By now you’ve probably heard the term “go viral”, specifically in terms of online content. Basically, it’s what happens when people share online content with their networks, who subsequently share it with their networks, and so on. We’ve all seen those funny YouTube videos that everyone seems to be sharing on Facebook, or the links to funny or helpful articles floating around on Twitter. When content goes viral like this, it effectively allows the originator to reach dozens, hundreds, thousands or even millions of people in a short amount of time and with little effort. Essentially, it’s the golden chalice of online marketing. Here are 5 tips to help you get the most out of your online content so you can increase traffic to your website, get new leads and ultimately boost business.
Leverage Trends – What are people talking about these days? What hot topics is your target audience thinking about? Determine what the emerging and current trends are in your industry and then develop dynamic content around them. Create a helpful or funny video, develop an informative infographic, or write a compelling article that your customers and potential customers would find helpful and timely. Trends that are hot have the tendency to go viral quickly.
Create Catchy Headlines or Catch-Phrases – Content often goes viral simply because it is catchy. When creating content, whether it’s a YouTube video or a blog post, make sure that the headline you’re using will catch a reader’s eye and entice them to want to watch the video or read more of the article. Remember that when people share content via social networking sites, like Facebook or Twitter, other users will only see a small amount of what’s being shared, so make it powerful enough to capture their attention and draw them in.
Keep it Simple – If you want people to share your content with others, don’t make it too complicated. Viral content is usually simple, yet powerful enough to get the message across. If you’re writing an article or blog post, make it interesting and engaging, not long and boring. Try to make your content as visually appealing as possible using infographics and captivating pictures, as most people prefer imagery over lengthy paragraphs and complex data.
Tap Industry Experts – Getting an endorsement from someone of influence in your industry can be an extremely powerful way to gain more exposure for your brand and capture the attention of potential new clients. In some cases, simply attaching the name of an industry expert to your content can make it more likely to go viral. Once you’ve successfully established solid relationships with industry leaders, reach out to them and ask them to endorse your latest blog post or video by sharing it with their own network of followers.
Go Above and Beyond – Sometimes just taking that extra step can cause your content to go viral. If everyone else in your industry is publishing “top 10” lists of a particular hot point, why not take it a step further and create a “top 50” or even “top 100” list? By showing your audience that you are willing to go the extra mile and offer content that is of exceptional value to them, they’re much more likely to share.
Getting content to go viral is something every online marketer strives for, yet it’s not as simple as it may seem. While there’s no magical formula to ensure that content goes viral, these tips will help get you on the right path to help you create quality, timely content that will be better positioned for social success.