You hear it all the time in your news feeds, “it’s gone viral”. Normally to you this means you get to hear about whatever “it” is for the next couple days as your friends and everyone online shares “it” on every media outlet in existence. Making their content go viral is the dream of bloggers, news sources, and up and coming businesses – it’s the epitome of online success. Doing it is hard work: it takes persistence, some creative writing, and a good amount of luck. You can use common SEO practices to improve the chances your article will be found organically, but today we’re going to talk about how to improve the odds that the people who found your content will share it with everyone they know. So, here are the 4 reasons things go viral, and how you can take advantage of them to get more views.
1: It’s how your material feels, so keep it happy!
Not surprisingly, your material is why people click on your link. If your article is to showcase a new product, update it’s audience on recent events, or share a piece of research that will ‘change the way millennials feed their cats forever’, it has to be good. More than that, it has to have an overpowering tone of significance and purpose. To speak (or write confidently) you need to do your research, make citations, and provide a real value to your readers. According to BuzzSumo (which we’ll talk more about in the next paragraph), longer informed content was more likely to be shared – which is quite contradictory to what common sense would say in a world of reading on your phones and on the go.
You’ll find that most people don’t want to spend their time on content that makes them feel bad, uninspired, disheartened, or anything even remotely related to those emotions. Be sure to focus on using positive words, phrasing, and that you are excited, fun and creative with your writing. It doesn’t need to superfluous, but detailed and to the point will lend itself tremendously to the success you will have with getting people to share your article. Look at some of the trending topics on your Facebook feed and analyze how it’s written. You’ll find that the general tone of most “viral” content shares this optimistic and chipper tone. In fact, websites like BuzzSumo have done extensive research that points to some of the most powerful emotions that you can channel to increase the shareability of your article. Emotions like “Awe”, “Laughter”, and “Amusement” are some of the common denominators when they analyzed the top 10,000 shared articles on the web.
Reasons Your Content Can Go Viral
Being well connected is key to make your content go viral.
2: It’s what your material teaches your audience, so make it good!
Once you’ve nailed the tone of voice you’re going to use and really focused in on a writing style, it’s time to make sure your material brings real, hard value to your readers. This is why “how-to” videos and “list” style articles (like this one) are so prominent online.
The lists and infographic formats are easy to read, your audience can quickly establish the purpose of it, and it imparts the consumer with some new piece of knowledge. Whether that knowledge comes in the form of practical “go use it today” information (again, hopefully like this one), or if it’s world news, your reader walks away benefited with something that’s valuable to them. There’s definitely a market for editorial works and commentaries, but for those posts that you want to get shared by thousands of people keeping your post formatted in ways like these increases your chances.
3: It’s how your audience finds your material, and what they think of you.
The next important tip should be very familiar to you by now, and it’s that your material is easily found. That means proper usage of SEO, and being connected via social media (which we’ll touch on next time). If people can’t easily find your information, then they can’t very well click on it and read. By implementing great metadata, using competitive keywords, and having your post easily found on search engines, this step will be a snap. If you want more help with SEO, see our previous article!
Beyond just finding your content, it’s that first impression that seals the deal on whether or not your visitors are going to share what they found. If your website is messy, unorganized, slow, or just doesn’t come across trustworthy, chances are people won’t want to. Give yourself an extra step above your competitors and include a bio at the end of your posts so they know who wrote the content they’re reading, add a byline underneath your posts, and generally try and look professional. Not doing so would be like showing up to an interview in your bed clothes. You might be qualified for the job, but that doesn’t mean you’ll get hired.
4: The only real way to go viral, is calling your audience to action.
The final key to viral marketing that we have to offer, is that you provide your audience with the ability to continue the “virus”. The use of the term “viral” to describe the way an article or picture moves across the internet and gains popularity wasn’t accidental. The process of going viral is very much like an actual illness, and it requires that it can be easily transmitted from one person to the next. This means giving your viewers readily available calls to action, such as sharing on various social networks. These calls can include anything from simple “share me” buttons to a “leave your comments below” section. If your audience can’t share it, it can’t go viral.
Now you can increase your chances of going viral. Like we mentioned at the top of this article, though, it does take hard work and persistence. Keep at it and you’ll find that your articles will receive more views every time. If you want you can kick start your marketing efforts, or drop us a line for more information below!