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10 Tips on How to Create Viral Content

16 December 2014 Svetlana Kuznetsova
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Good internet marketers know the value of qualitative content: it increases brand awareness over web, it attracts targeted traffic. The dream of many marketers is to launch content with great viral potential, which means to create something unbeatable, something that will interest a great number of people, something that will spread on the internet with a speed of virus due to its super-usefulness, super-attractiveness and super-fun. In short, to create a content which is impossible to be not shared. How does one create such content? Perhaps, these 10 tips will help you:

Why do we like to share cool content? The basis of it is a human need in interaction with other humans – we feel satisfied when we share a good link
Why do we like to share cool content? The basis of it is a human need in interaction with other humans – we feel satisfied when we share a good link

1. Determine your target audience and since this moment you should know what it needs

Don’t start working on a new text before you get a personified portrait of target audience’s representative. If you have no idea about this portrait, then your content can appear to be successful only by chance. In content marketing you don’t have a right to make a “childish” mistake of writing “for everyone” – which means “for no one”. Write for a specific group of people united by certain interests. It’s hard to imagine how to encourage people to share a content that doesn’t interest them, because it was addressed to them.

All you need to understand your target audience is to ask yourself the following questions:

  • Who? Are your products or services focused on housewives with children, students, people who have been engaged more than 20 years, marketing specialists, engineers, programmers or musicians?
  • What? What kind of information does your target audience need? What exactly can you make to satisfy people’s need for information?
  • When? Do you know at what time of day your target audience uses the internet? Keep this data in your mind and publish your materials within this time frame.
  • Where? Where do they live, work and spend their free time? As a rule, those who live in New-York don’t need the information about the best restaurants in Paris.
  • Why? Why does your audience use the internet? Do they search for some specific information? Are they constantly stuck on Facebook? Do they seek for concrete entertainment or do they go online because of work?
  • How? How does your audience browse the internet? Do they use PCs, smartphones or tablets? Make sure that it’s comfortable for them to view a content on your website.

2. Use headlines to attract attention

The first impression is of paramount importance. Speaking about content, this impression goes with a headline. It doesn’t matter how good your content is, if people don’t read it because of mediocre headlines. There are several ways to attract people’s attention by using headlines. Pay attention to some of them:c

  • Headline promises that one can learn something new from an article: Everything you always wanted know about women but were afraid to ask.
  • Headline includes numbers: 7 reasons 90 out of 100 women prefer brunettes.
  • Headline includes question arousing interest: What kind of women prefer to wear grey?
  • Headline tells you “how” to do something: How to be a content marketing jedi.

3. Be original

There a lot of information on the internet on almost every topic you are interested in. Do you have a chance to tell something new? There is always a chance. But if you think of general topics that correlate with such headlines as “What is it?”, then you are going the wrong way. Write on such topics only if you are sure that you can tell something new. On the modern internet, which contains a lot of different content, writing on general topics is like answering questions “What is a smartphone?” and “What is a button?”

It’s better for you to think about what you can add to the endless conversation between online marketers and audience. Do you have a unique experience in some specific area? Are you able to analyze better than others? Do you often give accurate predictions based on all the information known? Can you give a lot of interesting examples on some topic from your life? Do you have a great sense of style? Do you have a sense of humor? Are you able to develop a topic in some unusual perspective? These things are very important! Such details matter a lot – a main idea hides in them, because very often people like not what was written, but how it was written.

4. Don’t be afraid of long materials

Don’t believe when you are told that youngsters are lazy and not able to concentrate on texts that are “too long”. The truth is that modern people appreciate their time and they won’t spend it on a content which takes it. But they will read a content of any size if it useful and interesting.

Indeed, several studies have showed that long forms in content marketing, which were made by deep diving into topic and presenting a material at the excellent level of quality, arouse more interest than short ones. People often share such content on social media and blogs.

5. Evoke emotions

People often share a content that evokes their emotions. Besides, content which evokes positive emotions is more popular than one which evokes negative emotions.

6. Monitor trends

You should monitor market you are working at daily – it will help you to create topical content. People are interested in everything new and want to be the first ones to know it – satisfy this need of your audience and it will love you back.

7. Increase the proportion of a visual content on your website

The human brain is made in such a way that it processes visual information faster. That’s why people prefer watching videos to reading articles. Remember it and create more videos and illustrations to your texts: graphs, pictures, interesting photos, diagrams and so on.

8. Create a content that solves people’s problems

Content that solves problems is perceived as useful. Perhaps, it’s not very interesting to write about unclogging sink, but if it is useful to your audience, then it’s worth it. If you sell clothes then share your ideas on what accessories can be used with this or that dress. If you sell compost then create infographics about how, when and what plants should be planted in a garden.

In short, tell about the problems that people face in everyday life and work – if someone finds your content useful, then he will share it with those who have the same problems.

9. Present information in a way people want to consume it

Modern world is the world where consumption of information has exceeded all imaginable limits. We consume information even more often than we eat. And a winner in this world is not the one who provides useful information but the one who provides useful information which is easy to be consumed. Here are some tips:

  • People should understand what will be discussed just by reading a headline.
  • Make a correct composition. Pay special attention to segmenting text in small semantic blocs with subtitles.
  • Use lists in your articles – they organize information and put it in order making it easier to remember and read it.
  • Make your paragraphs short.
  • Be concise and accurate, try to express your idea in one phrase, not in 3 or 4.
  • Write in simple language. Your vocabulary may be impressive, but if you overuse “specific” for most people words, then your text will not be readable.
  • Use illustrations in your materials.
  • Try to make infographics from any research data, statistics and all the information containing a lot of numbers – it’s the easiest way to present such information, and this content will be more interesting to your audience.

10. Experiment

Content marketing instructions are a very unclear thing. By following the instructions of professionals you may create something great or (maybe it was not your day) something mediocre. From this point of view the best advice is to learn anything new as much as you can and to experiment. Great ideas are not born all of a sudden, they come during work process.

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Creating content that people want to share is a hard and sometimes routine task. But it pays off when your traffic comes to a qualitatively new level of growth. Use these 10 tips to provide your audience with the content which is impossible not to share.

© “Texterra”, At full or partial copying of materials reference to the source is obligatory.

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Former editor at Texterra online marketing agency. She is a graduate of The Maxim Gorky Literature Institute. Svetalan started working at "glossies", then turned to PR, where she worked for a long time in different structures promoting the "ConsultantPlus" brand.. She has been engaged in online marketing since 2010. Favourite thing to do is to work with copies. Unfavorite thing to do is to do nothing.
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© «TexTerra», At full or partial copying of materials reference to the source is obligatory.
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