Website owners and content writers often wonder what the trick is to creating successful viral content. How can you ensure that your creation (be it a product, blog or article) spreads like wildfire and starts to ‘infect’ the Internet. Sometimes the whole concept of viral content is almost like a black box – it isn’t always clear why one article about politics or dogs or food or toys goes viral when so many others do not. However, there are some tips and tricks that can come in useful if you are trying to make your content more viral.
First of all, there are experts out there like Professor Jonah Berger from Wharton who specialize in researching the ways media goes viral and what makes it most likely to do so. The main takeaways from his research are that useful content gets shared more often, and content that is both more positive and more emotional is much more likely to go viral. So making things more likely to go viral can be brought about by tweaking your content to make it more useful and/or more emotional. High-arousal emotions are the key to getting people worked up enough about content to not just read but also actually share. And clearly this makes sense; when we read something that makes us care or cry or fill up with rage; we are more likely to do something about it.
Media hooks are a great way to help content go viral. Just think of all the titles you have seen online lately like “12 ways to…”, “Click here to find out the amazing secret…” and so on. Lists and tips are a great way of getting readers to click and share. Busting common myths or challenging common knowledge is another great way of grabbing your reader’s attention. Trusted articles (ie. ones that tap into known experts or reliable sources) are also a great way to get people interested, and failing that people love visuals so infographics are always a good move.
It’s a good idea to understand the motivations that make people actually share the content that they read. Top reasons included sharing useful content and self-fulfillment, but one of the most important reasons mentioned in a survey of 2500 people carried out by the New York times was to grow and nourish relationships and stay connected with each other. So sharing content is not just about the content itself, but about people’s wider networks and the ways in which they stay connected.
Couple these tips with a great website UX and easy to share comments and your users will have an even greater ability and incentive to share not just your content, but their own comments and conversations too. A great way to improve the viral effect of content is to include different modalities. Most content creators know the importance of visuals and don’t just rely on text, but it can also be useful to incorporate audio or even voice snippets. Today there are platforms available that enable you to share and comment on content not just through text but also through voice.
Heyoya is a unique comment and reviews platform that brings voice to e-publishers and e-stores, improving sales and user engagement by allowing readers to express themselves beyond the medium of text. Heyoya’s new Receiver plan allows for quick and easy below-the-fold monetization. Heyoya is a game changer for websites and is proven to increase brand affinity and the quality of user-generated content.
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