Over the years, social media platforms have become a part of the daily routine for most people. The beauty of social media is that not only has it come to define a persons’ virtual identity, but it has also provided many people with the opportunity to become brands in their own right. The biggest boost that a brands’ social profile can receive is when a content posted by them becomes viral.
Viral content is online content that achieves a high level of recognition by being shared on social media platforms, search engines, and news websites. If a brand manages to create a piece of content that goes viral, a tremendous amount of exposure and traffic is guaranteed on their profile. The unique selling point of viral content is that it is relatively cheap compared to paid ads, as most of the traffic comes via social shares. The same logic also ensures that it brings an organic audience to your website.
Why do people share content?
Amongst the many studies conducted on the science behind social media, one of the leading questions focus on the psychology of social sharing. In childhood, almost everyone is taught ‘sharing is caring’. Over the years, with the rapid adaptation of the virtual world, the same teaching has now transcended to social media. As per studies by the Customer Insight Group and Latitude Research, the fundamental thought behind content sharing is human emotions1. It was noticed that when an individual is moved emotionally by a particular social post or video, they want to share that experience with their loved ones. The emotions could range from happiness, motivation, anger, or even sadness. The study stated that by sharing content, people were nurturing their relationships with others.
Other less impactful factors encouraging people to share content were:
- To define themselves and their beliefs
- For entertainment and knowledge sharing purposes
- To support causes and brands they identified with
- To stay in touch with others
Reality check: Viral posts are rare!
As of date, there is still no definitive science behind creating a viral post. Viral posts are not the norm and hence follow no rule of thumb. A brand may have millions of followers, but it will still not be assured if a post or video created by them will go viral or not. As per a study, less than about 1% of social posts ever go viral2. Luck and timing have also played an integral part amongst other factors towards videos or posts going viral.
Having mentioned these points, there are a few factors to keep in mind that may help your brand create viral content.
1. Find a great hook
A great hook can be a catchy heading or a one-liner that would promise the viewers an emotional response. Most content creators also play around with statistics or numbers, aiming at putting forth a quantifiable and precise heading to attract viewers. They also use specific and actionable information to make their content more intriguing. As per content marketing experts, viewers decide to click through social media content on the basis of the headline used to describe it.
2. Create content worth sharing
Coming back to marketing basics, where ‘content is king!’, nothing can work better than posting great content. When a brand creates rich social media content that is great in quality and relevance, it automatically gets accepted by the masses. The foundation of viral content creation is tapping into human emotions using your posts. If the content evokes deep emotions in the viewer, the chances of them sharing it become much higher.
In the same way, the recent trend has shown that there is a parallel shift of online content towards authenticity. Over the last few quarters, social media influencers have started posting content that their viewers can connect with. This serves as an emotional hook on its own. Social media influencers have held on to this trend and shared videos about their struggles and their life behind the camera. Understanding the trends and creating content to keep with the times also helps in increasing the number of shares.
3. Make it visual
With the rise of social platforms such as Instagram and YouTube, content with great visuals have started performing better. As most viewers consume social content on their mobile phones, they tend to get attracted to crisp visuals that do not eat too much into their time and can be viewed while multitasking.
As per research, infographics are the most shared type of content. The reason behind it was the ability of an infographic to present complex topics in a simple manner. Additionally, the viewer never has to go through the entire post to consume the content, as every information is neatly presented in one single image. Apart from infographics, the researchers also found that there was a rise in the consumption of videos. However, the audience preferred shorter videos to longer ones, with interesting titles. It is safe to say that today’s viewers want content that is easy to consume and visually appealing.
4. Know your audience
Considered to be the most important point for social content creation is knowing your audience. The essence of social media is to create content that would engage the brands’ audience into liking and sharing the content. The easiest way to do so is by understanding your audience and delivering content that they would relate with. Content creation works both ways, by keeping your existing audience engaged and by creating content with the aim to attract a larger audience. For the latter, it is important that you pre-determine what kind of audience you would want for your brand.
If the content you create resonates with your followers, the numbers for content sharing automatically pick up. This, in turn, helps you gain more followers. In a way, your followers are the first wave that would determine if your content will go viral or not.
In the quest to understand how to make something go viral, there have been countless studies conducted by many researchers. Unfortunately, the science behind a viral content creation has not been solved yet. As a brand, you can increase the chances of creating viral content by following the points mentioned above. Having said that, they are a rare occurrence, and to an extent are influenced by timing and luck. All you can do is strive to create great content that is highly engaging and resonates with your audience.
You can also reach out to market experts who will enable your brand to create viral content. One such platform that can provide assistance is Amplifiers. This is an influencer marketing platform solely for stock trading. The platform brings social media influencers and brands together under one roof to collaborate on various projects. It provides a holistic and supportive ecosystem that helps create engaging content to educate the audiences about the world of stock trading. The mobile app is available on Google Play and the App Store and is very user-friendly. The highlight of the app is that it provides all vital information and metrics to gauge the performance of your content. The platform can be your one-stop solution on how to go viral with your content.