Creating viral content:  5 rules to remember

Creating viral marketing

Ok, so it is obvious that it you want to get thousands or even millions of people sharing your ideas and content you need to create something worth sharing, but how do you do that.  Here are 5 rules of viral content you need to keep in mind.

Nobody has any interest in your product or service:

The first rule of viral content is people care about themselves and their own problems.  People also like to be entertained and be involved and/or share remarkable things.  When you create something you must avoid hyping your product or service.  Create something interesting, something that solves problems real people have.  Be others focused.

No coercion required:

Since the beginning of time people of tried to convince people to buy.  Today only, buy two camels get one camel free.  For a limited time, bite this apple and I will throw in forbidden knowledge.  This type of product centric advertising is not how you get people talking about you.  If anything it has a negative effect to what you are trying to accomplish.  People will automatically think “hey, they have to offer discounts to get people to buy”.  When you have something worth sharing, people will share it, just make sure you make easy for them to do that sharing.

Lose Control:

The third rule of viral content is letting go.  You need to make you valuable content totally free.  It doesn’t matter if its an ebook, blog, or white paper if you charge for it someone down the line is going to baulk at paying money and your viral content is dead.  You viral content campaign is about building notoriety and recognition.  Your sales leads comes from the notoriety, not the viral content itself.

Go where the people are:

If you want viral content you have to go where the people that are interested in what you have to say are.  Find the blogs, websites, forums, etc. where what you have to say is of interest and solves their problems.  Going to a classic car blog to talk about new developments in cutting edge technology on heart surgery does not make sense.  Going to that same classic car blog and posting an article on leather restoration or preventing rust does.

Create a trigger to encourage people to share:

The final rule of viral content is to make sure you have a trigger to encourage people to share.  Solve people’s problems, extremely valuable content, unusually interesting or funny, or just plain outrageous.  If you want it to go viral it can’t be a bore.  An article on periodontal disease is ok, but a article on how clean teeth can improve you sex life will go somewhere.

Final thoughts on creating viral content.  Make sure you content is easy to share and it links back to you.  Make sure your content has easy links for people to email or post your content to their friends and family.  Make sure you include a link and an email address back to you.  Encourage people to leave comments.

Hope you enjoy and I would love to hear your comments !!!

Darren E. Squires
Project Management, Web Development & SEO