You want your contents to go viral? Then, check this out!


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With the unequivocal importance of content marketing in a digital age, where companies and businesses are looking for different ways to pulling in traffic- which obviously helps grow traction and sales. Viral contents are now a powerful concept to bringing in the online numbers without spending on expensive advertising campaigns.

An interview conducted by hubspot on Neetzan Zimmerman, the king of viral content, formerly of Gawker and now editor-in-chief of social networking start-up, Whisper. In this piece, the core ingredients of viral contents that are contagious were brought to the fore by this content King.

Essentials of Viral Contents:

Finding stories: Zimmerman has a list of about 1000 websites that he browses for ideas and on a given day, he goes through about 500 sites to generate ideas. It is important to say that, coming up with a viral content, does not work in isolation- there is the need for ground work and a correlation with top and trending stories. Scanning and reading through top sites is the first step to finding out what needs to be written about. Stories that are trending and thriving, could give some possible hints for the composition of a viral content.

Frequency of posts: Some content creators would say, it is better to post a very long content like once a week and others will recommend having multiple short contents been posted daily. The specialist in Viral Contents Zimmerman, does posts about 10-15 times a day but it is important to state that not every business could post that much but the more frequent contents are uploaded the higher the chances of it going viral

Enduring Posts: Zimmerman advocates that viral contents sustain traffic for months and are not just a quick traffic grabber- only to fade away after a few days. You should consider writing posts on topical issues that will remain relevant for a longer stretch of time, so as to have an enduring traffic.

 Inspiring Posts: Zimmerman opines “Human interest stories and stories that inspire people are the bread and butter of viral internet,” You have to inspire people through your posts- as the media and news channels are full of negativity, people are looking for online contents that will make them smile again. This is where you could cook up an inspiring viral content, to brighten someone’s day and draw in more smiley traffic.

 Study the traffic data: It is important to have a look at the data at the end of every day or every other day, to see which posts attract high traffic and how to improve upon the posts with low traffic. It is a number game and thinking along this line will help one make strategic moves to consolidate upon viral posts and improve non-viral posts to become traffic attractors.

Timing: Deciding on the time of day to upload a post is critical- just before 9am or around 12noon to 1pm, are good moments. As people tend to read posts just before they start work and during their lunch hour.

Derek Halpern also presented the thoughts of top Viral content and ideas Professor, from the Wharton School of business, Jonah Berger. In a research paper titled: ‘“What Makes Online Content Go Viral?”- Which Jonah Berger co-authored with Katy Milkman, they presented key triggers to viral contents. These elements include:

Positive contents are more viral than the negative ones: This goes against one of the axioms of journalism which says: ‘Bad news travels faster than good news.’ In viral content marketing, positive message and contents are more contagious.

Emotive contents that arouse feelings are more viral: It could be positive feelings like: excitement, inspiration, strength, and courage to negative feelings of anxiety, fear or uncertainty. As long as there is an element of emotion- there is a high possibility of a viral effect.

 Practically useful, specific and a widely appealing content: Having a useful content like: how to lose 30kg through the insanity 60 days workout program,’ is useful, specific and practical- and could be shared on social media platforms. Developing a content that is of great use that has practically attainable ideas, exercises or steps- not a mere utopia write-up, has a higher possibility of going viral.

We are in an age of content marketing, as organic traffic is sought after by many businesses with an online presence. Paid advertising is not enough to rake in and sustain desired online visitors, generating useful contents would be the key to a successful digital marketing strategy.

image credit: premierecreative

Dateme Tamuno
Dateme Tamuno (Tubotamuno) is currently working as part of the SEO and PPC delivery team for UK based digital agency, Cariad Marketing. He has also completed a book on user-generated content marketing.


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