Proven Viral Marketing Strategies for Creating Content
Getting viral ideas before creating your first post
Although viral content needs to be emotional to become viral, there is not too much that can be said about what is bound to become viral. There is no surefire way to know if something will become viral just by looking at it. Things that seem insignificant can become huge overnight hits without anybody seeing it coming.
The same happens with stuff that looks like the kind of thing that is supposed to make a lot of noise online, but never quite manages to do so. The good news is that there is so much content online that you can just go and take a peek at what can become viral to get ideas before creating a would be viral post.
This tutorial mainly deals with ways in which you can spy on trending topics to get a fresh idea about the things that you can capitalize upon at any given moment in time, because something that is in everybody’s mouth today, won’t be there tomorrow, so you better get prepared for it.
Let’s get started with some truly useful tips
You know what’s sad? Arriving late to any party. It’s worse to get there when everyone has already left. To leverage the power of a piece of potentially viral content, you’ll need to put a foot forward and get in the know.
There are plenty of online sources that will allow you to browse trending topics. I recommend you use one called Buzzsumo.com. This website allows its visitors to use any type of keyword to see how it relates to trending topics. You’ll enter a keyword in the search bar and buzzsumo.com will show you the results related to that keyword. The first results that you’ll see are the posts that have become viral on social media. You’ll be able to filter your results by date, language, country and content type.
Another great place to look at what is trending now is Google Trends
You can access the service by going to Google.com/trends. On the front page, you’ll see data gathered from the most popular topics for the present date, and you can scroll down to see what stories are trending now around the web.
You can select a category and a country to filter trending stories, and you can use the search bar on top to look up trending stories related to a given keyword. You’ll get statistical data, and the countries where that keyword is more popular, as well as topics related to that keyword.
My final recommended source is reddit.com
Reddit’s own headline is “the front page of the internet” and with reason. On reddit, you’ll find basically anything you might be after. With every occurrence sprouting first in the most popular message board on the planet, it is easy to gauge if something is about to go viral by just taking a look at people’s reaction to it. It is also a great gateway to share your viral stories!
The Anatomy of a Viral Post
There are so many things that can make content go viral that they’re pretty hard to number and dissect on a whim. You have seen this many times by yourself already: you are on your own, minding your business on Facebook or wherever, and all of a sudden you see something on your wall that immediately grabs your attention.
Then, a gut feeling telling you to click on the link in the post overwhelms you, and you can’t do a thing about it. You click without too much of a second thought, and find the story to be short yet compelling, and you can’t help but click on the share button corresponding to your social network of choice.
That is the exact same reaction that thousands upon thousands of people just had with that same post. It is worth asking: How do they pull it off? We mean the creators of the post. How do they make a post go viral so easily? The secret, besides cool, engaging content, lies in the post’s structure.
Here is a breakdown of the anatomy of a successful viral post.
Use this information wisely and you will soon see people reacting the same for your posts!
Common sense would tell you that a great title is a self-explanatory one. A title that tells you just what you need to know. If it contains the information you are after, it will lead you straight to what you wanted, but does this apply to everybody?
The short answer is a flat “NO”. A self-explanatory title will just get the attention of people interested in what the title promotes, but everyone else will pass it off. If you want your titles to grab everyone’s attention, you have to create a title that drives curiosity in people.
These types of titles are called “click baits,” and they are designed to make people curious. They do not tell the entire story behind a title, they just tease people with possibilities, leaving the message of the title open to interpretation. It makes people fill in the gaps with their imagination which forces them to click on the title to see what it is really about, closing the cycle!
One of the best ways to drive curiosity and get people to click on a title is by making it list based. List based articles get more traffic because people prefer content that is presented in chunks instead of long articles.
It helps if you put a little tease in your titles, such as stuff that might come as a pleasant surprise to people.
For example, you can create an article titled “6 myths about diabetes – number 5 might shock you!” and cover two elements in the same title: you’re teasing a list based article and a shocking surprise, which will drive curiosity and shares.
Another element that you can add to a title that people will want to click on is a teased answer.
Let’s develop a second example with this element: Let’s use the “We Challenged 6 Health Food claims – This is What We Found”. You added a teased answer to that title, increasing its value to people seeing it!
You also have to mind the structure of your titles. I recommend you check your titles before you post them with Portent’s idea generator. Simply go to “portent.com”, click on “tools”, look up the “idea generator” and enter your title in the text field. The idea generator will analyze your title and give you ideas to polish it!
