Unfortunately, there’s no guarantee that you can make content go viral, but businesses interested in taking advantage of the benefits offered by the organic spread of online content can certainly take steps to encourage sharing. Here are some tips that could help your content to go viral.
1. Timely Content
There are all kinds of goals when it comes to creating content for your website, blog, and social media accounts. In some cases, you want to create evergreen content that is relevant and useful regardless of when you post it. Having this type of content in your arsenal can help you to stick to a posting schedule when you’re short on ideas or too busy to create fresh content.
However, viral videos rely heavily on timeliness. Just look at recent viral trends like the pizza rat video or discussions concerning Beyonce’s Super Bowl performance. It’s not like people are still talking about the Harlem Shake.
The turnaround on viral content is alarmingly quick, so a strike-while-the-iron is hot mentality is a necessity if you’re attempting to make videos go viral. In other words, you need to have your finger on the pulse of online culture and jump on opportunities to create content that is relevant to your audience, timely enough to gain notice, and interesting or funny enough to encourage viral sharing.
2. Social Media Saturation
IronPaper reports that in terms of driving traffic, searches beat social media by an incredible margin of 300%. So you definitely want to focus on search when it comes to getting people to your content.
That said, sharing is much more prevalent via social media, so it’s equally important to make content sharable on your website with social media buttons, as well as post teasers on social media that can be shared and clicked. You should also post links to content on related forums and discussion boards, where you know users are already interested in specific subject matter.
3. Short-form and Alternative Content
Nobody wants to share content that is dense and bulky. A thousand words can definitely impart a lot of information, but conveying the same information with a picture certainly makes the content more appealing and easier to share.
If you want to go viral, you should explore options like short-form content and alternative options for presenting information. If you have longer content you want to promote, use short-form to summarize or tease longer articles, adding links for interested parties that want to read more. You can also try formats like infographics and videos that take full advantage of the visual medium.
4. Integrating Social Currency
When people share media, they’re thinking about themselves as much as the family members, friends, and colleagues they’re forwarding content to. The items they choose to share reflect on their taste and savvy and they want to look smart, funny, and well-informed.
This is something you need to consider when creating content if you want it to go viral. What do people want to share? How will it benefit their loved ones? How will it benefit them and infer social currency?
Some businesses take this to the extreme by creating content that is edgy and controversial, but you need to carefully consider whether this gimmick is in line with your own brand image. Controversial content will definitely get noticed and probably get shared, but it’s important to understand the impact to your own social currency.
5. Nail Your Keywords
According to HubSpot, the top 3 results for organic searches nab 60% of all organic clicks. If you want to give content the best chance to be seen, it needs to rank in the top three.
Of course, you’re not the only one shooting for this ideal. What if you can’t hit the top three for preferred keywords? The solution is simple – find new keywords.
It might also interest you to know that half of all search queries exceed four words, according to WordStream. This gives you a lot more opportunity to find the correct combination of keywords in order to optimize placement for searches.
This isn’t to say it’s going to be easy to find the keywords that make your content visible and increase the opportunity for viral spread. However, understanding your goals when it comes to keywords and placement gives you the best shot to take your content viral.