We are in an era where creating and sharing viral content is easier than ever. This generally means that the internet is flooded with content, and it can make it difficult to get your own content circulating widely online. The purpose of this article is to provide you with methods of creating viral content that will significantly increase your online traffic.
1. Do Competitive Research
If you want your content to be as great as the content of your competitors, then you will need to do a little preliminary research beforehand to understand who exactly your competitors are and what is making their content successful.
- First, take note of the top competitors on the channels where you hope to share your content. They should be contributors sharing the same sort of content that you are interested in creating.
- Look at their material. Is it mainly videos, pictures, blog posts, etc? You will want to look through their contributions over the past few months to get an idea of what type of content is being shared.
- Take note of which material was well received by the contributor’s audience. It’s safe to assume that your competitor’s audience will also be your main audience, so what gets engagement for them will likely get engagement for you. Then your job is to look over that material and see how you can adapt and mold it into your own unique content.
2. Create Content Worthy of Going Viral
Obviously, if you want your content to gain popularity, you have to make it worth your audience’s time while also engaging them in the material. One of the ways you can do this is by appealing to your audience’s emotions. People tend to have a greater engagement with viral content when it invokes a particular feeling, whether that feeling is happiness, sadness, anger, etc.
Most content that goes viral includes one (or more) of the following types of material:
- Funny Content – People enjoy and like to share the things that make them laugh. Humorous content is usually manifested as a meme, but it can also be a picture or video.
- Cute Content – People like to share videos that make them say “awww, that’s adorable”.
- Cool Content – Stuff that can be described as “awesome” typically gets shared often. Think of videos that show brave or impressive acts or very unusual things happening.
- Self-Relevant Content – Things that relate to us personally, such as quizzes or personality tests, typically get shared.
- Anger-Inducing Content – Things that infuriate or outrage us, such as politics, are also likely to get a share.
In addition to the content listed above, viewers also want practicality. They are looking for content that is relevant to wants or needs that they might have – content that might help them fix a problem. Think “how-to” videos. Obviously, you can still appeal to viewers’ emotions with this type of content, but there’s also the chance to play on the unexpected. You can do this by presenting a fact that the audience might not have known, or by making a shocking statement that then sets up the entire premise for your content. Regardless of what content you’re creating, it’s important to know how to appeal to and play off of the emotions of your audience.
3. Benefit from Influencer Marketing
One of the most helpful ways to go viral is to have many followers sharing and promoting your content. However, this isn’t always realistic when you’re starting out. Influencers can come in handy here. When you market your content through an influencer, you are reaching out to their followers and increasing the number of eyes viewing your content.
However, it’s not always easy to get an influencer to agree to share your content. A few ways to break into influence marketing are:
- Co-Creation – Does your content have anything in common with the influencer’s interests? If so, you might be able to collaborate on content, developing it together and sharing it on both of your platforms.
- Engaging – Following, sharing, and commenting on an influencer’s content is a great way to get recognized and initiate a marketing relationship.
- Post on Their Platforms – Does the influencer mainly use Twitter? Attract their attraction by making this your main channel for sharing content as well.
4. Use Email Marketing to Go Viral
In your efforts to make your content go viral, do not underestimate the power of email marketing. Below are a few methods you can leverage to get more viewers through email:
- Add content to your email signature. When you send an email, its recipient will have the option to view your content.
- Reach out to blog commenters. People who have commented on your content are obviously interested in your material and would likely appreciate being notified by email when you create new content.
- Reach out to people that have already shared your content. Send an email asking if you can send them new content as you create it.
- Resend emails to people who missed or didn’t open your first email. You might catch them the second time around.
- Create easy access to your content within your emails so that people don’t have to go searching for it elsewhere.
5. Create Viral Headlines
Headlines are often that first thing that your audience will look at to decide if they’re interested in viewing your content. Capture their interest with the following tips:
- Address the Audience – refer to them directly to establish a connection.
- Ask a Question – posing a question that relates to your audience’s interests is often a good way to catch their attention.
- Add a Bit of Shock Factor – The title should make the reader think that they are reading something completely new.
Include a Call to Action – After you have caught their attention, there should be something that encourages them to explore your other content.
6. Add Video and Infographics
Infographics are a great way to make your online content bring in more viewers. Infographics are images that combine visuals such as text, artistic illustrations, and charts to convey data-driven analyses. Infographics are useful because they are usually liked and shared three times more often than any other kind of content on social media. If you have the skill to create original infographics yourself (you can use Photoshop or Canva to do so) or the money to hire a professional to create them, then they’re not a bad tool to use in your quest to create viral content.
7. Create Incentives for Sharing Your Content
Giving away prizes is also a great way to bring in some online traffic. Everybody loves free stuff! Once you decide what you want to achieve, let your current followers know what they need to do. It’s as simple as asking them to share some of your content and encourage their friends to follow or subscribe to you. You can then track who complied, and when your contest is over, announce and notify the winners through your platform. This is a win-win situation because your content gets more exposure, and an existing follower gets a gift, reinforcing their loyalty.
8. Validate Your Audience’s Opinions
Validating your audience’s opinions will prove fruitful in helping your content go viral. When you reinforce the opinions of your audience, they feel good knowing that you’re backing them up and are more likely to share your content. Of course, you need to know your audience well in order to do this. Consider their demographics, interests, and values first.
9. Keep Your Content Simple
Remember that we live in an age where people are always in a rush and attention spans are short. It is certainly okay to include longer-form content online. However, you want your audience to be able to get the overall idea of an article or post without having to read the entire thing. Shorter sentences and paragraphs, bullet points, and plenty of headings will help you achieve this.
10. Place Sharing Buttons Where They’ll Be Seen
Lastly, you want your content to be shared, shared, shared! Make sure that you are including share buttons in convenient places throughout your content so that your audience can simply click and move on with their day.
It may seem that online content goes viral by fluke or random chance; however, there is something of a process to it, and a science behind it. By following the advice listed above, you can ensure you are on the right track to spreading your content to larger audiences and having it go viral.
by Vladimir Mirnii