Every month, 25 million Facebook posts are shared. An astounding 500 million tweets go out each day. If your company’s articles, blogs, videos, interactive games, podcasts, or infographics happen to “go viral,” it can mean thousands of new visitors to your website and a corresponding increase in sales. People love sharing items that are funny, emotional, or opinionated. Not every piece of content can be a hit sensation, but creating share-worthy content is easier than you may think.
How to make your content go viral in 2017 – 8 steps:
1. Do it better. Look for content that has performed well in your industry using BuzzSumo. Identify gaps in their content and create your own post that rephrases what you’ve read — and adds more value to it as well. You can add value by:
– Following a logical narrative with an introduction, body, and conclusion
– Going into greater detail on points that seemed glossed over and adding research that validates your ideas
– Making sure your content has insanely useful data, quotes, tutorials, photos, or whatever it is that your audience is looking for.
In addition to BuzzSumo, there are many tools to help you find trending topics. Spend some time looking them over and find a system that feels intuitive and comfortable for you to use on a regular basis.
2. Use social bookmarks. Social bookmarking sites help you gain a large audience quick. Promote your content on sites like Reddit, StumbleUpon, Digg, and Delicious. Don’t forget to post in forums that specifically target your industry as well. The new “Article Rich Pins” on Pinterest are also worth checking out. Be sure to set a time limit to invest a little effort into engaging with others’ content on the site, so you’re not singled out as an evil “spammer.”
3. Share content that projects how people want others to see themselves. It sounds complicated, but it’s an undeniable fact that people post on social media as an extension of their personalities. That’s why people love quotes, funny memes, political cartoons, and satirical videos. They want to project their sense of humor, their values, or their interests. Some of the best social posts are ones that ask fans to share photos or stories about how they use the product. The NY Timesfound that there are several other key reasons why people share content (that are more altruistic and less self-serving):
– To bring valuable and entertaining content to others,
– To grow and nourish our relationships, and
– To get the word out about a cause or brand we care about.
4. Target a niche. It seems logical to think that the broader your appeal, the more people you’ll have sharing your content. Yet, that doesn’t really work online. Trying to target everyone is like targeting no one. People like to think of themselves as individuals, so it’s better to target a more particular niche market. For instance, you might make a jokethat only people from a certain city would really understand. Think about all those people who share quizzes like “Which Star Wars Character Are You?” They don’t want to simply be known as a Star Wars fan. They want to say something about themselves, too.
5. Whenever possible, SHOW, don’t TELL. Sure, Blendtec could say, “We have the most powerful blenders in the world — so powerful, in fact, that they could easily shred an iPad!” But it all just sounds like a boring old ad, doesn’t it? When they released a video showing the destruction, audiences reveled in the spectacle — and shared readily! Is it any wonder sales went up 700 percent? A short, well-executed video is the preferred medium for many web users who devour content on a regular basis.
6. Use tools to make content easier. We could write a novel on tools for viral-worthy content, but here are a few tips. Everyone loves a good quote, especially if it’s accompanied by a visually stunning photo that looks pretty on the page. But who has time to whip something up in Photoshop every time? Instead, try tools like QuotesCover, ReciteThis, and Quozio. We also like Canva, a drag and drop design tool with thousands of professionally designed social media templates and graphics to engage your audience. Want to put scores of useful information into a neat infographic, but lack the designer? Piktochartwill help you in a pinch! Need a professional-looking video that is free, quick, and easy to create? We like using Animoto.
7. Give it some serious thought. Is “going viral” by getting shares and likes really enough? Or do you want more? Perhaps your company wants to build SEO links, increase social media engagement, increase newsletter sign-ups, or boost sales by X amount. Create specific goals and get a system to look at key performance indicators that will help you measure that success. Ask me about analytic tools that will make this task much easier. Or, if you prefer, I can get you set up and report campaign progress in an easily digestible way.
In many cases you’ll find that viral content helps get the word out, but isn’t 100% necessary for better search engine positioning and a flood of high-quality leads. We’ll show you how the basic principles of consistent content generation, social media participation, and SEO best practices help companies maintain a solid web presence over time.