What makes content go viral?
Any business owner who wants their offer to be seen by as many people as possible will ask this question.
But to trigger sharing, it’s essential to know what makes for viral content.
Whether you’re promoting a webinar, course, ebook, or blog post, this guide is for you.
Here’s how to go viral on the internet…
7 Factors That Make for Viral Content
Going viral has amazing advantages for budding and established businesses.
You get a boost in exposure and credibility.
It lowers your advertising costs.
Most importantly, you can generate more quality leads in less time!
Ensure that your content goes viral with these seven factors.
1. Usefulness or value
If something provides value, it gets shared.
You’ve probably heard of the popular online writing tool Grammarly. From 1 million active users in 2015, they now grew to over 20 million daily active users.
How is this possible?
While there certainly were a lot of strategies used to drive growth, one thing is for sure:
Grammarly made it extremely convenient for people to fine-tune their writing. Email content, business documents, social media posts, school research paper, blog - you name it.
Like Grammarly, you need to be the answer that your audience needs.
In other words, solve their biggest problem.
By doing this, your audience will share your offer with friends whom they know will also immensely benefit from it!
What you share isn’t the only thing that matters. When you share it is as equally important. ⏰
True, the best piece of content always gets shared. But the right timing lets it pick up traction fast. See the difference?
An important question you should ask is this:
Is my content relevant to the present moment? One of the posts that went viral was Arby’s tweet in 2014. Garnering 71.3K retweets and 56.9K likes, Arby’s tweet was timely.
People were making fun of Pharrell William’s hat at the Grammy Awards, and yes - it had a striking resemblance to Arby’s logo.
To use timing to your advantage, know what’s popular at a given time. Pay attention to trending topics or events and find a connection between them and your brand.
Also, it’s best to publish your content on social media when people are active.
Check your social media analytics so you can schedule your content to go live during optimal times.
3. Evokes emotion
All successful viral content campaigns have one thing in common:
They elicit an emotional response.
Research shows that high-arousal emotion triggers sharing behavior than low-arousal emotion. People are more likely to take action.
Examples of high-arousal emotions include anxiety, anger, happiness, fear, and amusement.
Meanwhile, low-arousal emotions such as sadness and contentment are relaxed states. They generate less sharing.
Since you already know the right emotions to activate (high-arousal emotions), how do you use them to your advantage?
Answer: Find a problem that plagues your audience and relate it to your brand.
One of the most viral videos of all time, Dove's Real Beauty Sketches, got viewed over 68 million times in the first month. The video tells about how women see themselves versus how the world sees them.
Those who saw this video immediately felt a strong emotion towards it. It tackled a real issue among women and helped them to feel empowered and confident about themselves.
A word of advice:
Content that elicits positive feelings gets shared more than content that sparks negative reactions. Therefore, make it your goal to produce positive content.
4. Leverages social currency
Social currency refers to the value that a piece of content or information has when shared with others.
People want to keep sharing something only if it has good social currency.
Just ask yourself:
Would you share content that makes you look bad? Surely, not. But you would surely share it if it makes you look cool, generous, or righteous. 😎
One of our UpViral users, Nicholas Kusmich, successfully sold 6,400 books and provided clean water to a village through Charity: Water.
A big reason why this campaign went viral was that it supported a social cause. Nic made it clear that 100% of his book sales will be donated to Charity: Water.
Because of this, people were compelled to participate in this feel-good cause!
Yet, we must not ignore the fact that Nic also developed the right content to sell - a book on Facebook Ads that appealed to his target audience.
5. Content distribution/marketing
If you want your content to achieve serve its purpose, which is to go viral, make sure that you’re actively promoting it.
Promotion gives your content the “push” it needs to get the ball rolling!
Here are some marketing tactics to make people notice your content:
- Influencer marketing - Partner with an influencer who has a strong authority in your niche. Influencers can boost your content’s exposure in no time since many of their audience will follow you.
- Advertise your best performing content - If you already have content that got tons of shares, advertise it to your ideal audience. That way, people who are likely to be interested in it will share it further to reach a wider audience!
- Promote it on the best channels - Some channels are more suited for your content than others. Identify these channels (social media, email, live streaming, etc.) and make use of them.
6. Consumption time
Viral content is easy to consume.
It doesn’t take up much of your audience’s time and gets the main point across quickly.
One of the best YouTube videos that went viral was Blendtec's Will It Blend?
This video showed how Blendtec was able to successfully blend an iPad. In just under 2 minutes, the video accomplished its end goal.
People’s attention spans have gotten shorter, as revealed by studies and experiments done over the last three decades.
If you want to increase your piece of content’s chance of going viral, keep it short!
Does your content inspire trust? Are you considered as a reliable source of information?
People share content that they can trust.
You can speak with industry professionals to ask for their opinions and add them into your piece. Cite relevant statistics as well.
Experts enjoy the exposure they get through your content. In fact, many of them would willingly share your content with their audience!
In today’s busy world, getting noticed is tough.
When engineering viral content, ask questions such as:
- Is my content practically useful?
- Is it shared at the right time?
- Does it evoke high-arousal emotions?
- Does it make “sharers” look good?
- Will I be able to promote it effectively?
- It is easy to consume?
- Can people rely on it?
By applying the viral content factors we discussed, you’ll be able to push the right buttons. 💪
Ready to give your content the extra exposure it deserves?
UpViral is a viral marketing tool that enables you to promote your content, product, or service, and GO VIRAL.
Whether you’re looking to grow your leads, boost sales, or simply drive more brand awareness…. UpViral can help you do that.