How to Get Your Content to Go Viral

Creating viral content means you’ll get more eyes on your site, and more people to recognize your brand name. There are several things you need to know in order to make your content go viral:

First, it’s important to understand what makes people share posts. After analyzing  more than 100 million posts, BuzzSumo found that the posts that  got the most shares “Invoked awe, laughter or amusement; Appealed to people’s narcissistic side – made them look smart for sharing; were lists or infographics; were from trusted sources.” Think about that, and then consider what works best for your content and your brand.

BuzzSumo also points out that posts that go viral are outliers, even among sites like Buzzfeed. This means that for all the content they produce, only a small fraction goes viral. So one of the most important things to do if you want to go viral is just to produce as much content as you can. If you constantly produce quality content for your followers, it’s more likely that something will go viral. That’s not to say quantity is more important than quality; rather, make sure you’re constantly putting effort into pushing quality shareable content out there.

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With that in mind, here are a few things to look out for when creating content you want to go viral:

1.Write Lists

Listicles are often either relatable (such as Buzzfeed’s most-shared post of 2015, ‘21 Things You Only Know if You’ve Been Best Friends for Ten Years’) or helpful (such as their fifth-most-shared post, ‘23 Insanely Clever Ways to Eat Cauliflower Instead of Carbs’). They’re also easy to read and extremely digestible—not dense or text-heavy, which is important when it comes to creating viral content.

2. Write a Captivating Headline

The headline is what’s going to grab someone’s attention and make them click on it once it’s been shared. It should let readers know enough that they want to read more, but still leave some to be discovered (such as the second-most-shared New York Times article of 2015, ‘To Fall in Love With Anyone, Do This’).

3. Be Funny or Cheeky

Don’t take yourself too seriously! People will click on something if they think it’s going to make them laugh. Adding some humor to your posts lends your brand some humanity as well—it shows your readers that real people with real senses of humor are creating this content.

4. Surprise People, or Tell Them Something They Don’t Already Know

If your content is going to enlighten a person, they’ll want to click on it. Take a hint from this Huffington Post article with more than 2 million shares: ‘The Likely Cause of Addiction Has Been Discovered, and It Is Not What You Think.’ This headline, and the article itself, tell the reader that they are about to learn something new, and it is going to be unexpected, which means they’re more likely to share once they’ve read it.

5. Keep it Visually Appealing

Whether you use a colorful infographic or have vivid photos to accompany your written content, visuals are extremely important when it comes to creating shareable content. After lists, infographics are the most-shared type of content, and they are a great way to convey information in a fun and straightforward way. Try making an infographic for your next post!

6. Repost Old Content

Sometimes a post will get a little more love (i.e., views and shares) if you repost it, even as soon as a week after the original post! This is a sure way to get more eyes on it, and to give your content a second (or third, or fourth) chance at going viral.

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