How to Promote Your Business With Viral Content
We see this happen all the time: an obscure or funny reference appears on a blog or Facebook post and suddenly it catches like wildfire, appearing anywhere from Facebook to Twitter to signature files in forums and the whole Internet over. These are the things that marketing dreams are made of. But is it possible to harness the quirky and seemingly random nature of the Internet and social media?
This has been an immense topic of study, and the experts on viral marketing say yes, this powerful marketing opportunity can be harnessed. Content can be designed to go viral when we keep a few simple rules and tips in mind.
Shareable vs. Likeable
When you are creating content for your viral marketing campaign, keep in mind the difference between “likeable” and “shareable” ideas. If your goal is to go viral, try to focus your efforts on creating shareable content. People may like or agree with your content, but simultaneously feel apprehensive about endorsing (sharing) it with others. Highly shareable posts, on the other hand, are those which affects or engages your audience while offering something universal. A shareable post might be inspirational, funny, amazing, or practical. People share content because they think it will be useful, helpful, or somehow raise their social standing.
Understand Your Brand and Know Your Audience
While creating the content you wish to go viral, it’s good to know what your angle is. What image do you want the business and brand to convey? Are you looking for something edgy or trustworthy? What is the target audience you are catering to? Playing it safe may not earn your content shares, but being too edgy or focusing on the wrong niche topic for your audience can result in missed opportunities.
Studies have shown that people are most responsive to specific “triggers of fascination” and are most likely to share something if it raises a high level of emotion. The more excited someone is about content, the more likely they are to pass it along.
Examples of these triggers include: passion/lust, alarm, power, prestige, rebellion, or trust. When content hits on one of these triggers, especially for the appropriate audience, the content has a much higher chance of going viral.
Basic Rules for Going Viral
– Positive content is more apt to go viral than negative, though this is not universal and depends on whether or not it resonates with the reader.
– Positive shareable content is often surprising, amusing, or awe-inspiring.
– Negative shareable content is most often that which evokes anger or anxiety.
– People like to share for several reasons: to improve their social standing among other readers, to help others, and to appear useful or knowledgeable.
Creating viral content is almost as much an art as it is a science, but clarifying your target audience and focus, giving your content emotional appeal, and keeping the fascination level high enough that people would like to share it with their friends and associates is a means to take out some of the guesswork and randomness regarding viral content. Here at Appletree MediaWorks, we pay close attention to your audience and goals to make sure your content triggers interest in your customers.