What really makes a piece of content go viral?
According to a case study by Fractl, Rehabs.com earned an astonishing 4 million views, 1,200 publisher stories, and an 850% organic traffic lift from a single content marketing campaign.
As per the study, the most important part of a viral marketing campaign is the very idea behind it. It says the idea is like a seed of a plant which should potentially carry all the ingredients required to make that impact on your prospective audience.
In other words, if the idea itself isn’t strong enough, it’s unlikely to create the desired impact and secure the desired outreach.
Are you planning to build a viral marketing strategy? If so, make sure you consider the following best practices.
Don’t Target Every Part of Buying Cycle
The B2B content marketing wisdom says that content marketers should focus on each and every buying cycle of the customer, and create specific types of content to target them. However, when it comes to building content for a viral marketing campaign, it doesn’t have to be this way. Viral content tends to have mass appeal and it is tangentially related to your brand.
It’s important to strike the perfect balance between promoting your brand and creating content for your audience. Otherwise, your viral marketing strategy might not succeed as much as you want it to.
Create an Emotional Hook
Explore an emotional hook in the making of your viral content strategy. It’s crucial to stir up some emotion in your readers while they are engaging with your content. There are seven emotions that you can incorporate into your viral content marketing strategy. Researchers have found surprise, curiosity, amazement, interest, astonishment, and uncertainty to be the leading viral emotions. However, according to Harvard Business Review, positive emotions tend to do better than negative emotions. You need to know how to tap into those emotions to make your content go viral.
Recommended Reading: 7 Emotions That Will Help You Go Viral
Conduct In-depth Research
One of the most important elements of every viral marketing campaign is the uniqueness of information. It’s no wonder then why nearly 58% publishers seek exclusive research and breaking news. Needless to say, you need a new topic and lots of data at your disposal before building your viral marketing campaign. However, if you’re constrained by your budget, you should try to repurpose old data and research and present them with a brand-new perspective. This is where you will need to curate content and ensure you offer high-quality information to your audience.
Recommended Reading: The Most Effective Content Curation Tactics, And The Benefits
Use Ego-bait to Evoke Response
Ego Bait is a type of viral content wherein you stroke the ego of the industry influencers or your ardent fans, essentially enticing them to share your content with their group.
Broadly, there are four different types of ego-baits such as:
- Soliciting Expert Guest Posts
- Compiling a “Best of” List
- Interviewing an Influencer
- Creating Helpful Resource Lists
Identify Trending Topics
If there’s at least one thing content marketers can learn from BuzzFeed’s success as a viral content site, it’d be “Newsjacking.” As a matter of fact, creating content around trending topics has the ability to make it go viral. Therefore, you need to know how to identify the trending topics and tap into them to create viral content. As they say, “If you build it, they’ll come.”
Recommended Reading: How to Create Content around Trending Topics: Tips and Tools
Avoid Marketing Speak
One of the reasons behind content campaigns going viral is publishers repurposing your content for their audience. The fact is high quality content tends to resonate not only with your audiences but with other publishers as well. When your content offers incredible value, other publishers in your niche are bound to share it with their audience.
Great viral stories often provide a natural flow without any interrupting and invasive marketing message. However, great content marketers know how to embed their brand in a subtle manner while epic content marketers use their “brand” as a hook in the entire story, making it resonate with the audience in a natural way.
You don’t have to hire LaVar Ball for your content to go viral. With ample brainstorming, in-depth research, and quality information, you too can make your niche audience go gaga over your content and help it spread like wildfire. All is takes to make that impact is understanding your target audience, exploring the trends, and tapping into the right emotions.
About the Author
Susanta Sahoo is founder and chief content marketing strategist at Top League Technologies, a digital marketing start-up in Bhubaneswar, India. By offering SEO consulting services, he helps SMB’s build their online presence and boost ROI. Follow him on Twitter: @ugosus.