Viral Content: The only kind of virus people actively seek. Google’s paying millions for it, making a huge purchase of the king of viral content, YouTube over the past few years. And if Google sees viral content as the wave of the future, who am I to disagree. If you haven’t heard the term “Viral Content” you have at least been exposed to the idea… Creating content that spreads rapidly around the internet through word of… mouse.
With the cost of quality traffic rising and reaching and maintaining top search engine position becoming more and more difficult as EVERYONE is moving to the net, viral content blows up one of the most spouted off cliche of all time… “NOTHING IS FREE”. The exposure and added traffic that an amazing piece of content can generate is free. That’s the beauty… with a truly viral piece of content, everyone else does your promotion for you, letting you sit back and enjoy the ride.
While some viral content has much more “exposure power” than others, every type of site in nearly every niche can produce some type of viral content. Different sites offer different ceilings, with humor, video, entertainment, and gaming sites offering huge platforms for amazing amounts of viralness. But even if you own something more, umm, boring, you can still reap the benifits of everyone else promoting your site.
Here’s a few tips for creating viral content and an example of each:
1. Give your visitors tools to download or use that relates to your content. If you own a financial blog you might use a microsoft access spreadsheet that you keep your budget with. It would make sense to brand that spreadsheet with your logo, create a link or two on the sheet, clean it up really nice, and release it with your post on balancing your budget. If your visitors download and use that, they’ll see your logo and have many opportunities to continue visiting your site.
2. Consider what tools you use daily in your niche and/or are asked for by your visitors and offer them to your visitors. Say you have a baseball blog and everyday write articles using tons of numbers and stats… from OPS to OBP to ERA to WHIP. Why not create a feature that shows what those numbers are, how to figure them out, and give a calculator that they can add to their site that will do the work.
3. Think like a chain letter! I’m sure you get them still. Those stupid letters that say “if you don’t pass it on, you will die or have bad luck or lose your hair… And if you do, you’ll find your love, millions of dollars, and happiness.” Now, everyone in the world knows these are fake and stupid… Yet people still pass them on because, well, maybe they aren’t fake. And it can’t hurt right? The power of suggestion is a VERY powerful thing indeed. Use it to your advantage!
4. Use Guides, Lists, and Humor! People love top 10 lists, they love bullets, and they ADORE humor!