Welcome to Kiran Gutha‘s blog on What Makes Content Go Viral? Content that gains viral traction broadens your online marketing reach.
Table of Contents
What is Viral Marketing?
Viral marketing is the information age’s word of mouth. It involves using digital vehicles such as social media to engage online communities, allowing companies and individuals to reach audiences potentially numbering in the millions.
This occurs when a strong, digital message is created and passed along through different online channels. Once the message picks up traction, it’s passed from individual to individual, at blinding speeds.
With viral marketing, the message carriers become brand ambassadors and a free source of publicity for content creators. Viral marketing works because it penetrates online communities while incurring little, if any, cost.
How Viral Content Helps the Community
Here are some other benefits of creating content likely to go viral:
- It promotes goodwill.
- Successful viral content drives a positive reputation and brand recognition.
- It reaches interested viewers, in turn leading them to your brand.
- It is the fastest way to build backlinks to your web properties and increase search engine rank.
- It pays for itself because of the negligible financial investment associated with marketing your message.
Qualities of viral marketing campaigns
Here are some of the qualities unique to viral marketing campaigns:
- Problem-solving: The most effective campaigns include helpful content, aimed at solving customer issues.
- Branded: Branding a campaign gives it a unique identity. It sets businesses apart from others, improving audience recognition and perception.
- Promotable: Simple ideas are easy to promote and using them ensures campaigns include content people won’t have difficulty seeing and understanding.
- Seamless sharing: Content should be multi-platform compatible. The more media it can be added to, the easier it will be for people to share it.
- Immense utility: Content needs to benefit or excite audiences in some way. If it’s boring, it won’t go viral.
- Mass potential: Appealing to potential customers outside the target demographic always is a great strategy because it could unlock a previously untapped audience base.
Creating a Viral Article
There isn’t a how-to guide for creating vital content. Following these steps, though, should put you in a better position to create content that gains viral traction.
- Make it visual: Items that go viral usually are visually appealing. Even if the majority of your message is text-based, adding videos or photos can make a world of difference. Be careful with image and video selection though. You never want to put your brand in a compromising position.
- Plan it out: There aren’t reliable ways of predicting whether your content will go viral. What you can control is the clarity of your message. Utilize carefully planned scripts for videos so that your intended message is clearly received by your audience.
- Know your audience: What do they look for from you? Is it entertainment, information, or even a unique perspective? Figuring out these triggers lets you work them into your message, creating one that’s tailor-made for your audience.
Viral Content Taking the World by Storm
Social feeds across the country were loaded with videos and photos of participants, from celebrities to CEOs and almost anyone in between, taking the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge.
The Ice Bucket Challenge focused attention on the ALS Association, an organization that raises awareness of and funds for research into amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, also known as Lou Gehrig’s disease.
The Ice Bucket Challenge was a successful example of viral content for reasons that can be applied to viral marketing in general:
- The goal was clearly identified: The objective of the challenge was simple and clear. Participants could go online to donate to the ALS Association, pour a bucket of ice water over their heads, or both. Simplicity is key to viral content.
- It was fun and easy: Laughter brings people together, so funny, engaging videos will help keep your audience entertained. Humor breaks down the barrier people have with organizations and allow them to connect on a personal level.
- It had urgency and immediacy: There was a 24-hour window for participants to complete the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge. Giving your audience a deadline makes it more of a priority, creating a greater sense of urgency. Content with higher priority to the audience spurs people to take action (whether that’s completing a task, or sharing the information).
Success is directly linked with the ability to captivate audiences and their ever-dwindling attention spans. Viral marketing has direct ties to audience emotion, and the better you stir up those sentiments, the quicker your message will get passed along.
Related Articles From Kiran Gutha’s Blog