Here are 8 effective strategies for making your content more 'viral', or in other words getting other people to help you promote it:
- Add Social Media Share, Like & Follow Buttons to all your blog posts and landing pages. Although it sounds obvious, adding social buttons can have a big effect on your marketing, especially if your content is good as people do share good content – if they can. If there are no share buttons, it’s very unlikely anyone will share your content as most people won’t go out of their way to share it. However, if there’s a button right in front of them and they like your page, it will get clicked.
- Create Content that Adds Value. If you don’t create content that helps people to solve their problems, then it won’t get shared. For example, let’s say your niche is ‘health and fitness’ and you write a blog post with a list of foods people can eat that will give them more energy. This post will be very likely to get lots of shares if people bookmark it, try the foods and find they have more energy. They will also probably share it without even trying the foods if it’s well presented, detailed and easy to read. If your content is interesting and thought provoking, it can go viral on social media sites such as Facebook and Twitter very quickly.
- Always Use Images and / or Videos on Blog Posts, Landing Pages and Social Media Posts / Pages. Pictures, infographics and videos are far better at grabbing peoples’ attention than headlines and paragraphs alone. Webpages which contain lots of graphic media are also much ‘stickier’ than those containing just text as people tend to be much more likely to stay on a page and read the text if the graphic content piques their interest first. If your content is visually appealing then it won’t bounce your visitors away from your site and this will improve your search engine rankings. Images and videos also attract likes and shares much more often than plain text based content, making your content much more viral.
- Regularly Use Incentivized Social Media Sharing. Whilst I would not recommend bribing your visitors to share all your content, this strategy is particularly powerful if you have a good bribe. The best way to bribe a visitor into sharing your content is by ‘locking content’. For example, let’s say you have a valuable piece of information like a discount code or a software application which you can give away, you can make your webpage automatically reveal the discount code or the download link for the software when the visitor completes a predetermined action such as sharing your page on Facebook or Tweeting your page to their followers. This is a very powerful viral marketing strategy.
- Regularly Turn Content into Youtube Videos. Videos have the potential to bring you hordes of visitors as they attract social media shares more than any other type of content. For instance, how many videos do you see in your Facebook newsfeed? Additionally, videos submitted to Youtube are much more likely to be found on the 1st page of Google for popular search terms than any other type of web content. Whenever I search for product reviews on Google, there are always one or more Youtube videos on page 1 of the results – even if those videos suck. Google owns Youtube and actually wants your Youtube content to get seen.
- Make Relevant Comments with Backlinks to Your Site on Blog Posts that Rank Well for Your Target Keywords. The key to success with blog comments is to make sure they are relevant. Your comment should make it clear that you have actually read the post about which you’re commenting. If you have ever created a WordPress blog it’s fairly likely people will have submitted comments on your posts at some point. These comments are very often vague, meaningless statements automatically submitted by software applications to spam peoples’ blogs in an attempt to get one-way backlinks for seo purposes. They are very often on the lines of: “My brother recommended this website to me and I’m glad he did – what an amazing post.” Or “Thank you for sharing so much valuable information. Great blog!” Most blog owners immediately label vague comments like this as spam so they immediately get deleted. However, if you read the post and make a relevant comment about it like: “I was fascinated to read your tips on growing potatoes Tim. I’ve never had much success with my spud crops but now that I understand how to chit the seed potatoes and ‘earth up’ as the plants are growing I think my results will be better – cheers buddy”. This sort of comment, if it’s in context with the post, will very often be approved. If you post relevant, quality comments a lot, you will get targeted free visitors from multiple high ranking blogs in your niche, who will send viral traffic to your site by sharing it via their own social media accounts. The more you post comments like this, the more viral traffic you will accumulate, due to the increase in the number of people finding their way to your website, potentially sharing your content with an increasingly large audience via their own social networks.
- Use ‘Memes’ in your social media marketing. Memes are pieces of graphical content combined with short phrases or witticisms with a particularly high ‘share factor’. If you look in your Facebook timeline someone you know will almost certainly have recently shared, liked or commented on a meme. Memes usually include a picture from the following categories [cute animal, cute baby, media celebrity doing something controversial, exceptionally odd photograph, comical photograph, photograph of a comical scenario] along with some sort of phrase intended to be comical or controversial. This type of content is engineered specifically to entice people to share it – and it works. You also find memes which simply consist of an attractive background image like [mountains / trees / the beach] overlaid with some sort of ‘positive / philosophical’ statement designed to inspire empathy. These often seem a bit cheesy to me but people share them like crazy.
- Invite Content from Your Readers. Why is Facebook so interesting, so viral and so profitable? Simply because most people are fascinated by the antics of other people and can’t help reading what their friends have been up to and what they think about various world and media events. Harnessing the power of OTHER peoples’ content is an incredibly powerful viral traffic strategy. Nearly ALL the most viral and profitable websites use this very strategy – think about it: Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest, Reddit, Tumblr – the list goes on… There are a few ways to do this including simply asking people to comment on your blog, curating other peoples’ content onto your site or by creating a customized member site where people are explicitly invited to join and contribute.
Adding Social Buttons: One resource I use for adding social sharing buttons to WordPress posts and pages is called Ultimate Social Media Icons and it’s a WordPress plugin you can download for free from the dashboard of your WordPress site. Just search for it on the ‘add plugin’ page. It enables you to create a set of discreet but prominent share buttons encourage your visitors to share your content. You can set your icons to reshuffle every few seconds, thereby drawing your visitor's attention to them.
Creating Awesome ‘Shareworthy’ Content: Creating unique, interesting and sharable content is difficult. In fact, it’s the hardest part of being an online marketer. I have always found it particularly hard and had to train myself to become more ‘wordy’.
One way of getting excellent content that you can adapt and use as your own is via private label rights (PLR) products. PLR content enables you to use awesome content as your own. You can use it ‘as is’ or better still adapt it to make it consistent with your own brand. Adapting PLR content to make it your own is a pure GOLD strategy for content marketers, it’s something I do a lot.