How to Create Viral Content that Generates Thousands of Daily Visitors?
With the birth of internet legends like the grumpy cat, we have seen numerous cases of this phenomenon. We have seen plenty of memes and videos that have spread across the internet like wildfire. It is something that every content marketer and content creator strives to achieve. To have certain content piece be seen by millions and remembered forever by the people of the internet. In other words, its great content that’s intention is to be shared by millions of people across social networks and spread like a virus.
Even though that in the back of our minds, we know exactly why these content pieces became viral. Simply because they are good, funny, or shocking, but it is hard to verbalize the exact reason why they have spread so rapidly.
Every marketer out there has been trying their best to crack the code and some have succeeded. But it is still near impossible to determine whether a certain content piece will go viral or not. Its success depends on what your message is. However, there are a few methods you can implement in order to make your content reach a very large audience at a very short amount of time. So, we have a lot to talk about. There are people who manage to make their content contagious every time. All we have to do is find their secret sauce, right? Well then, let’s see why it’s important for you to create viral content and how you can make it happen!
Why You Should Create Viral Content
Viral content means that an article, picture or video has been seen by an unusually large number of people and it continues to spread. With every person that views said content piece, the potential for it to spread faster grows exponentially.
Such growth will produce more brand awareness than paying for ads during prime sporting events. But how do you get that much attention? Well, all it requires is for you to perfectly combine certain elements and your post will spark so much interest that it’s going to be seen by millions.
Marketing experts have already created viral content marketing strategies that have proven to sell. They have a lot of potential but they may not provide an overnight success. Instead, they improve the possibility of your content rapidly engaging a lot of people, which is what we want in the first place. Even if your content doesn’t spread virally, it will serve you really well as an optimization practice. It will also benefit your website and your branding efforts, regardless of how many links and shares you get on social media.
So, as I mentioned, by optimizing your post in a certain way and making it a perfect combination of specific elements, you can increase the potential for it to go viral. For that to happen you have to have at least some knowledge of your audience and follow the techniques below.
Keep in mind that you don’t necessarily have to create something new in order for it to go viral. In fact, everything that has ever gone viral has already been on the web before. You’re seeing the same things go viral again and again. So, by looking at their examples, we have a lot to conclude.
What Makes Content Go Viral
The content itself needs to be worthy of being shared and for that it needs to be valuable. It has to be able to solve a specific problem or enhance the reader’s life and experience somehow. Not to mention that most people share content that is of high quality and reflects well on them. If you can create something that strengthens their sense of identity, you’ll take one step closer to success. But there are a lot of other factors that make content go viral. At its core, viral content has to achieve the following things:
- It has to appeal to emotions.
- Contain a justifiable and logical appeal.
- Have an ethical appeal.
- Be useful and valuable in some way.
- The element of surprise.
Elicit emotions: The strongest factor in viral content is that it evokes emotion. So, creating content that appeals to your audience’s emotions is the most likely to go viral. Emotions such as humor, awe, anxiety, sadness, wander or empathy are all strong enough to make people want to share them. This is why video works so well, it provides a great outlet for emotions.
Justifiable and logical appeal: The viewer or reader has to be able to identify with the contents message somehow. The message has to have a legitimate existence in their experience.
Ethical appeal through positivity: Spreading a positive message makes people feel good about themselves, it reflects well on them. Also, content pieces that stimulate positive emotions perform a lot better than those which stimulate negative emotions. By going with a positive message, you’ll have a much higher click and share rate.
Usefulness: Most researches show that content that is useful in some way, has a high chance of going viral. This might mean a big change in your online marketing campaign, as it will put useful and valuable content first.
The element of surprise: Surprise is the special sauce, the crucial element which makes an image or a video go viral.
These are the effects which get people to share content most of the time. Making it happen however requires you to combine specific elements well. The techniques you find below won’t necessarily make your content achieve overnight success, but it will definitely get you more shares and more engagement down the road.
How to Create Viral Content?
Creating viral content is no easy task and it might not be for everyone. It’s a difficult task, especially for someone who is just starting out with content creation and online marketing. If you’re looking to create a viral video, you’ll need to invest into good equipment and build your editing skills up as well. Maybe even hire a professional videographer. With the technicalities aside, here is how you elicit the positive reactions that I’ve mentioned above.
Elicit One of These Emotions
We know that content pieces that get a strong emotional reaction are most likely to be shared. Once you know what kind of emotion you’re targeting, it gets much easier. Here is how you can most easily target and stimulate specific emotions within your audience. Which one you target depends on a wide variety of things, but I have a feeling that you’ll be easily able to match an emotion with your business.
- Joy: A lot of things make people happy and they always want to share what makes them happy. It can be something humorous, inspiring or anything that lifts their mood. The best way to elicit joy is telling people a life story that they can relate to. Something that makes them nostalgic or reminds them of the bonds they have with other people whom they’ll want to share it with.
- Awe: Awe or amazement is a feeling of reverential respect mixed with fear or wonder. It’s what we feel when we see something remarkable that we cannot resist but comment on. It can be someone’s actions, a view or a life story.
