As a digital marketer, one of the biggest things you can hope for with your content is that it goes “viral.” Viral is a social media and internet term that has been widely used and abused in the digital marketing world as the principle behind viral is much simpler than many people lead you to believe.
When something “goes viral” it means that it spreads and grows without any paid support. For instance, a Facebook post from a company about a marriage proposal that creatively used their products could go viral and then the company could see a boost in online web traffic and potentially even online sales.
For content to “go viral,” it needs to be three basic things: clickable, playable, and shareable. If someone is captured by your content, clicks on it, and like it enough to share it, it has a potential to go viral. The shareable aspect is where a lot of marketers miss the mark. Here are a few ways that you can help your content become more sharable and help it go viral.
Consider Personal Attributes
People respond better to ads that connect to their personal attributes. To encourage sharing, come up with an ad concept that taps into your target audience’s personal attributes. When they feel more connected to the ad, there are more likely to have it resonate with them and share it with their social network.
Take Advantage of Tribe Mentality
People like feeling like they are a part of something. Tribe mentality is a strong motivator for people to take action. Companies like Apple have taken great advantage of this. They made people feel like they needed the iPhone or iPad to be part of an elite group and it worked to Apple’s advantage propelling them to tech stardom.
Make your content tap into the tribe mentality of a certain group. This can include political affiliation, regional location, generation, or interests.
Help Push Insightfulness
Content that helps you realize something about yourself or confirms a flattering trait that you feel you have is more shareable. Tap into creating these insights to make your content more shareable.
Embrace the Humblebrag
Humblebrags are actually pretty popular now. Pointing out something about your company or organization that you are proud of or think is impressive can create great shareable content. Just make sure that the bragging isn’t too obvious.
Keep it Topical
Successful ads that go viral take advantage of current events and trends. This was seen the most recently with the “mannequin challenge.” Companies that show that they are up to date on current events can ride the coattails of the latest viral trend if they jump on fast enough. Just make sure that you don’t wait until a month after something has become popular before using it.
Your ads should delight the people seeing them. Create joy and happiness with your ads to increase their shareability. There is no shame in using an adorable puppy or confetti because those are things people like. Take advantage of small things that create a lot of happiness.
Participate in your community and with the companies and people around you. People love to see organizations and companies leaning on each other’s strengths to create better content and products for everyone. Find people and organizations that you can collaborate with to help your ads be more shareable.
Quality Above All Else
When things look good, people notice. Do not skimp on the quality of your content for quick clicks and potentially viral content. People recognize quality when they see it and they expect content to be creative and impressive. Take time to create good content and it will pay off in dividends.