Get Contagious: How a Brand’s Content Goes Viral

What makes people share something with someone else? We’ve all felt the need, at one point or another, but why, oh why, did we feel such a deep connection with that cat video? Every blogger and marketer dreams of having their content seen by thousands—or even millions—of people, but it’s very hard to pinpoint exactly what makes that happen. Some “experts” will claim it all comes down to timing and luck.

While that’s a decent analysis, we know there are reasons behind why people share some things more than others. There are simple tips brands can follow to increase their chances of going viral. Get contagious content by following these tried and tested strategies.

Keep It Useful

People share content that they find valuable. Makes sense, right? Content needs to have value because people are generally more likely to share something that they find useful or knowledgeable to their friends, family, and colleagues. Remember the power of sharing good information with readers.

Unsure how to add value to company content? Try focusing on important world news regarding your industry or suggest changes that could help your followers. Is there a story that relates to your products and services? Is there something important happening in the industry? A brand’s content should encourage reader feedback and do their best to provide something that will improve the lives of their fans. Focusing on customers and what they need will increase the value of the content. The more valuable the content, the more likely it is that it will be shared.

Hit ‘em Where it Hurts

Obviously we don’t want to literally hurt our audience, but we should definitely try to reach readers on an emotional level. Get people connected to your content! Let it suck them in. Whether readers are seeing a video where someone hears for the first time or they’re reading an article about a family reuniting after years apart, people love stories that make them feel something.

If fans feel engaged by the content a brand is putting out, they’ll be inspired to interact with that content. Focus on specific emotions like awe, anger, fear, joy, anxiety, and surprise and tailor posts accordingly. Targeting one of these emotions will increase the chances of going viral.

Stay Positive!

Sick of hearing bad news? With everything going on in the world, hearing something positive can be a welcome change. Negative articles can elicit an emotional response just as much as positive content, but people love seeing and sharing something inspirational. Uplifting messages and pieces that find a positive way to share information are often enjoyed by online readers. Staying positive can be a huge factor in going viral.

People like reading articles that make them feel good about themselves and they like sharing those awe-inspiring articles with their friends. In fact, studies show that people enjoy sharing positive content because it, in turn, reflects positively on them. Also, most people would prefer to make others happy by sharing uplifting messages than be someone who only shares bad news. Keep this in mind when crafting content.

Make it Share-Worthy

Ensuring that content is share-worthy isn’t ALL about emotional response and usefulness. It also has to do with the type of content being posted. What length should a good post be? Where should these articles be uploaded? Audiences need to be able to find a brand’s content in order for it to be shared, so that’s the first step. The ease of which people can read and spread the word about posts has a lot to do with it going viral.

So, what’s the first step? Focus on where content should be posted and tailor the pieces to fit the needs of those sites. For example, sharing images on Twitter can increase retweets by 150%, and videos are heavily shared on Facebook. Understanding a platform and its audience can greatly increase the chances of specific content catching on.

Inject Personality

We instantly recognize the voice and personality of our favorite brands. That’s what makes a company so great. Developing the voice and personality of a company will help form a relationship with readers. No one wants to read content that feels like it’s only trying to sell something. Add some spice to your content!

Don’t we all love reading content that sounds like it was written for us by someone we know? Corporate sounding articles will not get very far and will alienate your audience. Many brands find success by injecting personality into the writing and connecting with their audience in order to form a relationship with them. If fans feel like they know a brand and their content resonates with them, they’ll want to share those posts.

If All Else Fails, Be Cute

Remember that Charlie Bit My Finger video or those adorable animal videos that everyone shared on a regular basis? Most people do because they’re cute videos and people LOVE watching cute things. People watch the Puppy Bowl because there’s literally nothing cuter than seeing a bunch of puppies running around with each other for a few hours. Content sometimes goes viral because people feel the intense need to share nice stuff with their friends and family. If all else fails, keep it cute!

If a company can find an adorable way to share engaging information, they’re golden. This ties in with emotional response, so consider telling a heartwarming story or crafting a video that people will find irresistible. We’ve all watched and read this type of content and there’s probably been a time when we’ve shared it with our friends. Spreading joy can be contagious.

There’s no right way to make your posts go viral, but there are things you can do to increase the likelihood of that happening. Use this information to build your content and reach more people than you ever thought possible.

Is there anything you’d like to add to this list? Has your content ever gone viral? Share with us below!

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