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If you’ve ever tried figuring out how to make content go viral and you gave up, thinking that it’s due to pure chance that content goes viral, then you need to change your approach.
In fact, there exists real science behind the incredible success of certain posts or videos. According to Jonah Berger, a marketing professor from the Wharton School of Business who spent years examining the phenomenon of content virality, popular pieces of content share common characteristics.
In this article, I am going to show you how to make content go viral by sharing the following ten essential traits that your content must have:
1. It Offers a Unique Perspective
Viral content is often based on a new perspective on a topic that everyone is already talking about. It’s simply bound to get people talking even more.
If your interpretation offers a potentially constructive and novel approach, you can promote it among fellow bloggers, and even journalists, to extend its reach.
People are interested in topics which sell, so finding a unique angle is your best strategy for success.
2. Audiences Find it Appealing
A piece of content about a topic a group of influencers finds appealing has a greater chance of becoming popular.
Audiences appreciate content promoted by thought leaders, so if they share it, it’s bound to go viral-their followers will make sure of that.
3. It Provokes Emotions
Content which evokes no emotions won’t become popular. Whether it’s positive or negative, high-arousal content always performs better.
Some emotions like fear or anger can be tricky to play with, but they’ll work for specific audiences.
4. It Gives Compliments to Others
An ego bait sort of content will easily go viral. It attracts internet traffic and offers an opportunity to build a lasting relationship with the audience.
This is often overlooked when considering how to make content go viral. Nevertheless, content based on complimenting others for something that they did works wonders because those people are more likely to reciprocate and share it with their networks.
5. How to Make Content Go Viral: It’s a Story
Storytelling is a powerful strategy used in marketing and branding, but it works for content creation as well.
People like stories – they’re easy to understand and relate to. A collection of stunning data is nothing if you cannot present it with a storyline running in the background. Storytelling is a feature that simply boosts shareability.
6. It’s Controversial
Viral content often makes use of controversial topics, but it takes a certain experience to handle such subjects. In general, it’s best to opt for those that aren’t too controversial or likely to offend the audience. Some topics are too hot and can eventually kill any online conversation.
Remember that your goal is the opposite: inspiring people to share and talk about your content. Offered in small doses, controversy can be excellent.
But be careful when dishing such content – always cite authoritative sources and ensure that your content won’t offend anyone.
7. It Acts as a Trigger
Internet users appreciate content that tackles subjects they’re already thinking about. When choosing a topic that is already at the front of users’ minds, content creators improve their chances of creating remarkably engaging pieces.
This insight is something that professional journalists realized a long time ago – in their daily jobs, they would always strive to create articles which are relevant, topical and highly sharable.
8. It’s Positive
Negative content is considered to be much less popular than positive content – and with a good reason.
It’s true that negative content can be powerful in capturing users’ attention, but it’s the positive content that receives most shares.
Just think about it – why would users massively share a depressing post to their friends and colleagues?
Viral content can be entirely positive, but it can also verge on negative – consider those popular ironic posts and videos that grab everyone’s attention from time to time.
9. It Offers Social Value
This is an important insight. People don’t share content because they just genuinely like it and want others to appreciate it as well. Sharing, liking and commenting are all social activities that are seen by other users – understood in this sense, content we share, in a way, represents us.
That’s why people like to share things that make them look good in front of others – it can be sophisticated, knowledgeable, smart or funny.
Pieces of content that continue to serve as social currency will have the potential to go viral.
10. It’s Practically Useful
Finally, audiences appreciate content that actually helps them to solve real problems or that suggests how to be better at what they do.
That’s something users like to read about and share with their networks, helping their friends and colleagues to achieve the same.
Offering a practical item of value – such as current news, comprehensive list posts or insightful how-to articles – is a key step to take when learning how to make content go viral.
All the insights listed above are essentially based on the science of human behavior. If you understand it, you’ll be able to predict it and direct it to benefit your marketing strategy.
Creating viral content is now within your reach. 🙂
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Torri Myler is a part of the marketing group at http://www.bankopening.co.uk/ – a resource of bank branches in the UK that features contact data as well as bank opening and closing hours. She strongly believes in the power of anything digital or tech-related to maximize professional and personal development.
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