Going Viral: How to Conquer with Content Marketing

Amiee Bolger

Going viral sounds like a pipe dream and seems like it only exists for those who are incredibly lucky. It has the air of a four-leaf clover – it doesn’t come around very often and it’s difficult to find. There are no set criteria for finding a four-leaf clover other than just getting on your hands and knees and searching but going viral with your content marketing can be helped. It’s not a science, by any means. However, allow me to share the common trends found in content marketing going viral and conquering the web…

First, let me explain the advantages of having your content go viral.

The most obvious one is how many people, aka potential customers, you can reach with a single viral post. It gets you out there, turns you into a name people will be talking about with everyone they know. It puts you in the forefront of customers’ minds, and viral content can keep you in their minds for a long time after. For a content marketing campaign to be considered viral, when, by definition, it has a large reach, means that the content in question has been shared widely.

If you’re on the internet in any capacity, you’ll know about going viral. From tweets, to Facebook posts, YouTube videos, and funny memes, something going viral and being shared millions of times can be an almost daily occurrence. When it comes to marketing, it means a campaign that has reached unbelievable levels of engagement, increasing sales and startup awareness astronomically.

From a viral marketing campaign, your audience learns about your startup instantly. This includes those who may not have been searching for you otherwise, and before going viral, they may not have realised how much they want your services or products. It’s said that going viral is how small companies make their big break and how large companies stay relevant.

By now, you’re probably itching to know the secrets to making your startup go viral. You want me to stop waffling on about its benefits and let you in on the secret. You already know your startup is worthy of going viral, so how exactly can you get there?

Firstly, like usual, we’re going to tell you to do your research. This will set you up for success better than anything else will, that’s for certain. You’re probably a dab-hand at research by now, so what’s a little more? By researching your target audience, determining who they are and what they’re passionate about is a great start that will set you up for everything that comes next.

Additionally, never forget to research your competition. This is just as important as your target audience. What have their strongest marketing campaigns looked like? What keywords do they use? What is their customer base looking for that your competition doesn’t provide, but you do? All these answers can help you conquer the web, or your competition at the very least.

Now, we move on to creating the content itself.

It’s no secret that the crux of virality is memes. They consist, mostly, of funny images with text added to it for context that can be shared and parodied over and over, and short videos that don’t take a lot of mental taxation. Generally, they’re pretty stupid and that’s why we all love them so much… Although that may not be the direction you want to take your startup in. Instead, let’s strip them back further, and by doing that we understand that going viral is based on how visual content is.

This is your chance to tell your story how you want to. Content is unlikely to go viral if it isn’t quirky and innovative, and that’s how your startup should be viewed too. Making visual content that resonates with your target audience and makes them feel something, with positive emotions being the most desirable, will increase your chances in having them all share it with everyone they know. It’s like the Coca-Cola Christmas adverts. Each year we know they’ll tug at our heartstrings with a child or old person, an animal, and a ballad and each year we share it on all our social media accounts.

Creating interactive content is a crucial way to make sure your chances of going viral are higher, even better if it’s personalised to each user. Take Spotify for example, their feature ‘Spotify Wrapped’ which tells listeners the statistics of how they’ve listened to music in that year, how many minutes listened, their top genres, top artists, and so on, goes viral every year. More than 60 million users share their Wrapped results online to compare with friends and other music and podcast fans. Some even state that it is better than Christmas. They combine stats with in-app quizzes, personalised playlists, and graphics that are made to be shared on social media accounts. It is truly remarkable and so much fun.

In the same vein, having your customer base creating user-generated content will further boost your chances. Having a space for your customers to review your startup, products, services, etc., will allow for more startup awareness. If you remember the reviews of the sugar-free gummy bears and the hold they had on the entire internet for a good amount of time, you’ll understand how precious content from your audience can be. 88% of consumers who purchase products and services online trust reviews written by other users, so really, it’s an invaluable source.

If you’re creating written content alongside your visual elements, the same general rules apply. The writing needs to be short, sharp, and snappy. Your Tweets, captions, and blog titles are most important here as 80% of users will read your headlines and titles, but only 20% will read the rest. That’s not to say you shouldn’t be careless with the rest of the written content but putting the same effort into both will be a massive help.

Lastly, make sure your content is easy to share. Enabling sharing, embedding, and downloading capabilities on any content you post will allow your viewers to tag and share it with all their friends. Even more so, including calls-to-actions and elements that encourage people to share your startup on their personal pages and with followers and friends will escalate your chances at virality.

Conquering the web is no small feat, but it can be done. Though you are now equipped with the top tips to going viral, we are always available to help guide you through the fields of three-leaf clovers until we find that legendary four-leafed.