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On this subject, here is an article about Viral Content Marketing: Viral content marketing is fundamentally similar to a popular stand-up act; they both involve strong emotion and mass appeal. If your content lacks mass appeal, it won’t get shared by large numbers of people, and if it doesn’t evoke emotion, people won’t be moved to share it.
You need powerful content that can move many people to “go viral”.
The question to ask is if you want to appeal to everyone, or certain key demographics? Either way, most people in your target audience have to “get” your content for it to go viral. You can’t coast on jokes or references that only you can relate to.
One of the reasons why you may have struggled with viral content is that you looked at it the wrong way. I did it too. Here are three things to keep in mind when creating viral content.
SEO may have nothing to do with it
If you thought SEO was related to virality, you were wrong. Mark Schaefer observed that his three most viral posts in 2015 were the least search optimized of all his posts.
Plus, if you looked at viral posts on social media, you would see that their virality was caused by extensive sharing and not search optimization – and shares are clearly driven by purely human elements.
Viral content always has an X factor
It could be humor, inspiration, drive, positivity, empathy or a complex combination of emotions – viral content always has something inexplicable in it that people feel strongly connected to.
Of course, if you’re using humor, it will have to be targeted at your specific audience. For instance, this Facebook page (Writing about writing) creates and curates posts that have literary humor, puns and the like, because their fans are people who enjoy and completely get that kind of content.
You probably won’t get an equivalent response for this post if you shared it in a group for environment activists or software developers.
Economics has an entire sub-field dedicated to studying the human element associated with economic phenomena, decision making and trends, because idealistic economic theories don’t account for human irrationality.
In content marketing, the most successful content pieces are usually built around consumer behavior and emotion. But few marketers carry the practise in everyday activities, which is understandable because most interactions today happen via screens and not face to face, and it becomes easy to forget that you are dealing with real, emotional human beings.
You need to be inventive
Recycled content rarely goes viral. Most successful posts have something fresh and original going for them. If you look at virality, it usually manifests as a bell curve with a sharp spike that falls just as quickly. So if you pick a topic that is declining as a trend (and people have already seen way too much of it or it doesn’t have significance anymore), people may not share it as much as you want them to.
For instance, look at the interest people showed in the US elections. It spiked during October and November and then dropped to nothingness.
Now people are talking about the new president and his actions, and there is no sense in talking about the elections per say anymore.
When creating content, you need to consider trends – not for SEO but as a sign of what people are currently interested in talking about (and sharing).
Also, your content has to be original. I’ll tell you more about what I mean by originality and why it matters towards the end of the piece.
You could wonder how originality continues to exist when we have generated more content in the last few years than in all of history.
Ask Neetzan Zimmerman. He has been referred to as the guru of viral content, as a tribute to the popularity of his brilliant work. Zimmerman’s morning ritual partly explains his success. He catches up on the latest happenings every morning and scans as many as 500 articles and 1000 (less popular but great) websites to spark his thought factory.
Your world is a mix of the millions of stimuli you receive and process from the external environment. Many times, the best ideas come as epiphanies that are driven by complex pathways that combine memory, context and experience. Limit your knowledge to what you know and you’re less likely to have great ideas, read everything in sight and you should have no trouble being inventive.
Let’s explore examples of viral content and how you can create some
Before we delve into the whats and hows, let’s first abolish a myth that many marketers seem to believe – only video content goes viral. Buzzfeed is hub for viral stories and there are plenty of them.
Attention spans of people may be waning, but text isn’t out of fashion yet. In fact, longer pieces of writing get shared more than shorter pieces, according to a BuzzSumo study.
Infographics, presentations (Slideshares), memes and GIFs can also go viral.
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