For many, going “viral” is the holy grail of marketing. To see content you created in the Facebook trending box or that hashtag you created sweeping Twitter is a rare phenomenon that can give you a rush like no other. It’s the reason you’re in this business!
There’s no easy way to simply go viral. Successful trending content relies on a lot of complex factors including timing, daily trends, the quality of the content, and the type of content it provides. It’s not an easy task, but we can give you some tips to get started on creating your next viral marketing campaign!
Visual Content Does Better
Statistics show that content that includes at least one image performs much better than content that does not. It’s easy to understand why. Copy can get lost in the sea of words that is your Facebook News Feed. A good image stands out and demands attention. If it’s emotionally compelling in some way, the chances of it being shared are much better. Get a reaction out of someone, whether it’s happiness, empathy, nostalgia, or even anger. A picture really is worth a thousand words, and compelling imagery says a lot about your content.
Videos are also more likely to be shared. With applications like Facebook autoplaying videos as you scroll, it’s easy to hook someone with a moving image. Keep these short – most people don’t have the time to watch an entire ten minutes video on their lunch break or while waiting at the doctor’s office. Make it funny, unique, and relevant to trending topics!
Long Form Content Performs Better than Short Form
This one surprised us. You frequently hear marketers advising that blog posts and articles should be short and sweet, under 1000 words easily. However, the statistics show that the content that is shared the most are actually long form articles. There’s a few reasons for this.
Firstly, people are going to share articles from sources that appear trustworthy. If you’re reading a long-form article, odds are the author put a lot of time and research into creating the content. This makes it valuable to the reader. Next time you go to write a blog post, spend an extra thirty minutes to go the extra mile. It will be more than worth your time if you find it gets more shares and attention than your quick, lazy, SEO targeted blog post.
To make long form articles more digestible, format your content in an easy-to-read manner. Consider writing content that allows you to bullet point your main arguments (not unlike this article!). Consider doing a top 10 countdown, or a comparison piece that gets into the nitty gritty of a topic, presented in sleek columns and points. Websites have made their entire living on providing almost exclusively list-based articles.
People like to be intellectually challenged and stimulated. Bonus points if you can appeal to their narcissistic nature in the meanwhile. Give them something to think about or feel good for. Long form content often provides an educational opportunity for people to learn something new, back up their own beliefs, or rub them the wrong way. Stimulate people’s minds and you’ll see a lot more shares.
Promote in Weird Places
Think outside the box when it comes to promotion. Yes, use Twitter and Facebook and all the proper hashtags, but there are plenty of platforms you can use that will help your content find an immediate relevant audience who may go out and share it on their own channels organically.
Reddit is a great breeding ground for viral content, but you have to be careful with how you post your content. Self promotion is generally frowned upon, in any social media groups. Share it through a personal account, or ask a friend to post it who will come off sounding genuine. Above all, make sure it’s relevant to the community and will foster engagement.
There’s also a bit of luck when it comes to going viral. Submitting your content to StumbleUpon is as easy as pasting a link and choosing a category. If your content is strong enough, there are pretty good odds it will be stumbled upon and liked by other users. Digg is another news aggregate website that allows you to submit your own links. Who knows, maybe you have the next viral video without even knowing it?
There’s no surefire way to get your content to go viral, but we hope these tips will help your content get some more reach than your usual posts. Anchor Social is a full service content marketing agency. Contact us with any questions, and leave your own tips in the comments below!