Do you want to create viral content and attract a lot of web traffic?
Then read on…
What is Viral Content?
Viral content is a material such as an article, an image or video that spreads rapidly online through website links and social sharing. Viral content becomes wildly popular in a matter of a short time. It could be a YouTube video, Facebook post, a tweet or any social media content.
For your content to be at least shareable you must pass valuable and entertaining content to the people. Give people a better sense of who they are. You can decide to inspire. You could also choose to warn people of potential dangers. In short, you just have to ensure that your content is eye-catching.
You can advise people on different tips or helpful hints. It could be health or exercise tips or any related content. Obviously, people will choose to share information that is helpful and that is how your content will go viral. Try giving offers or discounts. Remember that your content must not be biased. Aim at uniting people and be part of their tribe.
Characteristics of Viral Content – How to Predict whether your content can go viral
According to Jonah Berger, the professor of Marketing at the University of Pennsylvania, there are six drivers which propel the science of viral content. He used the acronym STEPPS to highlight the elements of viral content.
For your content to go viral it must have some of the following characteristics:
Social currency is the attribute of content which makes the sharer look good from the recipient’s perspective. The sharer of content appears to be funny, witty, knowledgeable, intelligent, wise or such attributes which make one look good. If content makes one appear great, they shall share it without thinking.
For the post to have a higher perceived value, it must be packed with actionable and useful information which make the sharer look like he knows what he is doing.
People tend to share stuff which is already in front of people’s minds. For instance, any propaganda shared during the electioneering period will be gladly received because people are in the campaign mood.
People are most likely to share any new developments to existing stories that are still fresh in their minds. This implies that any fresh perspective which sparks debate, emotions and social currency shall be shared zealously.
Content which appeals to emotions is most likely to go viral. Content which creases positive emotions has higher success rates because people always want to be associated with good things. Stories which cause laughter, intense joy, happiness perform better than those which induce anger, hatred and rage.
If you want to succeed in creating viral content, your content should contain elements which make the target audience to laugh, get angry. Most emotional contents get viral. The content should be appealing to people’s narcissistic side meaning that their sense of self- importance must be considered.
The people never lie. Viral content also follows the basic principles of people’s lives. If you want your content to go viral, create content which has been going viral historically. it is hard to imagine that people can change all of a sudden and start sharing content which has a low share level.
As a rule of thumb, content creators are advised to use Buzzsumo to determine content which has a high share and liking rates.
All valuable things tend to get high shares than worthless stuff. People share content which can help other people change their lives. The content may be news, articles, list posts, videos, infographics and images that have actionable tips and ideas.
All people love stories. Good stories make content to be shared aggressively. Although stories do not relay facts and figures, they help in grabbing the attention of the target audience.
Without a story, content lacks the propelling vigour which enhances sharing.
Other characteristics of viral content
Viral content is highly visual
Most of the viral content contains visual elements. Visual elements may be in any form: video, infographic, gifographic, photographic or smart arts. Content that incorporates infographics tends to be more viral than plain text.
In this age of mobile technology, images and other types of visual content perform better and are shared more according to the research findings of Buzzsumo. Images tell the visual story which plain text fails to tell.
Quizzes Enhance Virality
Quizzes do well since they challenge the audience and provoke people to give answers. But why? Because quizzes appeal to a person’s ego and sense of identity. You can apply quizzes to any blog post regardless of your niche. Just turn the title of your blog post into a question and you are good to go.
The Fame of the Content Owner
Although content which has all or many of the above-mentioned features can go viral, content from well-known influencers has the highest chances of going viral. For instance a tweet from the American President, Donal Trump has high chances of going viral than a similar tweet from a regular and random street blogger.
If you want your content to go viral, invoke the influence of one of the most known and well-respected influencer in your niche. Influencers love great content and good mentions. Influencer marketing is one of the ways of propelling content to greater heights.