Images are great previews for your posts, and are a great compliment to your title. A well-placed image under a well-crafted title will make a huge difference between getting lots of traffic and attention, versus getting just a few clicks here and there. You will always need to accompany your title and body of your posts with high quality images.
What makes a great image viral? Depending on what your title promotes and what your actual content is about, you might get away with using a common image or you might not, especially when your viral content is all about something really specific.
The important thing to keep in mind when using images is that you have to use images that are both fun and relevant to your post. Where can you find viral images?
There are three great venues for finding high quality viral images.
The first one is “tumblr.com”. There, you will be able to find tons of funny images related to whatever keyword you look up. Just right click on the image that you want to use and save it to your computer. Another free resource to find images is “pinterest”. Just use the search bar to look up any keyword or topic, select your images and save them!
My last recommended free resource is “Google images”. Search for images by keywords or topics and save them to your computer. It would be wise to reference the website where you located the image in your post, however.
Finally, a really good way to find images is by using paid databases, where you are guaranteed to find basically any type of image under the sun. We recommend you use “Getty”. Go to “gettyimages.com”, create an account and dig inside its marketplace!
The heart and guts of a viral post is ultimately found in its content. One can argue and say that great content is a combination of titles, images and the body of text. The truth is that cool, viral content is something that people will want to share after checking it. The reason that a post goes viral can be a single video, image or piece of text from within a whole article, but it can also be a combination.
That is why you have to use great care when crafting the content of your posts. A rule of thumb is, depending on the subject, you have to create content that viewers can identify with, while making good use of the tools and resources discussed above.
This is an example of a post crafted to go viral, with an attention grabbing title and list based content and a unique, very creative image.
If you would rather concentrate on the technical aspects of your site, or if researching is eating up your entire time, you can easily outsource the creation of your content. “Fiverr.com” is a great place to look for people eager to work on your content.
You can search freelancers to create content for you by categories, like “creative writing” or “articles and blog posts”. You can also get a little more specific and search freelancers by using keywords, such as “viral content” and find those specializing in it!
Posting your viral content like a PRO
You know what it takes to make a post viral:
- a cool
- enticing title
- great looking and attention grabbing images
- and premium shareable content
All of those elements combine to make a successful viral post that is sure to make all the rounds.
Now, it is time that you apply the right techniques alongside those elements to create your first viral posts like a pro. It is easier than you think, and there are various ways to post content that will go viral online, so let’s take a look!
Creating a Viral post
As a first step you’ll need to create your viral post, so let’s do it the easy way. Start in your WordPress dashboard, and go to the “posts” tab, then click on “add new”. This is where all of your viral posts will be born, so bear with us here. There are three basic stages when you post your viral content in your WordPress dashboard, and we will teach you to go through them step by step.
The first one is the title, located in the “enter title here” text box. Use the tools that we recommended before to create a title that people will want to click on, and enter it here. Next comes the viral image, which can be inserted with the “add media” button. You can insert two types of images here: “featured” images and “into post” images.
A “Featured image” is a headline image that will go along with your title, usually on top of it, so this is the first one that you need to insert, just click on “upload files” and search for it in your computer or use one from your media library. “Into post” images are images that will accompany your content, so you will insert those depending on how you structure your post.
The last stage is the structure of your content. Like we said, it is better to structure your post in list format, and WordPress allows you to do so with a little code in the “text editor”.
Just type your numbered titles in between “<h1></h>”. To give you an example, our first numbered title would be “<h1>Hack Number 5</h>”. You will have to do this for each one of your subtitles.
Now, write your content and insert the images to accompany your post. As a last step, insert tags to your post to make it easier to find. Remember, these tags must be relevant to your content. Click on “publish” and post!
Partially lock your content
You can partially lock your content to get more shares on social media platforms. Simply install and activate the “social locker” plugin. Go to the “plugins” tab and click on “new locker”. Now click on “create item” in the “social locker” box.
Now, you’ll only have to create a post like normal, only this time you’ll have the option of locking your content behind a message asking people to share it before they can access it. Select how your locker box will be shown and click on “publish”!
Post quizzes and polls
Quizzes are very popular, because people like seeing quiz results from each other and sharing. Polls are equally popular because they let people express an opinion without too much effort. We recommend you post quizzes and polls on a regular basis as a way to keep people engaged with your site.
Simply go to “playbuzz.com” and sign up. Go to “create”. You’ll have many options to create interactive forms for your website. Once you have created your form, whether it is a quiz, poll or trivia, you will just have to click on the “embed” button, copy the text provided, go to your WordPress editor and paste the code in the “text editor” and click on “publish”!