Earlier, I wrote a post about the myth of viral marketing — the notion that you can plan for a piece of content to get shared so much it spreads like a virus through social networks. Sure, viral happens, you just can’t predict it, only plan to make your content as accessible as possible in hopes the “right” people will see your content and act on it. In other words, do good content marketing every day to build the network, authority, and reach that creates the OPPORTUNITY for viral marketing.

The frustration of content marketing

If you’re a content marketer, you know what I mean. You write this brilliant piece of content: a press release, blog post, newsletter, etc. You’re sure it’ll go viral because the content is so tight, so valuable, so well-written, you just can’t image that readers won’t rush to share it.

Then you wait.

And you wait.

And you wait.

A few RT and likes come in, but nowhere near the avalanche of shares you expected. No accolades, no awards.

Discouraged, you decide content marketing just doesn’t work and stop for a while or don’t put much effort into the content you create. Nothing like cutting off your nose to spite your face!

Then, unexpectedly, a piece of content goes viral. You try to replicate it, but don’t achieve the same success.

It’s frustrating, but that’s the reality of content marketing — some times things work, and sometimes they don’t.

Content marketing is like golf

For those golfers out there, you know exactly what I mean. Even Tiger Woods has days when all his shots go in the rough. But, it’s the hole in ones that keep you coming back day after day.

That’s the way it is with content marketing. Most posts kinda fizzle, but a few go through the stratosphere.

That’s what happened to me earlier this week. I wrote a post on the challenges of real-time social media analytics and hit a home run. It was picked up by Yahoo Small Business Advisor and Tweeted out by Mari Smith, the Facebook guru, among other influential shares.

17 Tricks for Driving Traffic With Content MarketingThe result: a 25% increase in traffic to my site.

Over time, such shares not only reach vast numbers of prospective website visitors and swell your reputation, they impact your pagerank and help your content show up higher in a Google search.

Content marketing best practices

While you can never guarantee your content will go viral, there are things you can do to help things along. Take a look at this infographic from Crackerjack Scribe to see some suggestions. Most of this stuff is pretty standard, but you’d be surprised how many content marketing strategies don’t include all these elements. Of course, they probably need to eat their own dog food by cleaning up this image so the bubbles stay within the image.

Also, take a look at the image from SocialEars above. Analytics should be an integral aspect of your content marketing strategy. By that I mean developing a consistent program for monitoring not only the performance of your content, but industry trends, influencers, and other elements necessary for optimizing your content for your target audience.

Need Help?

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Courtesy of: Crackerjack Scribe

Read More: 5 Effective Ways to Drive Traffic to Your Website