You hear about it all the time. A video gets uploaded and suddenly it has hundreds of thousands of views. This can also happen with content but like viral videos, you never know when it is going to happen. There is a major element of randomness to viral content, but if you can make your content fit all of the requirements of something viral, you will have a serious advantage over the competition.
Your content needs to be created with virality in mind, and it needs a solid marketing strategy geared towards making it go viral. If it does, it could be a life-changing event.
I. Attributes of Viral Content
There are some pretty standard attributes that a piece of viral content must have. It doesn’t matter if you have a great strategy or not, if you don’t have good content, it won’t go viral. The opposite is almost always true as well. Here are five things that any content must have before it will go viral.
#1. First, it must be well-written. If the content is poorly structured, nonsensical or difficult to understand, the reader is going to go elsewhere before they even finish it, and they will definitely not share it. Make sure that all typos and spelling errors are taken care of, and read through the content a few days after writing it to get an objective view and fix any mistakes you find them. Also, run it through a grammar checker.
#2. It must make the reader feel strong positive emotions. You want it to resonate with the reader and give them something to think about and something to feel. When they feel strong, positive emotions like that, they want to share that feeling with their friends.
#3. Be visual. If you can’t write visually then find someone who can and have them write the content. This is a great time to get a professional writer or use a service that provides a writer and other services.
#4. Timing is everything. When you release your content matters. Some experts advocate releasing at 9;00 in the morning, and this is some pretty good advice. That’s when most viral videos start getting their views so it should be the same for content marketing. Nearly everyone is awake and people are checking their phones and arriving at work on computers, so they have both friends and co-workers to share with. If you can make something worth sharing, releasing it at 9 a.m. should give you a good chance at a viral video.
#5. It must have a great irresistible headline. If you get emails from Cracked.com or if you have seen some of the video titles on Buzzfeed you know what kind of titles you need to create. They make titles that pique your curiosity so much that you can’t help but click on them. So, create a headline for your content that makes people not just want to click, but need to click.
II. Tips for Viral Content Campaigns
Now that you have the perfect content, it is time to try to make your content go viral. This requires that you approach publishers and get them to release your content. Here are some tips to try to make that happen.
#1. Appeal to Publishers: If you want to appeal to the majority of publishers, approach them with a collaborative project in mind. Although 30 percent of publishers want a finished product without any contact beforehand, 70 percent of publishers want to collaborate. Don’t pitch the writers something that is finished, pitch them something that is mostly finished with room for collaboration.
#2. Do Your Own Studies: This is the internet age, which means you can take advantage of the mass poll sites that are out there and collect data that has never been published before. At the very least, find data that isn’t common knowledge.
#3. Breaking News: If you can get exclusive information on a breaking news story that has national appeal you might have some viral content if you can write fast. Reddit is a good place to check for news like this because they have often had information before anyone else. Also, check Google trends. You might be able to get in early on something and end up with an article or blog post that goes viral.
#4. Write a Carefully Researched Article: If you can’t get breaking news you might want to try writing a lengthy article that has been carefully researched and edited so that it reads perfectly. This is one thing that publishers say they lack. They never have enough real articles. What they have are mediocre blog posts trying to pass themselves off as articles.