- Anger: Anger is often elicited by injustice, which is why people will work hard to attain justice. They will share, comment, and write blog posts, referring to your particular content piece. The best way to elicit anger is by challenging someone’s beliefs of course. But it’s a bad marketing strategy to constantly piss off your audience, so don’t do it more than a few times.
- Anxiety: You might not have noticed, but marketers use anxiety pretty much all the time. For example, the basic “short time offers” are anxiety based tactics. They try to elicit anxiety in people, making them think that they could potentially lose something by not acting.
- Fear: I don’t recommend spreading fear, because it is one of the strongest toxins but the strongest motivators as well. It’s what news organizations use all the time. People can’t resist but take action when they are motivated by fear. You can make people worry that they are currently missing out on something or making mistakes that they aren’t aware of. This will get them curious and clicking.
- Lust: People don’t just have lust for sex; they have lust for power, money, results and other people as well. It’s similar to being ambitious. If you target your audience’s ambitions, desires, something that they want more of and fast, you’ll succeed.
- Surprise: The element of surprise is one of the strongest factors that get people to share content. Anything that goes against people’s expectations, challenges their assumptions or proves them wrong about something will give them a surprise.
Provide Something Useful
Though some of the most viral content pieces are highly entertaining, providing something useful is a much more robust approach to creating viral content. But this is nothing new. We always knew the powerful effects of tutorials and guides, yet there is one thing that almost nobody does at the end of their article. They write how the audience should use the content to make the most of it in their lives. It’s simple and it gets them the results they want.
Find the Perfect Content Length for Your Audience
You shouldn’t just base the perfect length of your content on what ranks highest in Google. In fact, there are a lot of other factors to consider, such as the platform, your message and your target audience. Researchers say that short and sweet videos are the easiest to go viral. Others say that textual content is the best. But all these solely depend on what kind of message you’re looking to convey and to whom.
The other thing you’ll have to keep in perspective is the platform you’re looking to use. You can’t post a 5 minute long video on Instagram and expect it to have the same engagement as you would get on Facebook or YouTube. Users on a specific platform are used to a specific way of engaging with content. For example, Instagram videos are only as short as 26 seconds, but receive a lot more comments than on most social media platform. YouTube videos are much more effective if you want to build a story or provide in-depth information.
Keep in mind that the main purpose of creating viral content is to reach out to people who fall outside your usual audience. But things start out with your target audience sharing your post with others.
Using Lists To Get Attention
There is something about lists that people love. Maybe it is that lists are the easiest way to convey and consume information. This is why lists are the most engaging and most often shared format of content.
It is our essential nature that we like to learn, but not everyone has the patience to read extensive articles and books. They would rather go scroll on social media or go to BuzzFeed, depending on the audience. The more detailed a list is, the more likely it is that people will share it on social media. Its goal is to deliver information in the most consumable manner.
Use Images To Get More Shares
On social media, images, videos and graphics are what catch people’s attention most of the time. A Facebook post with an image will receive 20% more clicks than a post with plain text. If you can make it into an animated picture (GIF), than the engagement jumps up to 150%. This is simply because we are visual creatures and our eyes are attracted to something that moves. This hints us that these videos and photos or any other type of visual content is essential to create viral content.
Infographics Have a Lot of Power Too
We humans are visual creatures, which is why video and photography perform the best in marketing efforts as well. Infographics combine the awesome power of visual content with the power of listicles. It provides a lot of information in a fun and engaging form. A well-composed infographic has the potential to get you more visitors and that people will share it with friends and family, due to their simple and visual nature.
Your Reputation Matters
People know that there is a lot of misinformation on the internet, so trust is essential. The word “fake news” is thrown around very frequently these days, so you have to work extra hard to become a reliable source of information.
The quickest way to make that happen is through creating a detailed bio on your own professional website. It is less relevant to have on social media platforms like Google+, LinkedIn and Facebook, but it still helps.
The most important thing you can do is create your posts or videos based on cold hard facts. Always do a thorough research and make sure that you’re basing your assumptions and ideas on something that is true. Even an expertly written article can have misinformation and create distrust among your audience if it stands for something that simply isn’t true.
Free Offers Get People Moving
Everyone likes to get something for free. Offering something for nothing has transcended time and technology, it’s the oldest trick in the book. Giveaways and discounts are solid points of sharing within the online community, especially if what you’re offering is exceptional and has value.
Sure, you spend time, energy and money on giving away free stuff, but it pays off well in the long term. It increases your brand awareness and helps you establish future purchases. In fact, giving away free stuff might even be cheaper than running an ad campaign and would get the same results. It would get the attention of your consumers and get your business some much needed traction.
Use User Generated Content
Though getting the best bits out of your user’s comments and content, it is definitely worth it. Sharing someone else’s profound comment, useful video or funny photograph will increase the visibility of your brand. It will also create a positive image of you in your audience’s eyes, as you’re someone who cares about them. A lot of them will want to do business with you, simply because you paid attention to their content. You don’t always have to come up with something awe and inspiring; you can just share someone else’s content and write your own comment on it.
With viral content broken down to digestible bits, you can understand it much easily and tailor your own viral content piece. It doesn’t necessarily have to be shared by millions. As long as it boosts your engagement and helps your brand gain more awareness, it will be good enough.
I hope you have enjoyed reading through this article and that we’ll see you again soon in the next one!