4 Ways to Make Your Content Go Viral Easier

Viral. One word, many views. Nowadays, every advertiser wants viral content. They hear that a Kardashian video got over a million views, and want to replicate that same level of exposure for their brand.

But we’re not all celebrities. Simply posting a video on YouTube or sharing a blog post won’t instantly catapult a brand’s content to viral status. In order to get the “stars to align,” savvy advertisers know it takes these four things to make their content go to the top of the proverbial BuzzFeed list.

1. Appeal to Emotions

Skim your Facebook or Twitter feed and you’ll see a pattern develop. Posts with the most likes tend to feature cute furry creatures, delicious food, life events, and exotic destinations. Posts like these invoke an emotional response in viewers. To encourage more sharing, your content needs to appeal to emotions, too.

Take for instance, bottled water company AQUAhydrate. Recently, AQUAhydrate tweeted about its ongoing partnership with the residents of Flint, Michigan.

AQUAhydrate Tweet
Source: @AQUAhydrate

And now that story has gone viral, with news outlets and others tweeting (and retweeting) on a viral scale.

AQUAhydrate Retweet

Flint residents are facing a catastrophic water shortage. And AQUAhydrate is clearly striking an emotional chord with the public.

2. Time It Just Right

Timing is everything. You wouldn’t publish a “10 things I Hate About Valentine’s Day” list in July, would you? In addition to a healthy dose of common sense, consider:

Audience Viewing Habits. Perhaps your target audience is on Facebook and Twitter during the day and Instagram in the evening. By using an analytics tool to collect data, you can then optimize your social media posting schedule accordingly.

Posting Earlier in the Week. Did you know the best overall day to post content is Tuesday? Try posting your content earlier in the week and see if it makes a huge difference in the number of shares.

Current Events. Play off of current events. If you’re a prepackaged food company, and back-to-school is right around the corner, create a timely blog post with related content (e.g. 5 Easy School Lunches). Or if it’s tax season, tweet helpful tips.

H&R Block Tweet
Source: @HRBlockNews

And of course, always be testing until you find the optimal timing for your content.

3. Make Content Easy to Share

When you come across a great listicle, you probably want to share it with your friends, right? But who feels like copying and pasting a link, especially if you’re using your smartphone. Make sharing easy by including share buttons within the post.

Share Buttons
Source: Entrepreneur

And if you’re curious how many shares, likes, and comments your post is getting, check out its shareability score at ShareTally.

ShareTally of an article published in Entrepreneur
Source: ShareTally

If you’re scoring low, maybe you need to make your share buttons more visible, or perhaps format your content differently.

4. Use Listicles, Quizzes, and Images

Ever notice how people gravitate toward top 10 lists and how-to guides? Some content formats are just inherently more appealing for readers. How your content is presented will play a role in the success of its viral reach. To increase shares try using:

List Articles/Listicles. Lists present content in a clear, easy to read format. When creating your list, stick to odd or rounded lists (e.g. 5 or 10 items). These tend to get the most shares since the human brain likes simple groupings.

Quizzes. Readers love content that taps into their narcissistic side. And the best part: quizzes can easily be created from repurposed content.

Images. Visually rich posts will attract more views than text heavy posts. After all, a picture says a 1,000 words.

While there’s no guarantee every tweet, post, or pic will go viral, by employing these tactics you’ll increase the odds ever more in your favor. And perhaps, get a top 10 quiz out of it, too.