Everyone loves to earn a name, fame, recognition and coverage through his content that people are talking about him and are crazy for that. But only a few have made it, to have emerged from the millions of photos, videos and articles online to be noticed and shared across the world. Just what makes a content become such a hit? In this article we will discuss the simple rules that make a content go viral.
Types of Content
The first step of creating a viral content is to know the types of contents that you can produce. The target audience for each content type differs, as with the strategies in making them be shared widely across the web.
1. Blog posts
3. Email newsletters
5. Social media posts
Understanding Your Audience’s Behavior
There are generally two categories of content users on the Internet – the ‘introverts’ who would just quietly consume what they see and the ‘extroverts’ who are inclined to share something, if not everything, with their networks. Most users are ‘introverts’, while only a few are ‘extroverts’. It is these ‘extroverts’ that you would want to target if you want to produce contents that will go far and wide on the web. There are generally six types of people who will share contents online; knowing their characteristics and behaviors is helpful in understanding their use of social media better:
Altruists; Altruists are people who are concern for the welfare of others. They are willing to share anything that they deem useful with others without expecting any benefit or compensation in return.
Boomerangs; Boomerangs are attention-seekers, love to be noticed and enjoy feeling important at the same time. They are driven by a need to seek validation from others. Boomerangs would share anything and almost everything on all channels available to them.
Careerists; Careerists are those who value success in their careers above anything else. Careerists are those whom you can see sharing industry insights and career growth articles on LinkedIn.
Connectors; Connectors are sociable and know a lot of people. They are likely to be members of multiple groups on social media, having acquired various connections through their studies, career and interests. Connectors are generally very approachable, relaxed and thoughtful.
Hipsters; Hipsters are men and women typically in their 20s and early 30s who follow the latest trends. They are creative and popular, value independent thinking and care a lot about their identity. They’d know which TV series is the coolest to watch, have seen the blunder committed by an artiste at the music awards last night and would have had a cup at the latest coffee joint in town.
Selectives; Selectives do not share just anything they see on the Internet. They are thoughtful and vigilant with an eye for danger, which prompts them to think long and hard before sharing any content for the fear that it would mislead or provoke.
The Characteristics of Viral Contents
What makes a particular content spread like wildfire on the Internet, garnering thousands of shares and likes? These are all the key ingredients a viral content needs:
3. Unusual and outrageous
4. Short and simple
5. Gossips and scandals
How to Make Your Content Go Viral
Having identified the characteristics of a viral content and the emotions that led to its success, the next step is to plan your campaign and draw up your contents. Decide on the content type, the message you’d like to deliver and the key takeaways from your content.
1. Tell a good story; everybody loves drama that’s why political talk showshave higher ratings.
2. Make short and sweet videos; keep your videos short, preferably less than 3 minutes.
3. Help and teach; inspire, inform and interest your audience with content like how-to tutorials, fun facts, survival tips and hacks
4. Spread laughter; with funny videos, memes and humorous posts.
5. Provoke emotions; create content that would trigger enough joy, sadness, awe or anger to make the audience share your content with their networks.
6. Inspire; to stimulate emotions of love, happiness, positivity that make people feel optimistic.
7. Promote and publicize; sharing your content or a link to it on every social network you have, will help to generate a large amount of traffic to your site.
Ways to Get Your Blog Viral Ready
The factors determining if your content goes viral lay beyond the content itself. You could have an excellent content but if you do not carry out the ‘technicalities’ that would support your content’s cause, those good stuff are just going to go to waste. Here’s the homework that you’d need to do for the platforms that you’d be publishing your contents on:
1. Optimize your images; by using Photoshop or other photo editing software’s.
2. Analyze your traffic; through Google analytics and other similar tools.
3. Use power of keywords; to make your blog viral ready.
4. Set authorship; by using your Google authorship to establish your authority.
5. Boost your website speed; that your blog doesn’t takes too much time to load.
6. Make your website mobile friendly; test the compatibility of your site that it is compatible for mobile users or not.
7. Fix broken links; links directing to “404 error pages” must be removed and checked timely.
Top Sites to Go Viral
If social media is your choice of platform for publishing your contents, know that Facebook and Twitter aren’t the only social networks to publish contents with the hope of making it go viral. Many other websites have the potential too, perhaps even more, as there are lesser contents to compete with yours:
8. Blog directories
Ultimate Checklist to Make Your Content Go Viral
A lot goes into the making of a viral content as you would have learnt by now. A viral content is made up of a good story-line, emotions, strategies and the right platform. The ingredients of a viral content are summed up in this ultimate checklist in making your contents go viral:
1. Positive content goes more viral; while people tend to share more negative contents such as price hikes, civil war and economic meltdowns but positive contents actually went further on the internet. The best positive contents are those that inspire and uplift, as well as are able to strike an emotional chord with those who read it.
2. Quality beats quantity; as anything produced in bulk is likely to lack quality and creativity. Put more effort in creating something useful that would attract or benefit your target viewers. They would share and subscribe without being asked to if they find your contents beneficial and helpful.
3. Create timely contents; Timing is one of the most important keys in making your content go viral. You’ll need to constantly pay attention to your trending events and monitor your niche for insights and happenings that you can talk about.
4. Enlighten your viewers; People love to learn simple new things that they can master easily. For example, many might have struggled to separate an egg yolk from the whites until they learn that they can actually squeeze an empty plastic bottle over the yolk to ‘suck’ it into the bottle. Such ingenious hints are always a hit online as people think that the tips are too good and must be shared.
5. Create attractive headlines; how many times have you found yourself clicking to read an article simply because the headline screamed attention and triggered so much curiosity? Which headline would make you eager to read its contents? The headline determines if a reader would check out your content. It is pointless to write awesome contents if your headline is mediocre; people aren’t even going to read it and there goes your chance of having it shared. “How to…”, “Top 10…” and “Do you…” headlines may be too common but they still get you the attention you want, because these are the most commonly used search phrases.
6. Add “Call to action”; the phrase “call to action” in not only an online marketing strategy. However, there are action calls to use too if you want people to boost the popularity of your site or contents. For instance, you could say “Click here to share”
7. Add multimedia contents; words-only content are a turn-off to some. Even those who love reading would need a break from paragraphs and paragraphs of text. Intersperse your text with multimedia elements such as an imbedded YouTube video, colorful info graphics or high quality images. These not only make your content more engaging and interesting but your subscribers would see more value and effort put in.
8. Make your content SEO-friendly; there are various SEO strategies that you could implement, depending on the type of your contents and the level of engagement that you desire from your audience. If you have a blog, make sure your post contains the most commonly used search keywords that you’d want to associate your blog with. Next, incorporate the Facebook Like/Share, Twitter, Google+ and Pinterest share buttons so that people can spread the word if they like what they’ve seen.
9. Link up; Links help to add credibility to your contents, especially if you cite studies or statistics in your articles. Linking other people’s contents to yours also expands your network. Search engines often reward this contribution algorithmically too. Links don’t have to be all external. Increase your traffic by inserting a hyperlink of a previous topic that you have posted previously to relate the contents.
10. Publicize your content; don’t wait or rely on people searching for contents to stumble upon your website. Content will not go viral if no one knows of its existence, which is why you’ll need to promote your content. Post a link to your content on your social media accounts or email it to contacts if you’re confident that they would welcome it.
The key factors determining if your contents would go viral are the engagement with the content, platform used, search engine optimization of the content and medium, and the target audience. Various strategies on tackling these factors have been shared. It is often only the starting up that would require a little more effort but content creation would come easily once you have developed familiarity with the ‘rules’ of making it go viral.
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