Berger, a marketing professor at the Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania, analyzed over 7000 articles that were published in the New York Times magazine. He identified six key factors that affect virality. Let’s walk through all 6 of them!
# 1 – Social currency
Content can act as a social currency. According to Berger, if we find anything new, unique or useful, we are very likely to share it with others. The author believes that there is a factor of innovation and, to some extent, boasting that play a key role here.
People who have found viral content want to stand out showing that they are the foremost owners of something unique. Therefore, your task is to always work on such content, which will allow your readers to think that they are in possession of something highly unique and interesting.
#2 – Triggers
Under triggers, Berger means anything that is constantly in the focus of the target audience and your activities. In other words, if you are doing content marketing, then you need to show people something they will like. At the same time, when they think about content marketing, they will think of you.
# 3 – Emotions
Here everything is simple. Content that does not leave the reader indifferent prompts the reader to share it with others. Content can evoke any emotions: anger, joy, shock, laughter, sympathy, compassion but they main thing is to actually evoke some emotions!
# 4 – Social Evidence
People tend to repeat the actions of others. For example, if a student goes to PapersOwl and gets a superb essay, others will do the same. Similarly, if your content starts to get likes, reposts, and comments, other people will be happy to like, repost and leave their comments as well.
# 5 – Practical value
This point is very similar to the first one. If people found the answer to their question or were able to solve their problem with the help of what you post, they would willingly share it.
# 6 – Stories
We love stories. We remember stories. And more importantly, we share stories.
How to increase your chances to go viral?
Now that you know what is going viral mean, we can elaborate on how to improve your odds of creating viral content.
At first glance, it may seem that creating viral content is simple. But in fact, it is a difficult and laborious work, which primarily requires knowledge of Internet marketing and the psychology of people. If successful, the result will pay off all the costs invested. Below are the recommendations for creating viral content.
The main features of viral content:
- Interesting, cognitive, relevant;
- Catchy header;
- Component eliciting emotions.
Create Content With Broad Appeal
In order for your content to go viral, it needs to appeal to a large swath of people rather than being overly promotional. You need to learn how to strike the perfect balance between your target and wide audience at the same time.
Add an Element of Surprise to Drive Interest
If you want your content to go viral, it needs to be extremely interesting to a wide audience while also containing some element of surprise. For example, a popular blog recently published an article that went viral where they disclosed 18 Photoshopped images of women, in which drastic differences in beauty standards added a surprise factor.
Complex Emotions Elicit Stronger Responses
Do not forget that viral content should focus on people’s emotions. The content that evokes emotions is what makes people want to share it with others.
As you can see, getting your content to go viral is a quite complicated task but if you take our recommendations and tips into account, everything is possible! If you have your own suggestions on how to create viral content, please let us know in the comments below!