Big part of a successful viral marketing strategy is promotion – the way you promote your content, the timing and people willing to help you, including your followers and influencers who share it with their followers.
But there’s more to it: mass sharing isn't that difficult to achieve, but it won’t do you much good to have hordes of people just take a look at your content and leave.
Your content has to be able to keep them interested, your website has to be prepared for them, and besides, with all the noise on the social media and tons of new content being produced each day, the bare minimum of marketing efforts won’t be enough.
Do you want your content to spread like wildfire and to be remembered? Do you want it to be able to generate new quality leads for your company? Here is what you should do.
First of all, you have to be aware of the fact that, should your content go viral, many people who don’t know about you yet will come to your blog – which is great, but then what? If you haven’t prepared your blog for them, they will see the content and probably leave without remembering the name of the website they've just visited. Surfers are like that. You have to give them a reason to stick around.
So, there are two things that you need to prepare before launching your viral campaign:
- First, you have to have some sort of engagement trigger in place – a banner or a pop up that invites them to download your free guide, an invitation to subscribe to your future fantastic content, a list of suggested additional articles (related or most popular posts), a visible notification about the contest you’re organizing – anything that will make the visitors stay longer and/or leave their email address.
- Second, have the sharing buttons at place. You are the one who has to make it easy for the readers to share your content – how many of them do you think will be willing to do the extra steps like copying the URL, pasting it into the URL shortener, then copying and pasting it all again, looking for your Twitter handle – in order to share your article or infographic on Twitter? That’s right, not many; they are already used to doing it with one click, so one click it should be.
Viral content is a mystic thing to many people, and yet it has its laws which can be discovered by simply observing the characteristics of content that’s already gone viral – in yours, or in any other industry. These include:
- Strong headline: the headline is the first thing people will see, whether they see the link in their social media stream, on the email they’ve received or in the RSS. It has to be inviting and unique, very specific and useful to the people who see it. If you have no idea on how to craft one, then take a look at several posts in your industry that you know went viral, and try to find the common points for their headlines.
- Content that touches emotions: several studies have confirmed a strong relationship between emotion and virality. Anger, surprise, joy, fear, disgust or sadness – tackle any of these, and your reader will just have to share your content with their circles. Just think about a piece of content that you’ve read and shared recently (something unrelated to your business – something that you’ve shared with your friends). It was an emotion that has enticed you to do it, right?
- Include visual elements: social networks reward visual content – Pinterest is the obvious example, but Facebook updates with images receive a lot more shares than those without it, and even on Twitter people love to see a visual media attached to the tweets. So carefully choose the featured image of your post, because it will be seen a lot; a well chosen image, or more of them, will also give that little extra to the post itself.
Finally, pay attention to SEO and optimize your posts around the selected long tail key phrases – that way, your content will be able to drive traffic and leads not only while you’re promoting it, but months and years later as well. You’ve spent a lot of time creating it – do this one small thing as well, for the maximum results.
Guest Author: Nicole Gore from www.innovativepaymentprocessing.com, is an avid blogger and Internet marketing consultant for many small business companies. In her work, she is always trying to make a viral content knowing that natural links are necessary for website's success.