Believe it or not, we can learn a lot about going viral on the internet simply by watching real-life viruses. Yep, it’s true. Don’t believe us? Let’s look at the recent pandemic — the coronavirus spread like gossip at a high school party, starting on one end of the globe and quickly working its way to the other.
What began as an itty-bitty virus that had once never existed–COVID-19–soon became a worldwide phenomenon. And that’s kinda how viral content works, too! (But in a less sobering way.)
Killer content begins as a tiny sprout of an idea—a quirky tweet, a silly TikTok, or an original Instagram post. With a couple of hot trending hashtags, your content makes it to your target audience.
And then, just like that — it’s everywhere.
While you really have no control whatsoever over whether someone will share your content or not, it’s easy to find viral success if you understand how viral content spreads and know the different types of content that typically go viral.
Not sure where to start? Don’t worry: Nowadays can help. Read on to learn everything you need to know about going viral.
Talk to me Goose — What in the world is viral content?
Viral content is truly a magical phenomenon.
For a brief moment, your loved ones, coworkers, that creepy guy at the gym, and complete strangers are all connected by one single event.
“You HAVE to check this out,” your bestie writes, sending you a link via text. So you click on it. And there before your eyes is an incredibly uplifting TikTok video of a baby laughing uncontrollably. Or maybe a hilarious video of a cat playing the piano. Or perhaps it’s not a video at all but a super relatable yet undeniably funny meme.
Predicting what will go viral isn’t straightforward and takes practice. The truth is that it can be extremely frustrating—especially when you pour your blood, sweat, and tears into your marketing campaign with no results.
Hold up – is there a secret formula for creating viral content?
Sorry to break your achy breaky heart, but the short answer is no. But there are a few steps you can take to bring you closer to a successful viral marketing campaign. Here are a few hot tips to consider when creating your content:
Tip #1: Keep it simple, stupid
This applies to not just the video but the text, too. Most viral videos are short, sweet, and simple, ranging from 30 seconds to one minute. The same goes for blog posts and memes — keep it simple enough, so your audience doesn’t get lost or confused by all the mumbo jumbo. The moment they feel your content is too complex, they’ll swipe left.
Tip #2: Who’s ya audience?
Whatever you do, always cater to your target audience. Period.
This is the irrefutable mantra you must abide by if you’re hoping to create lit viral content. You see, viral marketing is extremely beneficial because attention spreads quickly. We can’t overstate how crucial it is to make 100% sure you’re creating engaging content that resonates with your beloved audience. Why? Because if you don’t, your message could go viral for the wrong reasons, and when that happens, it’s an uphill battle for your brand’s reputation to make a full recovery. Just ask Pepsi and Kendall Jenner…
Tip #3: Don’t sweat it
Viral content is effective because it usually has a genuine feel, meaning it doesn’t seem over-produced. Popular memes, for example, always seem as if they were roughly pulled together at a moment’s notice and viral videos often look homemade. Even social media posts can be fun and infused with a hefty dose of personality.
Basically, what we’re trying to say here is that you really don’t need to go balls to the wall to create viral content. Pour the beverage of your drink of choice, let your creative juices flow, and don’t try too hard.
What type of content goes viral?
Tbh, it’s kind of tough to know what type of content goes viral because, again, there’s no magic formula. But Nowadays has this super informative newsletter that presents stats based on the analysis of over 100 million articles. Yep, you read that right — 100 million articles.
Here are a few notable findings:
- Having at least one unique, powerful image in your post leads to more shares. Images help break up text, creating visual interest and kicking reader fatigue to the curb.
- People are obsesssssed with sharing infographics and lists. Here’s a fun fact for you — did you know that infographics are liked, retweeted, and shared almost 4x more than any other format? Before posting content, make sure it’s got lots of easy-to-digest info in formats like infographics and lists that don’t take a rocket scientist to understand.
- They also tend to share content that appears to be trustworthy. Consumers want to know that the content they’re spending their valuable time reading comes from a reliable source so that it also reflects well on them when they share it.
- Long-form content sees more social shares than short-form content. Long-form article posts contain more info and insights, providing a much more wholesome read than short-form content.
- Getting an influencer to share your stuff has a multiplier effect. This is obvi a no-brainer — if someone you idolize shared content, there’s a pretty good chance it would influence you much more to take action than if the average joe shared it. Incorporate and ask influential individuals into your content to significantly increase your sharing. Just remember, these folks have no obligation to share your stuff, so don’t be too pushy and always focus on building a relationship first!
Wrapping It Up
While creating your viral marketing campaign, keep in mind that the content you put together must be unique, interesting, and should deeply resonate with your target audience. Not sure where to start? Don’t worry — we’ve got your back!
Here at Nowadays, we’ll help you to dominate your space on social media. Through our Social Scripting™ process, your content will command attention, make a strong impression, and, most importantly, go viral.
Are you ready? Let’s get your brand lifted! Shoot us a message to kick things off, and let’s blow some shit up.