Not Just Content: Viral Content That Brings in Customers

by | Content Marketing, Social Media

Not Just Content: Viral Content That Brings in Customers

If you invest heavily in your online presence, you understand how important content is. While marketers work hard to create content their readers love, most wish for more—viral content that takes them to new heights online, bringing in maximum exposure and increased sales.
But what is viral content? Is it something that will truly benefit you?

What Is Viral Content?

Viral content is something that can be defined in many ways. PCMagaine says it’s:

Any blog post, video, tweet, or message that is continuously shared by everyone who receives it.

Backlinko defines it as:

Online content that achieves a high level of awareness due to shares and exposure on social media networks, news websites, aggregators, email newsletters and search engines.

Hopefully you’re starting to see the subjectivity in these definitions. When you see phrases like “continuously shared by everyone who receives it” and “high level of awareness,” it inflates your ideas of what viral really means. Hundreds of viewers? Thousands? Millions?

Getting your information out there is part of the battle. But clearly defining who sees it is one of the critical pieces. A million carnivores looking at a vegan site won’t do much good for your bottom line.

Starting With a Strategy

Before content goes viral, it must start as high-quality content your users will find engaging and shareable. That begins with defining who your clients are and the information they most want to learn. This is where a strong strategy comes into play.

Start by defining your marketing strategy using questions about your business and marketing goals:

  • Who am I targeting?
  • How can I help my target audience achieve great results?
  • What brings our target audience joy?
  • What makes our target audience stand up and take action?
  • How can I build authority in this niche?
  • Who are the major players and publications in this niche?
  • What can I do to get them to notice my brand?
  • What can I do to be a leader in this field?

These questions will lead to a deeper understanding of what your readers are looking for. With that knowledge, you can formulate various content strategies to give people something they’re going to love sharing.

Finding Your Hooks

A hook is something that captures attention, drawing in viewers and making them want more. It’s why people stop and pay attention to your content. It’s also why people pass your content along.

When developing a hook, it should:

  • Have a clear and concise message
  • Have visuals that appeal to your target audience
  • Encourage engagement
  • Be thought-provoking
  • Make people take notice

Think of a hook as the bait you use to bring people in. It’s a sliver of anticipation that captures the attention of those who see it and makes them want to move forward to the next step. They click on the headline to read the article. They like it and share it with their own audience.

This is where knowing your audience well comes into play. When you know their triggers, you’re more likely to craft your hooks in such a way that they instantly “bite.”

A bride-to-be might not be able to resist the headline, “How To Make Your Wedding the Best With This One Secret.” A homeowner looking to renovate their kitchen might love, “The One Thing Today’s Kitchen Design Can’t Do Without.” With each of these, you’re speaking to the heart. You can add visuals to make it stronger. Create stories to pull at the heartstrings. That’s the magic of diving deep and really understanding your audience.

Awareness and Authority—Two Sides of Viral Content

As people start creating more content, they often get lost in the purpose behind it. Is it to rank well for keywords? Is it for full coverage in the search engines? Or is it specifically for your readers?

Some pieces of content will do well in the search engines. You can rank well for your specific key terms if you pay attention to SEO strategies. Other pieces may do better for specific viewers. They may do well on social media sites because of their message.

That doesn’t happen by accident. It takes a strategy to determine what type of content will be released when and where. Sometimes all that separates it is a few tweaks to the way it’s presented. But without a watchful eye and a little forethought, you’ll never please those who truly care about what you’re presenting. The goal isn’t millions of followers. Instead, think about connecting with people who will love what you do.

To fully capture your entire strategy, you also need to consider the purpose of each piece of content that you write. Working with two separate types of content can help you grow:

  1. Content that works at different levels of the sales process.
  2. Outreach content built specifically to be pitched to publishers.

The two are often similar, with minor tweaks to ensure both sides get what they are looking for.

Creating a Content Plan

Every business would love to have content widely shared across the marketplace. But it’s also safe to assume that rarely happens. Viral content often happens by accident—right place, right time. Because there’s never a guarantee of what will be picked up and what won’t, your best course of action is to create a solid content plan.

What do you want from your content?

  • More views?
  • More sales?
  • Better education?
  • More return on your investment?

By combining this with a deeper understanding of your audience, you can start to structure a solid content schedule that provides high-quality pieces perfect for the places where you’re sharing. Starting with your base strategy and sticking to your message will bring a clearer understanding when someone sees you for the first time. Want a bigger boost? Using paid strategies can push your content far and wide.

Viral content may help you grow. But a solid content marketing plan clearly defines your goals and highlights your progress. Do you have a solid content marketing plan in place?

More Articles