How to Create Viral Content Which Generates Traffic
Headline of your content
Work on the headline: your headline should be appealing and engaging. The headline should be catchy, benefit-driven or curious. Of course, compelling headlines give a great first impression.
Do your content in lists?
Be awesome. Your content should be entertaining. Something that is done in lists is easily accessible and readable. Try and dot your points and also use subheadings. This will catch people’s attention easily. Image post lists will work well too. This is the infographic content where I earlier explained that it is the visual representation of information, data or knowledge intended to present information quickly and clearly. Beautiful imagery is common with most shared content that goes viral. Share your helpful content in list format. Your content should provoke awe and amusement in the lists. Use of lists and images increases the chances of your content going viral.
Does research ensure that before you put your content out in public, you should have done thorough research about what you want to share? Make sure people won’t find that you are lying about everything in your content. Your staff will definitely lack a market.
Your audience must find something new with your content. Some are looking for the knowledge so be sure to tell them about what they never knew previously. Your content should be educational.
Make your content unique
Avoid using someone else’s content since that will be coping and of course, people will go for the original one and not yours. Pick a subject that nobody is writing about and get your own unique viewpoint out there. Use the how-to as your starting points. Take an example of health tips such as acne removal: how to remove acne could get most shares and views. Have value, perceived or otherwise. Some examples of information that helps others improve their lives, understand things better or make timely decisions include: How-Tos and instructional content News, especially breaking news Warnings (like a phishing scam or viruses online) Freebies and contests.
Be sure to include a reader’s comment section in your content
By doing so, you allow people to express their views about how they feel about your content. If you are a blogger, then you definitely need a good comment section system to know how your next blog should be and what you should avoid.
Do not alienate groups
Avoid making a specific group of people feel disadvantaged. Also, avoid down talking the minorities.
Your posts should be appropriate Ensure that your content has proper grammar and is formatted correctly to make it readable. Ensure that the content you are delivering to the public is not illegal or of a negative behaviour that can influence people wrongly. If your content is filled with errors and misplaced punctuations, then it won’t be taken seriously. Content should be grammatically correct.
Try taking a human angle
This is just to make sure that the audience of your content can relate to what you share and they can apply it in their lives. Make sure not to be too ambiguous. This might make your content too boring.
Make your content shareable
Ensure that your content is available on all social media platforms. This will increase the chances of it going viral unlike when it is only distributed on one platform. In short, you have to make your content discoverable
What is your audience?
So when sharing out an idea of course in your mind you already have a particular audience that you’ve set to target. The audience might also determine how viral your content will go. It might be the youth that is the young generation or it could also be the elderly. Be sure to select the right audience to go with your content.
Be entertaining and captivating
It is a fact that capturing the audience’s attention is such a difficult task therefore while creating your content ensures that you grab and hold the attention of your audience by what you produce. Ensure you engage and captivate your readers to the maximum. You can opt to ask them questions. Also, remember to use a consistent tone of voice.
Keep your content short
The internet has a lot of lazy people; therefore, ensure that you do not bore your readers by giving them a long piece. People have short attention span and in most cases, they do not read it to the end. The length will put them off and will create a bad image for you. Be sure to keep your content short the paragraphs and everything. If it is a video let it range from 30 seconds to one minute. Anything longer might tend to lose your grip. This is an easy catch if you want your content to go viral.
Spark emotions in your content
If you chose to include emotions to your content, then you have higher chances of making your content go viral. It could range from excitement, humour or even depressive staff. People have different emotions and they will look for what suits them best in accordance with their emotional state currently. Just ensure that your content triggers people’s emotions in some way. Try and communicate something that might heal a depressed soul or something that will light them up. Also, engage those excited souls in your content. If you can make an audience, feel something then they are more likely to share your content because they want the people they know and love feel the same too. It’s all about human connection; it’s what people live for.
Visually appealing content will trigger more shares. Try to include things like relevant images or videos in your content. Also, use a font that is easy to read. This will easily attract the public. If it is in form of writing then it should have bullets, different fonts, short paragraphs, lists, and subheadings. Ensure that your audience will be pleased with your content.
