We often hear or read about a photo or a video that went viral, and wonder how the authors did it. Yes, sometimes it is beginners luck, however, in most cases it was a carefully executed plan. If you’re a blogger or a content marketer, this information might be just what you need.
So, what does “Viral Content” actually mean?
The word “viral” means “relating to a piece of content that is circulated rapidly and widely from one web user to another.” To put it in other words, it is content that spreads quickly from person to person, almost like a virus. To achieve the viral effect you have to plan carefully and execute with attention to the smallest details. The quality of work you do will determine how far your content gets shared. But this is where we separate into two groups of marketers/webmasters/and business owners. Notice how we underlined the “quality of work you do” part? That is because there are two types of people in this world, one of them copy content, and the others create it. If they’re somewhat original, content creators will trump “copy and pasters” almost every time. Quality is the name of the game, and the more work you put into your content the greater benefits you will receive. The other group of content providers are actually people who simply copy the work of others, in hopes of gaining the same attention.
Yes, most of the things you see online are pasted versions of the original, because we humans are lazy. Creating captivating content can be a cumbersome task, and most of us don’t have the time for it. We see it too many times, angry marketers yelling “why didn’t it go viral? I’ve seen the same content go crazy on that other fanpage“. This is a pretty common issue many marketers don’t understand, and they blame their shortcomings on the quality of the social property they own. But the problem lies in the content itself, because who in the world would share something they have already seen? For example, if a video goes viral and reaches 40 million views, there is a very small chance (almost none) of it ever going viral again. 40 million is more people than the populace of many countries, so consider that before you post your next status update.
Nothing beats original and quality content!
Creating high-quality viral content is difficult and may not be for everyone, especially when you’re just starting out in the game. For example, if you’re creating a video, you need to invest in good equipment and work on your editing skills. According to a recent study, almost 46% of businesses find it difficult to create compelling content.
If you’re really struggling to create captivating content we recommend that you turn to the experts. Neil Patel, a known marketer and blogger wrote a great piece on how to create better content. If you don’t have time to read countless case studies and analyze charts, we recommend that you stick to the best method known for posting better content, and it is called “ask yourself“. Wait, what is that? It is a simple trick to better yourself and the content you share, and it is simply a matter of asking yourself this question before you post: “Would I enjoy reading / watching this content?”
Now before you click that publish button make sure to answer that question, and do it truthfully. Keep in mind that you need to think like your particular audience, and if you said YES then your content should perform at higher engagement levels.
If you absolutely have to copy content…
If you absolutely don’t have a drop of creativity in you, or you simply don’t have the time to create, then at least try to search for the least shared content. Remember, it is 2016, no one will enjoy your RickRoll video. So if you plan to re-share content, make sure the least amount of people have seen it. The best way to do that is to find content that was just released, and the best websites to do that are:
These two social giants have the freshest material on the web, and the best content gets upvoted to the top. If you can, make sure to edit the content, so at least it is somewhat original (don’t forget to leave credits for the original owner). For example, adding funny captions to an already popular video or image can inject enough freshness into it where it could possibly go viral (again).