Ideas to Make your Content Go Viral

GoViralFor a long time, going viral (i.e. becoming widely shared throughout the internet) has been viewed as something that is driven mostly by luck. Interestingly, there are websites out there that produce viral content regularly. Ever wondered how they’re able to do this? Here’s what you need to know.

Write valuable, in-depth articles

It’s a given that people love consuming content that provides information useful to them. This is the very reason why we should produce valuable, high-quality content.

What’s interesting is that among the assortment of valuable content available online, people share in-depth articles the most. According to researchers from the University of Pennsylvania, The New York Times’ useful, long-form articles are more likely to be emailed than the shorter ones.

Of course, for people to want to read and share your article, it needs to be about something that engages them.

Evoke strong emotions

To increase the likelihood of people discussing/sharing your content, try to evoke a strong emotional response in your readers. There are a number of ways to go about this (e.g. telling a story, making an over-the-top promise, providing shocking facts), but perhaps the most widely used approach is by sharing your opinion on something controversial.

Take note, however, that producing content that triggers an emotional response will probably polarise your audience. But if you do it right, those who have the same opinion would be more inclined to share your article with other people.

Add sharing buttons

Another way to ensure that your article gets shared is by prominently placing sharing buttons before and after it. Without sharing buttons, your readers would still have to manually copy your article’s URL, and then paste it into the body of their emails or social media status updates.

Granted, copying and pasting is an easy enough activity, but by adding sharing buttons to your content, you’re making the process that little bit easier for your audience.

Submit it in social networks

Even if your website does come with sharing buttons, don’t wait for other people to post your content–share it as soon as it’s published. This increases the likelihood that your article would eventually go viral. If you have a sizeable following, the traffic boost certainly wouldn’t hurt.

It should be easy to skim

People don’t read online; they skim through webpages. Because of this, you should create easy-to-scan content–especially if you’re producing long, in-depth articles in your website, which aren’t as easy to consume. Simply put, if people have difficulty reading your content, don’t expect them to share it with others.

But what makes content easy to skim? Here are some of the characteristics it should have:

  • Bulleted or numbered lists (like this one).
  • Relevant and descriptive subheadings.
  • Highlighted (e.g. boldfaced and/or italicised) keywords and other important points.
  • Only one main idea for every paragraph, which should be around three to four sentences short.
  • It uses the inverted pyramid structure, where the most important information is at the beginning.

Give it time

Articles don’t always go viral immediately. Sometimes, they get ignored when you first share them, but suddenly erupt with traffic in another social network after several months. So if you’re discouraged that your 2,000-word masterpiece is getting only a few hundred visits (despite ticking all the right boxes), give it time. Your article might end up with tens of thousands of shares in several social networks, all of which could add up to millions of views half a year later.

Assess the numbers

Going viral has nothing to do with luck. If you study the numbers behind your posts, you can figure out why one succeeded and the other failed. This allows you to recreate what works and avoid what doesn’t.

Fairfax Marketing Services writes optimised content for your website; generates buzz for your business through Social Media Marketing; and you can track your SEO progress with real-time stats and reports. In regards to outsourcing viral content writing, ask one of our reps to help you in touch with an experienced writer.

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