Shareable content is important. It gives brands a chance to generate engagement and links, which makes it a vital part of any marketing strategy. In fact, 63% of B2B and 60% of B2C marketers are committed to content marketing. However, this impact means that there's a ton of content out there. Seriously, a TON. For example, each day there's around 656 million tweets and more than 4 million hours of content uploaded to Youtube. That's just two social media platforms.
So you can imagine how much content is actually out there. When it comes down to it, there is more content than we can even consume. Which is why you really need to create content that stands out. In this age of sharing in real-time, how can a brand make sure it's content goes viral in a sea of other content? Luckily, there are 5 key ways to make sure your content has a chance to go viral.
The Quickest Way To Get Your Content To Go Viral
It might seem obvious, but headlines really are the key to any content. Especially when it's the first thing people read. No matter if it's a blog post or an ad. In order to make a person click on it, you need to quickly catch their attention. Once you've written the headline, you've already done the majority of your marketing. But it isn't always that easy to create a clickable headline. Luckily there are a few ways to boost the "likeability" of your headlines in order to get people to share your content as much as possible.
So you have a great article that you're just itching to share... For a lot of people, the headline is the last thing that they focus on. Especially when it comes to longer forms such as blog posts or articles. Unfortunately, this is the wrong way to approach headlines. You need to try to create them before the article - this way you're more likely to create a really good headline.
Another tactic is to take a look at your keywords. It's a good idea to consider the keywords that resonated in the past and try a few headlines. Not just one you think will do. HubSpot’s blog ideas generator is a great tool to use whenever you need help creating a headline. For even more help, BuzzSumo lets you identify keywords or domains in order to see what content is most shared. It's also sorted by network.
Below you'll see some articles that mention ‘The Future of’ and ‘Marketing’ sorted by their performance on LinkedIn:
A brand that can properly do this will definitely get results. Just keep in mind that content writers have to generate at least 25 headlines per article and A/B testing before finding one that resonates on a variety of channels.
Change it up for different channels. A mistake that happens more often than not is using the same content for all channels. It's important to remember that each social network has its own unique demographic and USP. Which is really the key to making your content shareable is to tailor it to each unique audience.
In a study by Digital Marketing Institute, they found that out of 100 million headlines, there were phrases that resonated time and time again on Facebook. The top 3 were:
- Will make you
- This is why
- Can we guess
LinkedIn proved to have different phrases that performed best:
- The future of
- X ways to
- Need to know
This is a great example of how there really is a difference between platforms. On Facebook, headlines should promise to make an impact. Whereas on LinkedIn, it's more about the future and practicality in terms of their unique audience. LinkedIn focuses more on solving a problem or finding out how to do something efficiently.
However, you need to remember that context works very well for headlines. The phrase 'On a budget' does a lot better on Pinterest, than it does on Facebook. So take time to think about your content and how you can use it on different platforms. It takes time, but it's honestly worth it.
Conduct A/B testing. A great way to make your content connect with your desired audience is to conduct an A/B test. It's somewhat time-consuming, but you'll get great rewards. When it comes to split testing headlines you need to look far beyond clicks as a measurement of success. You also need to take into consideration the engagement on your comments, shares, and likes.
All you need to do to conduct an A/B test headline is to select the ones you want to test and then share them across a platform. When you develop headlines you should brainstorm 5-10 and then decide on 2 preferred headlines. Go ahead and post them and then track it in analytics to see which one performed best. Don't forget to post them close together timewise. This will make your analysis a lot easier.
Consider the length. The length of a headline can have a huge impact on your content. And honestly, it might be longer than you think. On Facebook, the peak should be 15 words, with no more than 25. However, on LinkedIn, the optimum amount of words is around 7 to 12. This could really drive or kill your engagement when it comes to your headline.
As you can see, the impact of the headline does affect the number of shares. So if you share content on Facebook or LinkedIn make sure that you take time to make sure that your headlines are up to snuff.
Social media has truly changed the way in which we communicate. As a result, the amount of content we have access too is seemingly endless. In fact, it keeps growing. This shift in communication has created online communities called "tribes". These tribes are actually invested in a cause or goal.
So what does tribalism have to do with social media and going viral? A lot actually. Tribalism feeds into the most basic human behavior, the need to tell stories and learn from others. With social media, people have the ability to share personal experiences. It's the perfect place to do that too. Especially when you think about the possibility of building connections and reach.
