Unfortunately, there’s no exact formula that can predict whether or not content will go viral. But that doesn’t mean that you have to blindly produce content, cross your fingers, and pray to the marketing gods that your brand’s Facebook posts gain any sort of traction on the internet. There is a ton of research out there that points to some inexact, yet insightful strategies that can give your content the best chance of tearing up the web.
1. Connect with Your Inner Data Geek
Just because you lack the magic formula to viral success doesn’t mean that you should ignore data analysis. Many marketers believe numbers can tell you a lot about what content will generate traffic — a view shared by social news publisher Buzzfeed. The site continuously feeds data into an ever-expanding regression model that helps guide editors towards stories that will hit big in the future. The lesson for brands is simple: make sure that you’re measuring a maximum number of data points for each and every campaign that you run and leverage it to duplicate successes as much as possible.
2. Be an Artist
Going viral can be as much an art as it is a science. So try to get a feel for what people like to like, tweet, pin, and share through practice and experience. In general, creating viral content requires a profound understanding and awareness of pop culture, psychology, humor, timing, and human nature. Whatever you do, don’t simply copy something that has already taken the internet by storm. Instead, as Buzzfeed Founder Jonah Peretti puts it, ?abstract one level away? from something that has already been done.
3. Create Engaging Content
Today?s digital world has transformed marketing into a two-way communication model. There are increasingly more opportunities for brands to engage their fans through interactive content and user generated content campaigns. People want to engage with your content, so let them! Ask questions on your Facebook page, create fun trivia quizzes and personality tests, and run buzz-worthy photo and video contests. You?ll find that the more interactive your content is, the more it gets shared.
4. Target “Fanatics”
?Influencers? is a big buzzword in digital marketing these days. Brands are consistently pitching these large-scale social leaders in an attempt to earn that one tweet that will send their content viral. While the strategy certainly has its upside, it can be difficult to gain the attention of internet celebrities who are hounded day and night for their marketing value.
Instead, construct your content towards small-scale fanatics who share content within their own cohesive tribes. Research has shown that the key to going viral is to reach the millions of fanatics that are likely to share within their small interpersonal groups. For a real world example, think of that one friend who shares a story every single time you see him. It doesn’t matter if you’re busy doing work, watching your favorite TV show, or literally fast asleep; one way or another he?s giving you the complete recap of his ?epic? weekend. That’s the person you should be targeting your awesome content towards. That’s the fanatic.
5. Incentivize Sharing
Beyond creating engaging content and targeting the right people, you can also utilize structural incentives in order to maximize the viral effect of your content. Make sure that your blog posts, quizzes, and personality tests have easy-to-find share buttons. When running a social media contest, reward participants with an extra entry for retweeting the contest message. Unfortunately, Facebook rules prohibit liking or sharing for the same effect, but you can still like-gate your promotion in order to drive up social followers.
6. Utilize all available channels
If you want to direct maximum traffic to your content, you need to take advantage of all channels at your disposal. Post photos across Facebook, Pinterest, and Tumblr, promote contests through email blasts, banner ads, and Twitter hashtags, and use social media to drive traffic to unique content on your brand’s website. Finally, use mobile-optimized solutions like SnapApp to maximize the reach of your content.
(Bonus Tip): Make lists
Would you have clicked on this post if it had been titled “The Best Ways to Make Your Content Go Viral”? Maybe. Maybe not. Just know that it’s a proven fact that headlines with numbers drive a greater response than headlines without.
Want to find out more on how SnapApp can help you achieve the power of viral lift? Contact us today!