Viral content gets many shares on social media networks and reaches millions of views or reads in a short period of time. We have all seen videos go viral, and it is easy to conclude that content has a certain kind of value if it is viewed by a huge number of people.
However, other kinds of content can go viral, not just videos. Many images, infographics, forum comments and blog posts have gone viral too, and every marketer knows that creating that kind of content is not easy. Whether content will travel virally or not, depends on a large number of people having a related emotional reaction to it.
Why do people pay so much attention to it?
If we can understand reality through the sharer’s emotional state and how aroused they feel, then marketers can prepare written or video content to evoke the right emotions. To put it simply, your content should give something original and push the boundaries in order to evoke fascination and emotionality. Fascination can be triggered by passion/lust, power, mystique, alarm, trust, rebellion/vice, or prestige. People share to boost others’ mood, inform them, and content that is positive and useful is shared more. They may share valuable content to generate reciprocity, help others, or simply boost their own reputation (by showing that they know something useful or entertaining).
What are the strategies for increasing the virality of your content?
1. Know your audience.
Use data (age, gender, average income, job position, or geographical location) you have collected over some period of time to understand what your typical customers have in common. Have a meeting with your customer services team and use social media insights to learn about what pleases or displeases your customers. What kind of content is shared by them most frequently?
2. Have a written caricature of a typical customer.
It helps to have a specific person (a friend or acquaintance) in mind when creating good content. This helps you to understand possible objections, go into the right level of detail, and tone the content correctly. What should you know about your caricature? Things that make them laugh or angry, what famous person do they admire, what do they do on weekends, where they go on vacation, and all the relevant demographic data. This will give you a clearer picture of who you are creating content for.
3. Find out where your customers mostly hang out online.
What websites, blogs or forums do they frequently visit? You can find that out by running a placement report when you run a re-marketing campaign on Google Adwords. Also, try looking at your Google Analytics referral traffic to find out.
4. What is the best medium to use and what type of message do you want to communicate?
Images, animations and infographics are the best medium if you are creating content for visually sensitive people. Images are always good to have in an article, and if you do not know how to find some you can always visit EyeEm and find images that suit you there.
5. Which trigger of fascination are you going to use?
Before anything else, you need to determine the goal of your content. Is it achieving higher sales, greater trust in your company, or giving better information to reduce the burden on customer services?
Learn about all the triggers of fascination, use the information you have collected, and understand how to map your customer’s profile with these triggers. You should also learn about what trigger to use to achieve different goals.
What is left to be done is creating the content. Have fun, take some risks, and you will know you are in the right place if you start feeling overexposed. Seek to create something you are confident of and have other people check your work. With the right marketing plan, create a viral effect by leveraging the Internet.
Believe that you can create content that has the potential to go viral, but never create content just for the sake of creating it. Look to target emotions that will arouse your audience in order to make sure your content gets its share of “shares”.