Importance of images in content
Including a Photo and a video in a press release increases views by over 45%3
60% of consumers are more likely to consider or contact a business when an image shows up in local search results.
In an e-commerce site, 67% of consumers say the quality of a product image is “very important” in selecting and purchasing a product
Articles with images get more total views
Ensure you cover people’s interest
People need to feel that your content at least relates to them in one way or another. Your subject should be interesting. A lack of interest in promotional content is a problem. If it is non-engaging, then that sounds like an unanswered high-five: sad? Right?
Let people look smart
When someone reads your content and then thinks that they want to share that with others, they definitely want to look smart. To ensure that your content is of high quality. The one who is haring is the one helping your content go viral. They obviously want to be the smartest amongst their friends maybe. Don’t make anyone feel foolish.
Try creating controversial content
Well, people fear being controversial but such content will get you more people to argue with. Those that agree with you will tend to convince the disagreeing side to join you thus people will respond more. Good thing is that we live in a country that supports freedom of speech; therefore, you are entitled to your own opinion no matter how controversial it is. Just ensure that you are not too aggressive or you don’t spread hate that will disturb the peace.
Be social and responsive
Ensure you have a proper social media strategy. Communicating and connecting with your audience on a consistent basis is a fundamental rule of attraction.
Try using common myths and common pitfalls
Curiosity will definitely lead your audience to know what it is they don’t know. You only have to make sure that whatever it is you are dispelling is a worldly held belief less it fails to work. The same way people might want to know what they should avoid therefore the common outfalls will do too.
Check anatomy of the viral content
First, you should be aware that not all content can go viral. Your content must be worthy of sharing. It should possess an ethical appeal. It should also appeal to the emotions. A viral content must also contain justifiable and logical appeal.
Have a positive message
A content that will stimulate a positive feeling tends to perform better. Positive uplifting content always gets shared. Content that is useful in a practical way has a higher chance of going viral. People share practically useful information to help out their friends and fans. Extremely funny videos will also go viral in a matter of a few seconds.
Get to post on weekly basis
Your social media posts should be as often as possible so as to build customer trust. The content has to be relevant to your audience and customer because if you share irrelevant posts then your followers on social media may unfollow you leading to low shares of your content. Try fulfilling the informational need of your target market and provide them with useful information they can act on.
Tag the relevant brand
When writing a blog, for example, use the following tactics,
- Write up the blog
- Try to mention some of the big brands on the blog concerning the blog topic
- Once you have published the blog, share it on your social media accounts
- Tag the respective brand or company in the post to be shared on social media
By doing so you will be able to increase your blog message reach to the largest number of people. After you tag the brand/company/client name in the social media post, your blog post will automatically be shown on the social media accounts of your brand/company/clients. The first thing you should ensure is creating valuable content. Then maximize content power through social media influence.
Write motivational and inspiring content
Your content might motivate someone to achieve their respective life career goals. You could opt to deliver your content in form of quotes. Try and design your quotes to appear beautiful. Other than the two your content should also be: Interesting, Exorbitant, Humorous, Positive, Emotional, Cheerful, Trendy, Informative and Helpful.
This is a very nice bait. if your content maybe is business related then you could try out giving discounts on your products. I am sure that most people would love to buy from where they can get discounts. It will attract many people and the content will get many shares.
Your content should be understandable
This is crucial. Some people don’t understand the weight of its importance. Before putting out your content, ask yourself whether you can understand the terms of what is contained there. The content should be easily understandable to your audience. Do not confuse them because if that happens, of course, they won’t bother so much with something they are not getting.
Ensure it is shareable
You should provide a platform, where your content can easily be shared. This will automatically increase your chances of your posts going viral.
You need to understand how things go viral on the internet
The trick is here being to try out many things. You only need one of them to pay off in order for your video to go viral. You can’t just rely on one. another thing you should know is on which day of the week to release your content on the web. You need to understand which day will get you more views. People watch YouTube videos when they’re at work. They read the news at work. Release your video on Monday or Tuesday to give it the whole week to gain momentum. Weekends are speed bumps. Preferably Tuesday because people are busy catching up with emails on Monday.
