It’s the golden question in digital marketing, “what makes something go viral?” I can tell you first hand, it’s not dumb luck! Carefully plotted with strategic timing is more like it. The secret sauce to viral content is a mix of evoking high arousal emotions, sharing practical information and having a positive message rather than a negative connotation.
If you’re looking to attract website traffic, content that is uplifting and appeals to people’s narcissism can be more stimulating than content with a negative connotation. Here’s an overview of what can help your content become more `sticky` and viral.
- People Want to Look Smart
Before people share a piece of content; they evaluate its social currency. The better it makes them look, the more likely they’ll be to pass it on. Whether it’s sharing a political piece, something historical or relevant to their educational background it`s beneficial to create content that makes your audience look smarter when shared.
- Piece of History
If there has been a new discovery, something monumental or even historical has happened people like to document it by sharing it to their social profiles. Good examples of this are when NASA landed a rover on Mars, September 11 tragedy or when America elected their first black President. Sharing a piece of history unties us all and makes you feel a part of the tribe.
- Being Practical
Ever since the dawn of Pinterest, DIY has taken over the online world. People want to be able to “do it themselves” and be inspired to give it a try on their own. Creating content that offers advice, warns potential dangers or helpful tips is shareworthy because of the value it adds to your friends, fans or followers. Listicles are a style of article that works perfectly in this category as they are quick tidbits of easily retainable information.
- Make Them Laugh
Humorous content is most heavily engaged with because –bottom line everyone likes to laugh. Funny content can be in the form of images, memes, quotes, videos, etc. But the most important part of making your audience laugh is to remain as genuine as possible. A perfect example of this is IKEA`s 2015 campaign, “Experience the Power of a Bookbook“ which parody`s the launch of the new iPhone 6. It`s a perfect blend of light humor and product information which became extremely viral with over 18 million unique views!
- Tells a Story About Yourself
Personality quizzes are a great piece of content that helps describe a person’s likes and interests. It helps to define themselves to their friends and give people a better sense of who they are. People want to tell the world who they are and the story about themselves so create content that acts as a platform for the user to do so.
At the end of the day, no one can guarantee which content will receive 10 million views, but for the most part the content people share isn’t at random. The same practice can be adapted by businesses looking to become viral as well.
Going viral is a difficult thing to craft in content marketing and it’s not always guaranteed what will ignite a post to go viral. But by understanding the art of virality, you can potentially increase the likelihood that your content will be shared by your followers.