Everyone who has a page, who is churning out content, wants to go viral. It starts with choosing international domain names for their websites for wider net reach of audience. Next would be researching keywords that has over 10,000 hits on search engines and then optimising the website with meta tags and headers. Until finally, creating content using the keywords, posting them on your optimised website, and waiting for your hit count to blow up.
Hitting a bump on the road
However, when you look at your total shares, it took you the better half of the month to even reach an over 50 count. So what gives? Well, think about the content that you are churning out first. If the topic you are exploring is (1) too commonplace, (2) not adding much value on what’s already known, or (3) has too many articles written about it already, then those might be the root causes.
On the other hand, there are marketers who believe that the content is not what’s going viral, but the emotions that it incites. Strong reactions to content is what contributes to virality; which means your article may not be able to provoke any kind of reaction, positive or not.
For this article, we will not talk about producing content specifically made to go viral. Instead, we are going to explore ways you can create relevant content, supplemented an online marketing plan, that will eventually give you a significant amount of engagement.
Going beyond what is deemed ‘safe content’ may mean more shares
Wharton Business School researchers, Katherine L. Milkman and Jonah Berger, ran an experiment to study the emotional patterns (if there are any) behind the articles that were being shared. They found out that strong reactions or strong emotional arousal (both positively and negatively) will most likely be shared more. Furthermore, they said in their research paper:
“Similarly, consistent with the notion that people share to inform others, or boost their mood, practically useful and positive content is more viral. These effects are all consistent with the idea that people may share valuable content to help others, generate reciprocity, or boost their reputation (e.g., show they know entertaining or useful things).”
Which means the concept behind virality does not just include the high levels of emotions you are able to incite, but what they think they can get from sharing your content, whether it’s to provide the public with a certain image of them or simply to inform other people.
What you should consider when brainstorming content
Know your audience
There many avenues to get to know your audience on a near-personal level. Use your analytics and social media engagement to determine how your audience collectively behaves and thinks.
Create an audience persona
Using the information you have gathered, create an audience persona. This will help you determine the tone and language that you will use for all of your posts, not just on your articles or videos. You can also use this to think about their personality, which includes what makes them laugh, sad, or angry.
Additionally, you can find out the kind of content your audience consumes more. Are they more image consumers, video consumers, or article consumers? Maybe a little bit of all the medium? You can do this by running a placement report on Google Adwords and find out which websites they go frequently. Based on the data you gather, think up different ways on how you can provide content for each kind of consumer.
Have a content goal
The problem nowadays is there are a lot of bloggers who churn out content solely to have something to share on their pages. There is nothing fascinating about these articles, they are just there. So ask yourself: Why are you making content? Other than for SEO purposes, what is your end goal? Knowing what you want to achieve per post can help guide you when determining what emotion you need to target to achieve that goal.
Finally, create your content. Yes, all of the previous steps seems like a lot to take in. But the most important part of content creation is having fun while doing it. Targeting specific emotions or making efforts to build reliability will be moot if actually creating the content makes you want to hit your head on the table. Remember, much of your emotions are also mirrored in the words that you use in your content.