When you’re creating content, you may be doing so with the hopes that it will go viral, but more than likely it doesn’t. Achieving viral status is incredibly difficult, but also valuable. When your content goes viral, whether it’s a blog post, an animation video, an infographic or anything else, it’s shared by thousands or even millions of people organically.
It’s one of the best things that can happen to your marketing strategy, but how do you make it happen? Particularly when every other brand is trying to achieve the same thing?
There’s no guarantee you’re ever going to have viral content, but below are some tips that can improve the chances.
Research shows that people want to share things that they feel will reflect the life or the sense of self they want to have. What this means is that people are more likely to share positive content, because that’s the image of ourselves we also want to get across to others.
Of course, it’s not only positive content that goes viral, but it is more likely. Along with content that evokes positive emotions, things that are helpful or useful also tend to fare well.
We already touched on the emotional component of highly shareable content, but it’s worth mentioning on its own. In addition to content that will somehow portray the person sharing it in a positive way, generally any content that elicits an emotional response is going to do better than something that people feel emotionally neutral about.
For example, if you can leave people laughing, or even feeling sad, they are more likely to share the content. One specific emotion in addition to humor that works extremely well and is often seen in viral content is the element of surprise.
There’s the tendency to believe that for something to go viral it has to be a novel or revolutionary concept that hasn’t been done. In reality, it’s often the opposite that’s true.
Many of the things that end up going viral have been done before or are similar in concept to things that have already been viral. Online users tend to follow along with trends, so you might look for inspiration before trying to reinvent the wheel.
In very few instances does content go viral through a fluke.
What happens instead is that people will create lots of content in all different forms and from different approaches and then they’ll gather data to see what works. This is the best way to guide your content creation strategy. You want real, solid numbers to see what your audience responds to best and then you can go from there.
As a final note, if you want the greatest likelihood of achieving viral status you need to ensure that you create bite-sized content that’s short, to-the-point and easy to understand.
People want digestible snippets, and even better, visual content. This is going to make them more likely to not only view it or read it themselves, but also to share it.