Unless you’re in the celebrity news niche and have limitless access to breaking news with the potential to blow up faster than K.K. or Paris’s sex videos did, creating viral content is tumultuous.
Social media is constantly evolving and that’s a good thing for content marketers. But there’s really no easy formula to creating viral content. You need to work your butt off on getting the details right, then sit back and hope your media catches people’s attention and gets the massive views your brand needs to build credibility with social users.
Viral content is the goal of many and unfortunately, victory only favors the few in this game, just as you’ll find in any other aspect of business and marketing. You can’t predict whether your blogposts, videos and podcasts will reach the stratosphere of social greatness or not. Sometimes, the ones you think are a sure winner will flop, where the most simple and basic blogpost or image that took you five minutes or less can hit 10,000+ shares overnight.
Even here on BizEpic, we’re constantly seeing viral winners emerge from the simplest of posts, where often content we spend hour after hour cultivating and painstakingly reviewing never gets any traction whatsoever.
It’s a crap-shoot. Here’s some tips for getting the most out of your viral branding efforts:
1.) Always Add Visuals
I hate to trivialize content creation, but seriously; folks like pretty pictures and high-def 1080p videos. In fact video content is now king, with written content still being very much in demand. Always add a cool supporting picture to your written content or within your videos. Use images and videos that’ll make people laugh, teach them something, or that downright shocks them.
2.) Make the Takeaway Clear
Knowing that only a small handful of posts or videos will ever hit viral shares can make it easy to slack on some posts now and again. This is the wrong type of attitude to have. You need to plan for every post, vlog, or special podcast to hit the million shares mark, and make sure that every bit of content you deliver has a clear message about your brand, or the message you’re trying to get out. This is where I just love infographs. They add to your words and make the message more digestible for those with light attention spans, summarizing key points that can otherwise get lost in a post or vlog.
3.) Identify the Emotion or Emotions You’re Hoping to Evoke
Whether it’s laughter, sadness, disbelief, anger, sentiment, compassion, fear, self-hatred, inspiration or any combination of these emotions, you need to hit a psychological trigger in viewers before they’ll help your content gain traction. Identify at least one emotion you’re trying to trigger with each piece of content, then ask coworkers, family, friends, even strangers on the street just what feeling your content brings to the forefront.
4.) Use K.I.S.S.
There are exceptions to just how complicated or time-consuming your message should be to your audience. Seth Godin can write a mini-novel in each post and still get tons of reads and shares. Many of your popular beauty vloggers on YouTube, like Meredith Foster can regularly post 20+ minute videos and get millions of shares the first day they’re live. You, probably cannot get away with taking up loads of the visitor’s time before they click off and move on. Same with your takeaways. Try to have 1, maybe 2 key takeaways to prevent necrosis of the visitor’s brain cells.
5.) Don’t be Selfish After Launch
It’s either going to hit big, or it won’t. Don’t blast the same post with multiple user accounts or by using social branding services to artificially bump your share count. From a branding perspective, you want things to legitimately go viral, not because you blasted the crap out of it and forced your content down people’s throats. Provide value by giving information, humor, a solution to problems and let the cards fall where they may. If you’re truly meeting a need, the shares will come!
Any of Your Own to Share?
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Wishing you to have the biggest, baddest, most epic-ever social campaign in the coming days!
Main image by Mike Mozart