Viral Marketing And How To Craft Contagious Content
Want to make your content go viral? Well, you’re not alone. Many businesses want to go viral and get millions of likes and shares just in a few hours. Viral content can hugely increase brand awareness and make you popular all over the Internet.
That’s why so many brands want to create contagious content: they can become famous instantly. But is viral marketing worth it? No one can 100% guarantee that if you put time and effort into it, your content will go viral. At the same time, it can really boost your brand awareness. Besides, creating viral content doesn’t require that much budget as you might think.
So, let’s find out more about viral marketing, whether you should try it or not and how to create content that millions of people would want to share.
In this post we are going to cover:
What is Viral Marketing?
First, let’s quickly discuss the definition of viral marketing.
Viral marketing is a promotional technique that aims to get others to share your product/content for you. Generally, it happens organically. You might start your campaign with an ad, but only users can make your content go viral. They love your content, share it, and it goes all over the Internet before you even notice it. Sometimes, content can go viral without even brands knowing about it. But it happens so very rarely and mostly it’s a result of a strategic approach.
Content is considered viral when it’s being shared by the public at a huge scale, beyond the target audience. Viral content usually starts with some trend, blows up at high speed and fades away quickly. That’s the problem with viral content and trends, it can be forgotten as fast as it spreads and no one can predict how long it will stay trendy.
Any content can go viral: image, video, article, meme. What’s important is that the content is unique, shareable and memorable. It can be humorous like this MoonPie’s tweet or can address some serious issues like ASL Ice Bucker Challenge.
Viral marketing can be extremely effective. It costs cheaper, as users themselves share your content and you can become very popular overnight. Viral marketing is a great strategy for small businesses and can help them enormously raise their brand awareness at low costs. And even if your content won’t go viral at your desired scale, viral marketing is always worth a try.
I’m an artist now lol pic.twitter.com/yHQia26v53— MoonPie (@MoonPie) December 8, 2019
How to Create Viral Content
Now let’s find out the strategy of creating contagious content. We’ll go through all the steps in detail to make sure you create some awesome content.
1. Why Do You Want to Go Viral?
Before starting looking for trendy topics, answer this question first. Why do you want to go viral? To increase brand awareness? Get more followers? Get more mentions, likes, shares?
When you create regular content or ads, you have some goal behind them, right? Viral content is no different, and you must have a reason to create it. Your content can go viral, but you might not get any new followers. This can make you upset and you’ll wonder what went wrong. If you have set your goal in the first place, these kinds of mistakes won’t happen to you.
Next, you need to do some research. Find out what your audience likes, what type of content they prefer, which format they mostly engage with and what platforms they’re active in. Also, pay attention to what topics they like, the latest trends and viral posts. Your audience is responsible for making your content go viral, so it must resonate with them if you want to succeed.
Check out some past examples of viral content of your competitors. Analyze them, find out what made them go viral. It can give you an idea about how to make your content contagious.
3. Make Sure it Can Be Shared Easily
It might seem obvious, but this step is important to talk about. Shareability is the key to contagious content. For example, if you’re going to make a video, make sure to share it not only on YouTube but also on other social media platforms, or as a part of your newsletters. Spread your content as far as you can to make sure it reaches everyone.
Think about the channels that can best suit your content format. Images are easily shared through Facebook, Instagram, Twitter or Pinterest. Videos are fair game for YouTube, TikTok, Instagram.
4. Create the Content
Now, as you have an understanding of what your content is going to look like and what channels you’re going to use, it’s time to create the content itself. Check out the following tips to create more shareable content.
Play on Emotions
Content that evokes strong emotions, can become very popular. For example, the Always’ Like A Girl campaign brings a serious issue that many girls can resonate with. It’s very powerful, emotional and inspiring, and that’s the reason it went viral.
Humor also works great, when talking about viral content. If you can make people laugh, they will most probably share your content. Popular memes like this, used in the context of your industry or brand, can make you famous.
Pay attention to current trends, what your audience talks about. If you find it difficult to create unique viral content, you can simply follow some popular trend, meme, or participate in a challenge to promote your brand.
Include Some Visuals
Contagious content should instantly catch attention. And to do so, you can include some visuals in it. Even if you use very catchy, emotional phrases, without good visuals, you risk having your content lost in your audiences’ feeds.
Be Bold And Creative
Viral posts are always very creative, bold, funny, wild. As an example, check this one. It has a clear and simple message, but it’s also very unusual. Who would think that posting a picture of an egg can become so viral?
Think outside of the box, gather all your team to brainstorm many ideas to increase your chances of creating something very unique.
Keep it Simple
Have you noticed how short and simple were the messages of the examples discussed above? That’s also an essential key for going viral. No one wants to read long sentences and posts. Try to write some short catchy phrase or sentence, which can make anyone laugh, smile or cry and you’ll win. Don’t overload your content with too many CTAs and long text. Keep your message short, simple and clear.
Make it Interactive
Interactive content is more shareable than any other. Make a quiz, poll, game or some other interactive content, include a CTA and you can get millions of comments, shares and likes. It’s also a good idea to ask a question and encourage people to leave comments.
Humanize Your Content
This tip might seem too obvious, but it’s still worth mentioning it. You must remember that you’re creating content for people, so it must be personal, relatable and engaging. Do not speak too formally and remove the corporate taste from your content. Create your message like you would write it to your friends.
Hashtags can make your content more visible and easy to find. They will also help you more easily track the success of your campaign. But don’t overuse hashtags, they can also create a cluttered and distracting look.
5. Promote Your Content
You need to have a solid promotional plan for your content. Go back to your goal and make sure it aligns with your plan. If you want to get new followers, you might need to run an ad. For other goals, you might not need to use ads.
Then, use the channels where your audience is active and can easily find your content. Also, think about your budget. If you have enough resources, you can run a paid ad. Though ads are not necessary for the content going viral, they can help to boost it.
6. Measure Your Success
And the last step is measuring your results. How can you know whether you’ve succeeded or not if you’re not tracking the results? After all, you must know whether you’ve achieved your goal or not. Use Google Analytics or other tracking tools to measure the results. Depending on your goal, you will need to track different metrics. But in general, to measure success, you need to check the number of shares, likes, comments you’ve received, which platforms ensured more shares than others, etc.
If you haven’t reached your goal, you should find the reasons for what went wrong. Maybe your content wasn’t discovered, or the message was unclear. If you understand these reasons, the next time you try, you will certainly succeed.
Going viral is really hard, as people’s reactions can sometimes be very unpredictable. You can’t be 100% sure about how your audience will engage with your content. But it’s not impossible, so don’t be afraid to try. Check this article about successful viral campaigns to get some inspiration.
The Internet provides you with many opportunities for building your brand’s image. There are many channels, content formats that you can try to go viral. So, try all your options and opportunities and you’ll reach your goals. All you need to do is to know your audience, choose the right topic and create engaging and shareable content.
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