Categories: DesignHow-ToUX

How to Create Viral Content: A Brief Guide

No matter what you do online – order tickets, get paper writing help, or check Pinterest – content managers are fighting for your attention. By all means, they want to make you click the “Like” and “Share” buttons. Most of the time, their efforts remain unnoticed. All content managers and bloggers dream about creating a video, article, or post that will conquer the internet and win the hearts of the audience. Such content is called “viral.”

It provokes an immediate and strong interest among internet users and gets thousands, or even millions, of shares. If the piece of viral content represents a specific brand, the company gets an extremely high user reach. Usually, businesses even don’t have to spend extra money.

In the article below, we answer two main questions about viral content:

  • Why do people share content?
  • How do you make your content viral?

Why do people share content?

Let’s start from the question, “why do people share anything?”

We tend to share pleasant, interesting, or useful things: favorite books, lists of TV series, recipes, etc. The same rule applies to the content. Internet users won’t share boring articles, low-quality pictures, or banal citations. The audience wants something new, juicy, and exciting.

So what will make people click the share button and spread your content?

Your content is entertaining

Life is difficult and sometimes boring. And the best way to distract yourself from the routine is to laugh. That’s why internet memes and funny photos get a lot of attention. Create a piece of funny content with your brand or theme, and you’ll increase the level of user reach.

Dramatic Chipmunk posted by Lifewire

Funny and a bit philosophical viral short film Alternative Math

Your content is useful

How many times a week do you type phrases that start with “how to,” “where to go,” or “what to do if” in Google Search? People certainly need answers. Give your readers something useful, and they’ll be glad to share this content with their friends.

How To Make a Vegan Lasagna by HowToBasic, over 7M views

Your content is shocking

Check the news and current events to inform your audience about the sensations first. It’s hard to create shocking content, as it should be based on real life. But you can spot it and then be among the first to share it.

Embrace Life video for safer driving

Having shocking statistics also works:

Posted on Cracked

Your content is emotional

We seek strong feelings. Fear, sympathy, anger, envy, excitement – these emotions make us feel alive. Don’t miss your chance to broadcast these feelings through your content.

GoPro: Fireman Saves Kitten by GoPro

One of the viral videos sharing real stories of color-blind people that see colors for the first time

How to make your content viral: 10 quick-fire tips

No one can predict with 100% confidence whether a piece of content will become viral or not. It’s impossible to even oracles and professional analysts. The only thing you can do is increase the probability of the viral “miracle.” Here are 10 tips that will boost your chances to create a new “blue or white dress” sensation.

Posted by Jonathan Mahler on The New York Times

Grab attention immediately

You have to make your content thumb-stopping. People have to stop scrolling their news feeds and pay attention to your intriguing and tempting heading.

Follow the “4U” rule: Ultra-Specific, Unique, Urgent, Useful.

Your heading should meet at least one of this qualifiers.

Unique, specific, and personalized heading by BuzzFeed

Specific, urgent, and useful heading by Today.com

Know your target audience

Your content should correspond to the expectation of your audience. Create a portrait of your typical client or reader and give them what they want. For example, 30-year-old men won’t appreciate a list of romantic melodramas about student life, but it will be great reading for teenage girls.

Booming viral short film appealing to people involved in negotiations, management, and creative jobs

Make it original

Don’t copy – create! People won’t share a joke or photo that they’ve already seen a hundred times. You may ignore this rule only when it comes to shocking news because it’s hard to be the first and be unique in such cases.

Use advertising tools

The realities of today are such that you can’t achieve extreme user reach without paying for it. Promote your posts and articles, and you’ll get a better result. You can’t create even more hype with little effort!

Add a picture or video

There are many reasons to add pictures or videos to your posts. First of all, they’ll have a better search ranking. Secondly, visual content is processed by the brain quicker. Finally, pictures grab more attention than simple texts.

Avoid too many words

A large number of words frightens internet audiences away. No one has time to read your 3,000-word post! This doesn’t apply to expert articles or pieces of literature, but even in such cases, you should keep it short and simple.

Stay updated

If you want to go viral, you have to keep up with news, trends, and tendencies. Monitor your competitors and news sites. You don’t want to be left behind when it comes to a bombshell, right?

Tell stories

People love stories. They’re sick of never-ending orders urging “Buy!” “Subscribe!” or “Order!” Give them something to think about and empathize with. Good stories stand behind any well-known brand: Apple, Nike, Coca-Cola, etc.

Coca-Cola Commercial posted by Darren Mgreevy

Berta Benz story by Mercedes Benz

Pick the right moment

This tip works for any life occasion, but it becomes crucial for content managers. Nowadays, people will always be online at any point in time. But you have to pick a time when the biggest part of your audience is scrolling their news feeds or sitting in front of their computers. For example, Friday night isn’t the best time for posting.

Monitor hashtags

Hashtags are an excellent way to increase user reach. Don’t use specific hashtags exclusively, but add general and descriptive ones, such as #family, #sweetlife, #summer2019, etc.

Keep these tips in mind when you create your posts and make them viral!

About the author: this is the guest post by Nicky Quinton, a content creator with a passion for academic and creative writing from GPAlabs.

Title image from Icons8 Photo

Read about the principles of visual storytelling, check how to make catchy title images and review the website launch checklist

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