How To Create Viral Content

Here’s how to create viral content that gets more than 4000 views per day. An article we shared was not a typical niche article but a light (yet very offensive) social one targeted at a specific niche audience. It had a “click bait” type of title. We shared it on Facebook and Twitter at 6:30 pm on a Thursday (perhaps not the best time to share). It initially got 0 retweets on Twitter (the original sharer’s account had less than 300 followers), and less than 10 likes and only 3 shares on Facebook (the account used had around 1,400 friends). One of those shares was re-shared 1 time, but another of those shares was re-shared 11 times! And that’s how the post went viral. Here’s the number of views we got, notice the exponential growth: 300 the first night, 3,000 the second day, and 6,800 the third day. In the first 3 days only, the article got 1,900 shares. Here are things to consider when creating your viral content:

1- The Topic
The topic had to be either controversial, funny, very original / never been done, weird, offensive, cute, or extremely interesting. It would be even better if it’s a mix of several of what we just mentioned. Take time to really think it through. Research what’s out there, what has and hasn’t been done, what has worked and what hasn’t. You’ll find lots of insights.

2- The Title
The best type of titles are what’s called “clickbait”. Clickbait titles are usually very interesting. They naturally instigate human curiosity. These are the types of clickbait headlines:

  • You’ll Never Guess Why XYZ…
  • 10 ways to XYZ…
  • We Bla Bla Bla and What We Found Was Shocking
  • Bla bla bla… What Happens Next Will Surprise You!
  • Bla bla bla… you won’t believe what happens next.
  • 15 secrets XYZ don’t want you to know
  • XYZ Companies/Professionals hate this trick
  • How one woman made $$$ in her bedroom
  • The 10 fakest/worst/most terrifying XYZ…
  • Lose 20 kg in 3 months with this natural product
  • The hot new XYZ everyone is talking about
  • 6 features XYZ power users don’t know about
  • 20 Signs You’re actually a YXZ

Another thing to consider is to research keywords that people search for on search engines and use those keywords in your article. However this strategy is not really related to viral strategy and is more of an SEO strategy. Use the Google Adwords keyword planner tools to find out the search volumes for your keywords.

3- The Content, Style & Execution
Edgy is better than boring. Give it some attitude. In our case study article, writing in an offensive rated-R style worked better than writing in an objective polite bland style. This however doesn’t work for all topics. Just make sure your article/video and style doesn’t sound too boring. If you can instigate feelings or reactions from your viewers or readers, you’re on the right track. In order to get them to share, like or comment, you have to create a reaction or instigate a feeling in them. The reaction can be laughter, awe, love, hate, disgust, compassion, or anything else. They share because they either relate to the content, they think others will also like the content, they totally loved it, hated it, they want others to see how horrible what they just saw was, or for other reasons that people share. The content also has to be good because as they say, “content is king”. Try to be a perfectionist with the execution. You can’t create a weak or substance-lacking piece of content and expect people to share it just because you have a good title. If you have a good title, make sure you live up to it in the content.

4- The Promotion
It makes a big difference when and where you originally share and how you promote. If you only have 5 followers or friends on your social media accounts, you can’t expect a lot of success can you? Also, consider  who your followers, friends, connections and social circles are. If most of them are sports fans, you can’t expect them to share content about music. Whereas if they were music fans, they probably would. Furthermore, consider where to share, for example you can’t post something about relationships and expect it to be shared on Linkedin. Keep all this in mind and think well about where to share and who’s going to be seeing it. Try posting in certain Facebook groups or internet forums related to your topic, and try including hashtags related to your content or include mentions to people or accounts who are interested in or related to what you’re posting. Think about it well and be creative but don’t spam. After you’ve done all you can, you can just sit, wait and hope for the best. Good luck, may the force be with you, and the odds forever in your favor!

We hope this has given you insights on how to create viral content. Let us know in the comments below if you have more ideas and insights.

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