As a business, you want every piece of content you create to have that viral hook which could potentially lead to a social epidemic that reaches millions.
Viral content is great for brand building and traffic, and even if it doesn’t provide an immediate boost in sales or conversions, the brand recall that comes as a result will reap rewards in the long term.
The key to creating viral content is keeping your finger on the pulse. For instance, when the Covid-19 pandemic hit, 94% of all content marketers around the world adapted their approach instantly and incorporated Covid-related content into their strategy. The outcome was overwhelmingly positive too, with 70% saying that the results were much better compared to the previous year.
How to Go Viral With the Perfect Hook
You don’t necessarily have to be a Kardashian to publish content that goes viral overnight.
All you need is a comprehensive strategy to push above the 7 million blog posts published every day and stay relevant.
Does luck play a part? Most certainly!
But if you’re persistent, do your due diligence, time your posts right and promote them properly – you’re well on your way.
1. Scan Other Sites for Cues
Before you start publishing content willy-nilly, take some time out to scroll through your competitor’s websites and social media pages to see what they’re doing.
You need to figure out how you can do better. A great way is to check up on Reddit, Quora and other social media platforms to see what people are talking about currently.
Remember, just because a piece of content has gone viral doesn’t necessarily mean that you should follow suit.
Don’t copy paste – take some inspiration and build on it. Add your personal touch and make each piece your own.
2. Grab People’s Attention from the Get-Go
While this may seem like a given, fact is that content isn’t always created with the intention of grabbing attention.
Eye-catching visuals, starting from your featured images or videos, are one of the best ways to get your readers interested in what you have to say.
Picture yourself in a fancy restaurant, then suddenly a few ballerinas in tutu’s walk in. And boom! They have your attention.
Of course, you want to make sure you’re using relevant visuals, otherwise readers won’t take your seriously.
On top of this, with optimized alt tags and image names you can even leverage the power of visual content to drive your SEO campaign.
3. Create Compelling Headlines and Content
Now that your clever use of images has created the initial viral hook, it should be followed with an attractive headline that reels readers in.
Our best writers sometimes take ages before finalizing one, often working through multiple variations.
Keep the headlines clear, concise and as explicit about what your content will and will not do.
Think carefully before you hit publish!
One study by the New York Times found that the most shared content, or content that went viral, always contained practical, useful information.
There are one hit wonders out there or mini-celebrities that go viral because of the wrong reasons. That though, isn’t the model that your business needs.
You want to maintain your brand image and voice, and most importantly offer value to your readers.
4. Invoking Emotion
It’s human nature to want attention. Your readers also want to feel as though you are addressing them and them only. You want them to feel like your content is speaking to them.
Any type of content that evokes emotions contains that highly-sought viral hook. If you’re able to master the art of creating content that triggers emotional responses, you’ve got your readers in the palm of your hands.
Take it from us, no matter how much you want to assume that readers make decisions based on fact and information alone – it’s just not true. Emotions will in most cases drive their decisions and viral content needs that emotional response.
The emotions we’re referring to here are happiness, awe, anxiety, wonder and humor. All you have to do is understand your brand voice and who your audience is.
In order for your content to be shared, it doesn’t necessarily have to please everyone. Sometimes, it is the controversial and clever pieces that go viral.
5. Positive Messaging
It’s not that negative content doesn’t go viral. But is that really the kind of viral you want your content to be?
Your brand image and recall is all built around how others perceive you. So build an aura of positivity in your content. Even if the viral hook is teetering on the negative, bring it around and end on a positive note.
You want your readers to feel satisfied and uplifted when they’re done and you want them to feel like your content actually added some value to their lives.
The more these positive feelings and emotions are stimulated, the higher the number of clicks/shares on your post.
6. Stay Involved
Social media content is all about engagement and interaction. According to Facebook, when people scroll through their feeds, any interaction that they’re a part of contributes to a greater sense of wellbeing.
Though creating good content is of utmost importance, you won’t be able to see the results you expect if you just let it be.
Content only goes viral when the creator makes an effort to talk to readers. If you know your target audience, you should be able to respond to their questions or comments quite easily.
The more you interact, the likelier it is that your content is shared.
Furthermore, if you involve yourself actively in community discussions, you will never run short of viral content ideas.
7. Diversify with Focus
We touched upon this earlier, and it is crucial to publish content that is relevant to your business interests and authority.
You should certainly diversify and build on existing ideas, but keep it focused. Stay in touch with what’s new and trending within your subject of focus and create content surrounding that.
To complete the thought: it never hurts to branch out to vaguely connected fields or areas as long as the over-arching category is the same.
Let us try and explain it with examples. So, if you’re a fashion brand, you could also expand and write about general topics related to beauty and lifestyle. However, as a plumbing service or financial services provider, getting into lifestyle is a no-no. You’d be better served talking about local events if you want to branch out.
8. Find the Right Marketing Tools
Viral content ideas based on your gut can only take you so far. Take it from us; you need to involve the use of marketing tools and analysis to come up with an effective content strategy and also to track how well they’re doing.
You have a bunch of SEO tools plus Google Analytics and Google Trends to help you. Then you also have non-traditional means like polls, surveys and comments to find out what type of content your audience is looking for.
Of course focusing on SEO-friendly articles that have a viral hook will ensure that your content performs well even after the virality has worn off.
9. Share Your Content
While we are all for organic reach, the truth is you have to take a proactive approach if you want your content to go viral.
It’s great to see a stranger repost your content, but don’t wait for someone to give you that extra boost. Find ways to spread the word.
Share your content on relevant groups. Ask friends and family to get in on the act. You don’t want you great piece of content to not get any eyes – that would be such a waste.
Make sure you cover all your bases, from your blog page to LinkedIn, Instagram and Pinterest to Reddit tap into every avenue you have.
If you want to create viral content and reach a wider audience, you need to have a plan of attack and focus on doing it.
We hope these tips were helpful and we can’t wait to spot you on our next Google search. If you need help, talk to us via chat and let our content writers pick up the ball and run with it.