7 Steps to Creating Viral Content
Internet content which is highly sharable, and ends up becoming extremely popular as a result, is often said to go viral. The type of content which most often goes viral is video content. A perfect example is the South Korean single Gangnam Style by Psy. Released in July, 2012, the music video's amusing and original style helped it to become the most watched clip on YouTube, with a stunning 1.75 billion views within the first year. With the combined power of things like social media sharing and video marketing, businesses can make viral content themselves in order to greatly increase brand awareness and exposure. The following takes a look at seven of the key elements of viral content marketing.
1 – Don't Try to Please Everyone
In order to create viral content, whether in the form of video or any other kind of media, you will need to stop being neutral. Viral content marketing is all about evoking emotions in people, and this inevitably means inspiring a degree of controversy. If you try to please everyone with your viral marketing campaign, you are more likely to end up with content which very few people find interesting enough to share with others. Take a stand and inspire people to get excited.
2 – Do the Unexpected
What makes most viral content successful, including Psy's 2012 music video, is its sheer uniqueness and outrageousness. Coming up with something that hasn't been done before, or gives a completely new slant on a subject which is already widely covered, might be difficult, but it is the unexpected which truly stands out and gets the shares. Viral content is rather different to a lot of normal Web content in that it is designed to shock, excite or humour people rather than having the primary purpose of being practical and useful in some way.
3 – Don't Advertise
People rarely want to watch advertisements unless they are particularly amusing or unique in some way. Viral marketing is not about traditional advertising anyway; it is about increasing brand awareness by entertaining your audience. This is what encourages people to share your content, allowing it the potential to go viral. When creating viral content, forget about your business and its products and services and instead focus on a subject related to your industry which has the potential to entertain and inspire the masses. Any promotional material in your content should be subtle rather than its main focus.
4 – Promote Sharing
Great content will end up getting shares no matter what. However, there is certainly no harm in making it easier for people to share your content. After all, it is sharing which ultimately makes content go viral. Let people share your content easily by placing social media sharing buttons on the same page in a location where they are obvious and accessible. Post your content on social media sites yourself as well.
5 – Connect with Your Viewers
Connecting with your target audience is a critical part of modern Internet marketing, and when it comes to getting viral exposure, this is certainly still the case. Connecting with your viewers via comments and conversations on social media sites will earn their appreciation and help you to conduct important market research. Reward people who take the time to post comments with an answer, particularly in the early stages of your campaign. You obviously won't be able to respond to everyone once your content gets very popular, but engaging your audience on occasion will help to earn everyone's respect.
6 – Keep Access Open
No matter how much potential it has, content will never go viral if there are any restrictions on accessing it. Such content is supposed to be accessible to as many people as possible. If people need to register on your site or download some third-party software or other dependencies in order to view your content, it will never become popular. In fact, it is more likely that you will end up turning people away entirely. Likewise, ensure that your content is not restricted to certain areas of the world and that comments are enabled to encourage feedback and visitor engagement.
7 – Don't Stop
Once you have succeeded in having your first piece of content go viral, you will have already established an extremely effective base upon which to continue your online marketing campaign. The enormous amount of exposure which you have earned thanks to your previous efforts can continue to be profitable for your business for a long time to come. Once people recognize your brand, they will be more likely to share future content. Take advantage of the fact that you have earned the undivided attention of your audience, and continue to create a series of viral content. Use previous feedback for getting your inspiration.