How to Create Content that Goes Viral
Having your content go viral is the fastest way to be seen by a vast amount of people. However, creating content that goes viral can be a difficult challenge. Within this challenge most content that does go viral shares a similar trait of containing useful information for an audience.
What makes content shareable and compelling is when it touches the audience by invoking powerful emotions. Why are cat videos so popular? Why are laughing baby videos common? Why are refugee stories compelling? Because they amuse us, entertain us, trigger us, and inspire us. When your content activates very strong emotions there is a greater chance that it will go viral. When you think of the emotions found in most viral videos it’s best to think in terms of awe, anger, anxiety, fear, joy, lust, humor, and surprise. If your content challenges certain beliefs it has a greater chance of going viral. If your content is surprising it has a better chance of going viral as the unexpected content could show people a different way of being or debunk beliefs. Wedding proposals, funny best man speeches and things like this are all good examples of viral content that has been trendy in the past. Entertaining content has a better chance of going viral because it tends to spark conversations while being uplifting.
Awe-inspiring content can be the best kind of viral content. Similar to humorous content, it boosts peoples’ moods, shows people who they truly are inside, and connects people. Negative content has less of a chance of going viral than its positive counterparts. Even if the negativity presented is done well people tend to look for relatively happier material to keep themselves entertained. So when striving to make viral content a good guide is to make it genuine and relatable and emotionally-driven and hopefully sharing it will be irresistible.
Having your content focus on important issues is also a key to creating relevant information for an audience that they will, in turn, want to share. Make sure your content contains some sort of advice that readers can use in their lives. For example, if you write an article about a biography of Charles Bukowski’s it probably won’t go viral. However, if you take that topic and write “10 Things I Learned From Bukowski’s Writing” more people are likely to read it. This brings us to our next point which is that posts with lists are more likely to go viral.
Research has shown that infographics and lists are one of the most frequently shared types of content. Infographics allow the audience to digest complex information in an aesthetically pleasing way. Lists are precise, easy to read, and readers are familiar with them to know what to expect. When making a post with a list try to go from 10 to 1 in a descending order. If the content you’re producing consists of mostly text consider adding charts, subheadings, and lists to help engage the audience.
People also share content for egotistic reasons as it can make someone look smart. If your content feeds people’s ego chances are more people will want to share it. Fill your content with information that was previously unknown and would be an interesting thing to say at a party.
If you don’t have a large audience to make your content go viral you can utilize the audience of other people. Write to influencers to get them to share your content. Influencers don’t necessarily mean Hollywood actors and actresses (if you’re able to make them share your content, why not?), but anyone who has an above average following. Find an influencer that shares content that’s similar to what you created and ask them to share it.
How does one get an influencer to share content? Involving them in your post, asking for a quote, and asking for their opinion are all great ways to engage influencers. Research various influencers to see if they’ve spoken about a certain subject before reaching out to make sure they’re passionate about it. If you are able to interview multiple influencers for your content chances are their audiences will be following your post and helping to push it on different platforms. Also, remember to be polite with influencers as your relationship with them is important and can lead to incredible things over a long period of time.
Another key to creating content that goes viral is to keep it relevant and consistent. If it had poor feedback the first week consider regularly re-promoting it while it’s still trendy. Also, statistics show that people are more likely to share posts at the beginning of the week (specifically on Tuesday) and are less likely to do so on the weekends. A smart move would be to post content on the weekend and promote it on Monday and Tuesday. Remember to make your content look reliable as audiences want to know about the people creating their content. Attach a byline or a bio to build a trustworthy relationship with the audience.
People like seeing pleasing visuals even in text stories. Content that is exclusively text can tire the eyes and lose readers. Content that contains one image or more is twice as likely to be shared on social media. Adding photos helps the reader visualize meaning and grasp other parts of the ideas you are conveying. The same goes for social meta tags. Social meta tags allow you to be in charge of how your content looks on social media platforms instead of the platforms determining the headline, description, and image for you.
In conclusion, for your content to go viral, it must provoke and inspire the emotions of the audience. The audience also must gain from experiencing your content. Make what you do eye-catching and entertaining while avoiding a monotonous mood. Actively control how your content is displayed on social platforms instead of letting automated appearances take over.
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