6 Things That Make a Story Go Viral

With all the information out there now a days, you don’t only need to worry about what your content is but how to market it properly. According to Anita Campbell, founder, CEO and publisher of Small Business Trends, “You can’t expect to just write and have visitors come to you—that’s too passive.” How do you make your content as readable and perceptible as possible? Check out these tips to increase readership and make your next story go viral.

Make it shareable.  I know this might seem obvious, but you would be surprised at just how many organizations publish information that isn’t easily shareable. Make sure your company doesn’t make that mistake! Find the easiest point of recognition on your article, whether that is the top or bottom, and make sure there is an easy way for your consumers to post it via Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, Google+, and Pinterest.

According to Facebook spokesperson Malorie Lucich, “People share, read and generally engage with any type of content when it’s surfaced through friends and people they know and trust.”

Post it to professional groups. This can easily be done on LinkedIn groups or Facebook organizations. Another idea would be to send it out to people of interest. If you respond to another article with your opinion then send it to the original site! If you think another organization would benefit from posting it then send it to them! This could even be as easy as tweeting a link with the tagline “Check out this article on…” and tagging companies or people of interest. This will give you access to their network.

Get bloggers interested. Do you ever sit at your computer thinking where is everyone and why aren’t they reading my content? They are reading blogs! When marketing content, many foolishly forget the market of bloggers. If you get one blogger interested, you expand your possible reach by their entire audience. These work a lot like professional groups in terms that they both have specialized audiences.

One difference with bloggers, however, is that they are typically less formal and have less rules than traditional journalists. This allows more trust on a personal level not purely from a business stand point. Bloggers can be integral in the establishment of loyal readers and an established brand image.

Make it skim-able. As heartbreaking as it may be for you to think about, the majority of your readers will not read every word of your content. Keep them engaged with the use of bold words, much like this article. This highlights the most important parts and from there they can gather the main points and decide from there if they will read the rest. Most consumers are not going to publicly share articles or posts if they feel that it will bore their consumers or friends.

Use lists or bullets. Lists and bullets not only keep the article from dragging on but they show the consumer something very important: the end is near. In this day and age, most people are not going to sit down and take out a large portion of their day for long articles. Lists and bullets show your reader where exactly the information will be ending and just how fast they can return to their normal lives.

Include videos or visuals. Full text articles lead your readers to one thing: yawning. Don’t bore your readers. This is rule one of all writing, internet or otherwise. Have a long article? Break it up with some relevant pictures. If you are writing about an important cause or an event that just took place then make a video to go along with it.

This could include videos that your organization made itself mixed together with some stills and music that fits the tone. Even include some relevant videos done by someone else, just remember to cite them. There is a reason that music festivals, airlines, cruises and, now even states, turn to promotional videos. People like them. It gets them excited and involved so involve your audience and give them what they want!

going viral infographic

Suggested Reading

  • The New Yorker | The Six Things That Make Stories go Viral Will Amaze, and Maybe Infuriate, You
  • About.com | 10 Tips For Going Viral
  • Emailwire.com | Relationship Building Winner Over Traditional Marketing Says Social Climbers
  • Search Influence | Social Media And Viral Content: Tips From Matt Siltala

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Jacqueline Pruter

Jacqueline Pruter is currently pursuing a bachelor's degree in Strategic Communications at Texas Christian University in Fort Worth, Texas.

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