Try telling a story in your content
This will help break the monotony of usual contents. It gives you a plus. People are interested in stories. You can pass on information in form of a story. Storytelling is an effective communication format in passing across viral content. Tell a story. People want stories.
Understand the limits of going viral
It’s a good idea to get this straight before getting too excited – you cannot make your content go viral. You can hope for it, you can position your content to be at its best and most interesting with the underlying wish that it will catch on, but you cannot make it go viral. So, don’t try to control the viral nature of your content; instead, concentrate fully on making it compelling, at the top of its niche, interesting, funny, moving, and definitely something able to resonate with a lot of readers or viewers. Accept that it will be your audience who makes the ultimate decision on the content’s “viral worthiness”.
Know what flows
One of the key things behind something going viral is that it touches people in some way. And what is most likely to touch a bunch of people who are clued in and ready for new information all of the time? Unsurprisingly, it’s the same as it has always been – things that are uplifting and make us feel good about ourselves and others. What is most likely to “flow” – that is, get sent around the social media networks – is the content of the following nature:
- Content that inspires awe. An awe-inspiring tale gives us all a sense of how amazing this world is and how we can all play intricate, valuable roles in life.
- Content that triggers an emotional response.
- Positive articles, positive, uplifting messages. Articles able to open the mind and broaden knowledge through positive messages are particularly enjoyed.
- Articles that make us feel good about ourselves and others. Articles that create a sense of admiration and surpassing of mere self-interest tend to be the most shared, showing that we do care a great deal about others and we’re moved by stories of others who are actively doing something to show this.
- Longer articles over short. Believe it or not, people will spend time reading thoroughly when the content merits it, and when it carries a clear message that they’re yearning to learn more about. Just be sure that longer means “more engaging” and not “long-winded and repetitive”!
- Quirky topics, especially the “unexpected”. Things that are out-of-the-ordinary, very unusual, and extremely interesting.
- Cute things. Laughing babies, crazy cats, dogs doing tricks, etc. – we’ve all watched or seen such content and loved it.
Make sure people can find your content
Content that’s buried and difficult to access won’t go viral for the simple fact that nobody can find it. Start with your domain or host; if you have your own domain, is it an easy-to-remember name or one that requires the memory of an elephant to get right? If you’re using another site to host your content, be sure to use one that has a good following, such as Flickr, YouTube, Vimeo, or Facebook, etc. And be sure that your content includes the very thing people would be looking for, such as a turn of phrase, a precise question, specific keywords, etc.
- Search for your content using a search engine or two. Is it coming back to you easily or do you have to dig through page after page of returns before it shows up?
- Use social media as another string to your bow. Active Facebook and Twitter accounts are the place to leave information about freshly uploaded content and to encourage the information to be shared across widely.
- Provide easy search and categorization within your content so that people can find things quickly if they do want to look through more than one piece of content. Moreover, search engines love categories.
- Tag and keyword everything you can. Search engines can find the content better this way.
Lastly, let’s talk about publicizing oneself to ensure your content goes viral. While it isn’t possible to create a viral outcome, it is possible to encourage the potential for it. Publicizing your content through trusted channels is an important way to get your content seen, noticed, and possibly picked up on by many others. In other words, make it very easy for people to notice that your content is there.
Put your content on more than one site. Use Twitter, Facebook, YouTube, RSS feeds, microblogging sites, and even links via profile pages you have on various websites and your email signatures. Get onto forums, into IRCs, and anywhere else you usually frequent and casually mention your masterpiece and suggest that people might check it out.
Use a link. The majority of retweets have links in them. When it comes to viral videos and web pages, the link is a crucial part of it.
Send a link to your content to everyone you know such as friends, family, and co-workers, provided it’s not likely to be a nuisance to them