4 Brilliant Ideas To Master Viral Content

You’re probably happy with your latest post.

You’ve worked hard to build up good and useful content and your readers seemed to enjoy it.

But still, nothing extraordinary happened, right?

You didn’t have thousands of tweets and shares for your post, did you?

Nor avalanches of backlinks from people wanting to spread the word…

It just didn’t have that little detail that makes a piece of content VIRAL!

And now comes the question: What exactly is that little something? And how can it be achieved?

Questioning myself for ages about this, I’ve examined the matter and chosen these examples below that proved to have discovered the road to success and pulled out some of the required ingredients for “virality“. Here they are:

1. Interactive infographics

If infographics are already known for guaranteeing your article’s social success, a brilliant campaign of Forex Trading proved that there is something even better that that: interactive infographics.

The team of designers and marketers that handled this campaign, found a way to present the benefits of financial trading through a personalized, interactive and funny interface. Take a look at this masterpiece: http://mahifx.com/

It had all the premises for going viral:

    • personalized content. At each step, through interaction with the reader, the creator was able to adjust the content for each individual and engage the audience from beginning to the end of the post.
    • the content was sequentially revealed which made the infographic surprising and incentive.
    • was funny and interesting.

 The reactions to this infographic exceeded any expectation.  In only a few days it got:

    •  > 25,000 Visits from 130 countries.
    • Links from more than 250 referring sources (including coverage from really exciting/high quality websites)
    • 697 Tweets
    • >1,000 Facebook likes
    • >450 requests for an invitation to the platform

2. The experts’ opinion

“What’s the biggest mistake small businesses make when it comes to SEO or online marketing, and what can SMBs do to avoid making that mistake?” – this question generated more that 10,000 words of top notch content.

The editorial team from DIYSEO contacted no more, no less than 46 active experts in the SEO industry to share their experience and answer this very simple question.

With all these guru’s answers put together, DIYSEO generated by now more than 28k tweets for this single blog post.

Their advantages? Lots:

  • Published high quality content written from the knowledge and experience of reputable people in the industry
  • Got their article shared by 46 of the most influential figures
  • Got massively re-shared among the enormous social circles it entered, wearing the vote of confidence of all these influencers
  • Created a timeless resource people would always come back to and still find valuable

3. Charity

Sorrow always brings people together. And so, two weeks after the New Zealand earthquake in February 2011, SEOmoz announced its intention to donate money for the New Zealand Red Cross and support reconstruction after the horrible devastation caused by the earthquake.

Their charity act would have certainly been admired by many, but it wouldn’t have become as popular as it did after the post Jennita wrote on the SEOmoz blog.

And all she did, regarding her article, was to ask everybody to give a thumb up. That’s it: a thumb up!

But for each thumb up generated by this post, SEOmoz would donate 1$ to charity. So the least anyone could do was to give thumb ups on the post, tweet the article, ask friends to do so, post comments that would generate even more thumb ups and feed their ego for having participated to a good deed.

Meanwhile, SEOmoz rewarded itself with lots of exposure and popularity for a donation they could have made quietly.

Brilliant!

4. Controversial manifesto

This next post I will share with you is more than controversial. You might even say it’s “aggressive”.

Last year, in May, Peter Shankman published on his personal blog an article entitled: “I WILL NEVER HIRE A “SOCIAL MEDIA EXPERT,” AND NEITHER SHOULD YOU”. Just like that, in CAPS.

As if the chosen title wouldn’t have been already enough intriguing, the author even confessed in the article’s intro that his first choice for the title would have been “All “Social Media Experts” need to go die in a fire”. But that sounded too harsh and he gave it up. Ah, well…he still said it…

Let me ask you now: who wouldn’t read this article after such an introduction?

Yes, you guessed! Everybody read it. This post generated over 400 comments and thousands of Tweets and Likes from both sides of the bridge: supporters and opponents.

On top of that, a few days later Rand Fishkin wrote a response to this post on the SEOmoz blog. Although he disputed Peter Shankman’s idea and argued his own opinion, by writing about it to his audience, Rand contributed himself to promoting Peter’s post, giving it even more exposure.

This shows how important it is for an article to be more than just informative. An incentive statement to further conversation and reactions, greatly contributes to the post’s exposure.

Become viral!

Hoping that you’ve found here some inspiring ideas, I’m looking forward to your beautiful, viral posts as to your own secret “virality” ingredients. Please, share with us!

Photo credit: hersheydesai

Author: Dana Loiz

Dana Loiz is an Online Marketing Strategist at Caphyon. She is passionate about her job and always in a mood to chat about SEO, Internet Marketing and Social Media. She tweets the news at @awebranking and you can also find her on Google+.

9 thoughts on “4 Brilliant Ideas To Master Viral Content”

  1. Nice article, but sorry to burst your bubble on section 3. You say Brilliant? That’s not brilliant, that’s taking advantage of people’s pain and suffering to get some exposure. Considering they got so much exposure I wonder if they meant the donation as charity or as a marketing move. I guess the latter. I mean, if you want to donate and help some people, you pick up your checkbook and you write a check, you don’t go and write a post about it do you? But, you know, whatever, as long as feeds the kids, they don’t need to know what it is.

    1. Thank you for your comment, Dean!

      I totally agree with you on not taking advantage of people’s suffering for commercial value or conditioning charity by publicity.

      However, I also think that to ensure its efficiency, found raising needs to be promoted somehow and setting an example has always proved to have a positive effect over people’s generosity.

      Therefore publicly displaying their donation, SEOmoz has both contributed to promoting the found raising and definitely incited others to imitate. I still believe to be brilliant, not for the act that they wrote about the donation on the blog, but for their ability to draw attention on the post and to engage their audience into the hole operation.

    2.  Thank you for your comment, Dean!

      I totally agree with you on not taking advantage of people’s suffering for commercial value or conditioning charity by publicity.

      However, I also think that to ensure its efficiency, found raising needs to be promoted somehow and setting an example has always proved to have a positive effect over people’s generosity.

      Therefore publicly displaying their donation, SEOmoz has both contributed to promoting the found raising and definitely incited others to imitate. I still believe to be brilliant, not for the act that they wrote about the donation on the blog, but for their ability to draw attention on the post and to engage their audience into the hole operation.

      1.  An act of charity is defined by the willingness of a person or a group of persons to help others unconditionally. By conditioning their donation to the number of thumbs up on their post, they practically turned an act of “charity” into an act of publicity. I didn’t see them starting a SEOmoz foundation for the victims, so where is the charity again?

        1. The condition they have set was for sure the running motor for the entire promoting strategy. Without it people wouldn’t have reacted as much as they did. But from where I see it, the glass is half full, half empty 🙂 You can look at it as an attempt to draw attention on themselves and see the empty half, or as an attempt to promote the Red Cross fund raising and see the full half 🙂

  2. I didn’t know about that DIYSEO article. Thanks for sharing this 🙂 I just went through the first few advices and boy, do I have work to do now…

  3. These are all great ideas! The post also highlights the fact that it’s not simple to go viral. Especially the first two items require money & time. But in the end, it’s worth it!

  4. Great stuff, Dana! While there is no magic bullet for what content goes viral, we do know there are some statistics that you can follow to increase your chances. But for god’s sake, stop trying to make your content go viral!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *