There’s no denying it!
We all crave for it so much.
Yet, it’s not easy to get. Everytime you hit the publish button, you want the content to go viral. Some people have a way with viral content.
So, how do they get it?
There’s no magic secret involved here. It (generally) doesn’t happen by chance. There are certain elements in all the viral pieces for content that trigger the social sharing of the audiences.
Once you understand these viral triggers, you’ll churn out more viral content than you can imagine.
What is viral content?
When your content is and shared on social media viewed by a large number of interested audiences, it takes a viral form.
In simple words, content that’s shared widely and rapidly by people becomes viral.
It’s not limited to blog posts. In fact, videos, infographics, forum comments and images can also become viral.
Some examples of viral content
-Gangnam style – this was a viral video that was in the no #1 position of YouTube for quite some time. Reason for becoming viral? It provided entertainment, made people feel cool and improved their self-worth.
–Charlie bit my finger – this became a viral video with more than 400 million views. This was a cute video that played with people’s emotions of ‘entertainment’ and made them look good sharing it.
Here’s the original video – ‘Charlie bit my finger’
Let’s face it.
Creating high-quality viral content is not a piece of cake. You need lots of practice, be able to understand the essentials of viral videos and blog posts and some luck too!
Before we jump into the essential elements that give virality to content, let’s look at what a shareworthy content is:
- It should solve a problem of your audience – should resonate with the target audience
- Should be able to evoke emotions – like awe, joy and surprise that evoke an emotional reaction.
- Should have a positive tone rather than negative – should arouse positive feelings
So, are you all set to look into the elements that make a great content?
This way, you increase the chances of your content going viral.
Take a look at the viral blog content types that have gone viral. Infographics are leading, followed by list posts. Create more informative and visually appealing Infographics and share them on social media.
How to write content that gets viral
Writing content that has a probability of going viral doesn’t have to be difficult. Here are the essential elements that you should take care of:
1. Captivating headlines
Write headlines that captivate the audience to stop and take notice. According to Copyblogger, 80% of your readers will read your headline but a mere 20% will finish reading the article.
Pro Tip: Use numbers in your headlines for list posts. They tend to give more clicks. Try to keep your headlines odd-numbered because they tend to perform better!
2. Awesome introduction
This is an overlooked area but extremely crucial. Write an awesome introduction that compels the reader to continue reading.
Don’t overwhelm the reader with long sentences and opening paragraphs. Short sentences work well. You can create a hook for your audiences to continue reading.
3. Eye-catching images
Visual appeal is so important. A good blog post is a combination of text, images and other multimedia elements.
Include at least 1 image with every blog post. Images speak a thousand words. Set a nice and relevant featured image. Make sure that it’s in high-resolution because the quality of the image matters a lot.
It’s not necessary to include stock images in the main text portion. You can include graphs, charts and images related to the content you are writing about. It’s a good practice to include an Image after every 350-400 words.
4. Long-form content
There are many benefits of writing long-form content. It projects you as an authority in your field, helps you rank for some tough keywords and is relevant for the user as it explores the topic in depth.
Anything above 1500 words can be considered long-form content. A study by Hubspot revealed that articles with 2500+ words gained the maximum number of social shares.
See the graph below.
Study by Hubspot
5. Include an infographic
Infographics work the most as viral pieces of content.
They have to be visually very appealing and bring value. If you’ve taken the time and effort to create a visually stunning infographic on a ‘hot’ topic in your niche, then it has chances of going viral.
Visual works more on social media. Some points you should keep in mind while preparing infographics are:
- Easy flow of information
- Use contrasting colours
- Brief and understandable text
- Maintain uniformity in text styles and sizes
- Cite the used sources of information
Here’s an example of a visually appealing infographic.
Good use of colour, shapes and high-quality relevant content arranged sequentially are the recipes of success with infographics.
6. Social sharing buttons
Social sharing buttons on your blog posts will help in sharing your content.
You want to make it easy for your readers to share your content, right?
Place your search sharing buttons at places on your blog where they are easily found. Would be better if you place them above the fold too.
Generate a tweetable link to your post and place it in your blog post for more Twitter shares. The ‘Click to tweet’ tool makes this super simple.
Beginners find it incredibly hard to do social media marketing well. If you are a newbie, enable social sharing buttons at strategic places in your blog and take the first step to being social.
7. Emotional content
Content performs better if it appeals to the emotions. When your content arouses feelings of joy, anger and excitement, then it builds an instant connect.
Despite us being rational human beings, emotions are important for your viral content.
It’s very hard to get people’s mindshare and engagement.
So, write in a conversational tone and hook your readers through storytelling. Your readers will reward you with likes and shares.
8. Involve the influencers
This is a tactic that works like a charm. Influencer marketing is a complete topic in itself.
Mention them in your content in reference to a topic they wrote, a study or analysis they did or for any other reason. Once you have mentioned them, send your completed article to them.
If it’s of high quality, then it’s highly likely that they will share with their followers. They too want to look good in the eyes of their audiences.
You’ll get a massive exposure to a new audience as a result. It may even take a viral form from there.
9. Publish at the best time
Creating great content takes time and hard work. When you publish it, you’d want it to be seen by as many people as possible.
Strategically time your posts and publish them at peak times to get maximum engagement levels.
You can get this information from your Twitter analytics and Facebook insights tab.That’s the time your content will be shared the most.
10. Easy to scan
We are faced with content overload. There is too much information to consume and too short attention spans.
Before you know it, your reader would have moved on to some other site.
Unless you make your content scannable. Readers should be able to scan through your post and yet grasp all the important points you have to make.
How do you do it?
By keeping these points in mind.
- Use bullet points and numbered lists – for easily following the topic
- Good formatting – use of bold and italics
- Short paragraphs – to break the information into consumable lots. At some places, single sentences work too.
- Write in a conversational tone – you make the reader feel you are talking to him.
- Use sub-heads – to break your content into scannable chunks
This will make your blog post content easy to scan. Probably that’s the reason infographics, images and videos gain viral form faster.
11. Ask for Shares
This is a very easy thing to do but one that can increase engagement by 40%. Whether on your blog or on social media, ask people to share your posts.
If a certain part of your post evokes an emotion, include a call-to-action for getting shares.
You don’t have to beg for shares. Ask for shares only if people found value in your content.
It’s not over YET!
How do you go viral from here?
Promote, promote, promote.
You can’t expect people to find your content when you’ve published it. You’ve got to promote the hell out of it.
Have a solid content distribution strategy in place to get more traffic to your blog posts.
Start by promoting on all the social channels you are present in. Send it to your email subscribers. Schedule it on Buffer, Hootsuite or other tools for posting on social media at different times.
In a nutshell…
Content gets viral if it is shared rapidly from one internet user to another.
Write content that arouses a high impact emotion and if written with the elements outlined above, it can become a viral content sensation.
That’s it for this post. Hope you derived some value from it.
Please leave your comments below, would love to hear from you. Mind sharing on social media as well?