Brands that tap into this "tribe" mentality can really see some benefits in terms of promoting loyalty amongst customers. It can also earn your brand the respect it deserves. While helping to build awareness and stay relevant in the eyes of your customers. It's a great way to get your content to go viral quickly.
By 2019 video is projected to receive more than 80% of internet traffic. And adding video to marketing emails can boost your click-through rates by 200-300%. Without video, no content marketing strategy is complete.
On Facebook, video does very well with its audience. Surprisingly, the average post reaches 12.05% of the total page audience. It also receives the highest levels of engagement with comments, likes, and shares. When you compare this to other types of content, the percentages are much lower. Links ring in at 7.8%, with status updates at an even lower amount at 4.5%.
Just like headlines, length is extremely important. The ideal video maxes out at 60-90 seconds in length. However, this changes when Facebook Live is considered. This is where longer IS better. Especially if you realize that engagement increases in the first 15 minutes. After which it tends to taper off.
Other videos that are incredibly effective on Facebook are quick tips and how-tos. As you can imagine a lot of brands have tapped into this by creating series. These series inform viewers about something there are most likely interested in. With these types of videos, you'll show your followers that you are an authority in your niche and they will become more loyal with each video you post.
The same type of impact is expected on LinkedIn as well. But since their video feature was added in the past few weeks, it's far too early for data.
4. Useful Content
In order to get your content to go viral, you NEED to create useful content. The more your content is highly relevant and useful, the greater the chances of it going viral. If you can create content that's actionable (and has a practical use) you'll be ahead of the game.
Once you create that useful content, your headlines need to be very clear and direct. And once your posts have practical advice, people are more likely to share it with their friends. Simply because it contains helpful information. But keep in mind that no matter how useful your content is, sometimes you need to be up to date on all of the latest events and trending topics. So take your time and find out what's popular at the comment. Maybe it will give you the push you need to create the next piece of your viral content.
Twitter is the perfect tool to see what's happening in the world at any given moment. You can track what's trending in regards to your niche. Or just general news. Once you find something that aligns with your brand it's time to start creating content that's related to the topic. Don't forget to make it memorable.
Here are a few tips for using trending topics to go viral:
- Don't create potentially viral content around tragedies or negative events.
- Try to create content that's funny and entertaining.
- Always create some type of graphic to add to your Tweets in order to increase visibility.
- If you Tweet about a trending topic, don't forget to use the appropriate hashtag.
5. Share Your Content With Influencers
Whenever you use an influencer to share your content, you're giving it the boost it needs to go viral. However, the hardest part is getting on the influencer's radar. The best way to get influencers to notice your content is to TELL them about it. Waiting around for them to notice it themselves could take a very long time. And honestly, it might never happen. But surprisingly, a lot of people take that approach!
So if you want to increase the likelihood of influencers finding your content, you need to take a more proactive approach. That means you have to reach and let them know that you just recently created an infographic, guide, or blog post that you think they would like. This is a perfect example of outreach marketing.
But you need to remember that outreach marketing is an art form. If you send out a poorly written unsolicited email, you risk being seen as just another spammer. The key is to build relationships right now! Not just when you publish a new piece of content. Your first interaction with an influencer shouldn't be a link to your latest blog post. You can start by:
- Sharing THEIR content
- Connecting with them through social media
- Mentioning them on Instagram or Twitter
- Linking their content within your posts
- Sending out an email letting them know you find THEIR content helpful
- Including them in a roundup post or tagging them in an Instagram story
Content Is Key To Going Viral
Content is an incredibly effective way to engage with customers. But honestly, there's an art to doing it successfully AND getting your content to go viral. Always make sure that you look at the data to see what works for your brand and what doesn't. However, what might work for another brand in your niche, won't always work for yours. With so many elements that come into play when you create great content, it's integral to create a strategy. But the best strategies are ones that are based on the performance of past behavior of your content and others. Plus future trends!
Never forget that research goes a long way. If you're looking to optimize your content, you HAVE to do your research. Find out what works in your industry and boil it down to what content performs well on each platform and specific audience. Try and be helpful, don't try and sell. A good tactic is to think about education first and then build out a content map to support the rest.
Have you had any content go viral? What tactics did you use? Was is something that we didn't list? Let us know in the comments below, so we can connect!