Viral content is a rare beast in the internet marketing world. In reality, most content that is published online is either ignored or receives only a few likes or shares. That doesn’t mean it’s impossible to create viral content; it just means you have to put the work in if you want your content to go viral. It’s an art form, and once you figure it out, you can create content that spreads like wildfire.
While it’s impossible to hit a home run with each piece of content you share, there are certain components that go into creating viral content. Keep these components in mind when you create your materials.
Go Long…Or Short
Eighty-five percent of the content posted online is less than 1,000 words in length, according to a BuzzSumo and Moz analysis of 1 million articles. That length signifies one of the main reasons people fail to create content that goes viral: Long-form content that is at least 1,000 words is more likely to be liked and shared online. The exception to this is videos and quizzes. In both of those cases, shorter is better. People want videos and quizzes to get right to the point, and they aren’t likely to stick around to the end if the content is too long.
Create the Right Type of Content
Your content can go viral by receiving a large number of shares, likes, or both. If possible, you want to create content that gets both shares and likes, as that is the type of content that spreads the farthest. Opinion-forming journalism and research-backed content manage to get more shares and likes than other forms of content: That means you need to add both to your marketing campaign.
Of course, you won’t have time to craft an amazing opinion or research-backed piece every week, so you can also create content that is likely to get lots of shares or lots of likes.
If you want to focus on shares, quizzes and entertainment videos will get the job done. If you prefer to go after likes, fill your editorial calendar with lists and why posts.
Keep Your Content Visual
It doesn’t matter if you create long-form articles or quizzes: You need to create all of your content with visuals in mind. People don’t like long blocks of text, and they aren’t drawn in by quizzes that only have a few lines: They want to see images. Come up with the best images for each piece of content you create, and make sure an image is the first thing people see so that you draw them in and make them more likely to share or link to the content.
Start on the Path to Creating Viral Content
Viral content isn’t built in a day. It takes time to finetune the process and create content that people want the rest of the world to see. While it can be a bit frustrating, hang in there and, before long, your first piece of viral content will make its rounds online.