A new year means a fresh opportunity for businesses to connect with their audience. It's the right time to share your best content and help it go viral so that your brand stands out.
There's no secret recipe that guarantees a viral post, or everyone would do it. However, viral content has specific common characteristics that you can leverage in your business content.
What makes a post go viral? People share content on social media because they have an emotional reaction and want to share that experience. Sharing content is also a way for people to define themselves in virtual spaces. It showcases a person's stance on different topics and makes people feel like they are part of a movement.
By creating content that makes people develop such feelings, a business can create the best scenario for their content to go viral in 2020.
Let's explore the different ways you can make your content go viral.
1. Create long-form content.
Today, more people than ever before visit sites and access information on their mobile phones. So, it seems natural to create short-form content for smaller screens. It is easier to read, and you get the relevant information directly.
However, in reality, long-form content gets more shares than short-form content does. Long-form content often contains complete, in-depth and helpful information. Such content containing over 3,000 words is rare, and people perceive long-form content as having more value. Create long-form content instead of focusing on several smaller pieces and you're more likely to make it go viral.
2. Use the right content management platform.
Your website plays a central role in hosting content. It's essential to use a robust content management system to create your site and posts.
Using a WordPress platform is one of the best things you can do for your business. It makes content creation easy and also integrates with several plugins. WordPress powers 14.7% of the top 100 websites, so it's a reliable platform to build your site and content.
Use plugins that make it easy to share posts from the site to social media directly. You can also integrate WordPress with email marketing plugins and analytics tools to monitor your posts' traffic.
3. Create emotion through content.
Emotions play an essential role in making content go viral. Create articles, videos and images that trigger emotions. Feelings such as hope, humor and joy are positive and motivate people to share content.
You can also build excitement with a giveaway contest. Another great idea is to develop content based on popular holiday themes. This builds on the spirit of the season and creates positive associations with your brand.
Try to elicit feelings and to get a good response from customers. This will improve the shareability of your content.
4. Include visuals in your content.
Images break up the monotony of a page and also convey important information. Add visuals such as pictures, videos and infographics to your content. A post is more likely to go viral if it has an image or a video attached to it than if it contains only text.
Infographics are popular and have the most potential to go viral. They compress numbers, statistics and other complex information into a graphic image. Since infographics pack heavy information into an easy-to-consume format, they are an important content type to create.
5. Inspire trust through authenticity.
It's important to create content that evokes trust in your brand. You can create a viral story by focusing on real people and real issues in life. It's important to use authentic stories that highlight your values. This gives you the opportunity to show how your business meets the challenges and hopes people have.
Authentic content showcases vulnerability and integrity. It makes your business more relatable and can create more visibility.
6. Experiment with different formats.
Different format types do well on different platforms. You'll have to find the right combination of media and content types and see what works on various platforms.
Create image posts, videos and articles. Try using 'how-to' posts and content that answers "what," "why" and "where" questions. Lists are very popular and get a large number of shares. They work because they tell users exactly what they are going to get and do so very concisely.
Include interactive content.
Make interactive content a regular part of your social media posts. Interactive content invites users to get involved in content creation. This happens through polls, quizzes and personality tests. An example of such interactive content is BuzzFeed quizzes; they are some of the most popular interactive content that gets shared online.
Try giveaway contests.
Contests and giveaways are also types of interactive content that have the potential to go viral. Businesses can even create giveaway contests by asking users to co-create content and products. Your audience can also generate ideas for your business.
Starbucks' White Cup Contest is an example of the audience being asked to co-create with the company. People decorate Starbucks' iconic white coffee cups and share them online using hashtags.
Using hashtags, creating giveaways and trying different content formats are all ways to drive up shares online. Try different strategies and carry out A/B testing to see what works.
7. Repost old content.
Businesses often post content once and then focus on newer material. This does not make good use of a company's content. Your business needs to repost content so that it reaches people who miss it the first time a post is shared.
Repeat a post twice or even thrice a day. Post it again during the week and again after a month. You can post evergreen content every year and get many likes and shares for them.
Reposting content at different times and days will help you reach more of the people you missed the first time around. Make sure you take the opportunity to promote your post by reposting it as much as possible. It's a great idea to create evergreen content that remains meaningful over time.
8. Avoid creating promotional content.
People are so inundated with promotional content that they automatically tune it out. Viral content is rarely promotional in nature, and even when it is, it's often satirical.
Avoid trying to plug your brand and logo in your content. Focus on creating high-quality content that sings on its own and it will build curiosity. People will look for your business on their own and engage with it.
9. Work with influencers.
A great way to multiply the number of people who see your content is to work with influencers. People who follow influencers take their posts seriously and rely on them for quality content.
You can work with an influencer who's relevant to your domain and ask them to share your content. This can have a powerful impact on your brand's visibility and drive traffic to your site. You can also leverage an influencer's reach to get more members for your membership site.
10. Structure your content.
When making content, make sure that it's focused on a specific topic and angle. Avoid broad issues that don't offer anything informative or new.
Use headline tags to divide your content into smaller sections that make it easier for users to understand it in a glance. Create a title that hooks people in when they first read it. Your content won't go viral unless it has a compelling title.
Structure your content into small, easy-to-read paragraphs. Make it possible for people to scan your content first and get the information they need. Add images to enrich your material.
Launch compelling content in 2020.
Ultimately, there's no single recipe that's guaranteed to make a post go viral. But all viral content has certain ingredients that you can use to increase the chances of your own content going viral.
It's helpful to understand what motivates people to share a post. You can try different methods to make your content go viral. In the end, it's unique and compelling content made with care that gets the most attention.
Focus on high-quality content, and you'll be rewarded with engagement online.