Engaging audiences through content marketing is a modern necessity for brands. Loyal audiences crave a regular supply of quality content, and the long-term positive effects are fantastic. But it’s human nature to be impatient, so what if you want a bigger audience’s attention much faster?
The answer: viral content. The problem: it’s easier said than done.
While some websites seem to have found the secret recipe for creating contagious content every time, you might sit there twiddling your thumbs wondering where to begin. Fortunately, there are several key components of viral content that can help guide you toward crafting posts with the best chance to hit it big.
Put the odds in your favor and make sure you include these five ingredients when cooking up viral content:
1. Create emotion
When readers have an emotional reaction to content, they are more likely to share it. That could mean the post is uplifting and inspiring. Or maybe your content provides interesting information that is extremely useful in everyday life.
You could also post something with a negative twist, which I think is an underutilized strategy. For example, you could post the same information but convey it in very different way. “Tips for living longer” won’t likely get as many clicks as “10 health mistakes putting you in an early grave,” after all.
2. Love the list
It’s organized, easy to skim and gives readers tasty little chunks of content to chew on: The list is an effective way to write viral content. Think about how often you have read an article or post that boasts “30 tips,” “Top 10 tactics” or “5 expert secrets…” A list provides an excellent structure for writing and an effective way to spread a message through online platforms.
Plus, people love to share lists they agree with or feel would benefit their friends and online connections.
3. Surprise and inform
It’s not enough just to create a list and hope it conveys a particular emotion. What you really need to do is make readers think, or give them something really useful right off the bat. That’s what will take your content from being read to being shared.
If your post surprises and informs, you have the golden ticket! That’s why “hacks” posts have become so popular recently – from kitchen hacks to parenting hacks to hacks for increasing fuel efficiency, people can read content like this quickly and use the information immediately.
4. Include images or video
You might be the most talented writer in the world, but there are limitations to all copy. To give your awesome content an even better chance of going viral, invest in good imagery. Like the old adage says, a picture is worth a thousand words, and when you pair stellar imagery with awesome copy, you have a combo that can’t be ignored.
If resources allow, video is another great option for bringing information to life in a format that is easily shareable!
5. Display share buttons proudly
If you want people to share your content, make it as easy as possible. It sounds simple, but it is all too often forgotten or hidden on a web page. We’re all lazy, after all, and copying and pasting a URL is just tedious.
Share buttons increase the likelihood of your content being shared by seven times, so be sure to add and place these buttons in a prominent place, such as beneath the headline or immediately after the conclusion.
Hooked? Want to be hooked? Check out these other blogs on viral content: How Spirit Airlines High-Fived Its Haters With Viral Content, How to Get All Emotional with Your Content Marketing.