How to go viral: 7 steps to becoming the next big thing

19 Aug 2021

Digital marketing

Christina Attrah

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We all want to be the next viral sensation, but the road to victory isn’t always a simple one. In a world where Baby Shark is the number one most viewed video of all time (have fun getting that tune out of your head), there certainly isn’t a one size fits all guide to securing success. So, how can you stay on top without having to dress up and dance like a fool in a shark costume? The key is to do your book work and devise a foolproof strategy that’s guaranteed to make your business the talk of the town. Let’s dominate the web one step at a time with these viral marketing techniques…

Have a presence across the channels 

To increase your brand’s visibility, don’t just stick to one social media channel – take control of them all. This is a great way to diversify your offering, providing audiences with an array of well-written long-form content, whilst also making use of video-sharing platforms for interviews or how-tos. 

With so many social media accounts to manage, tools like Hootsuite let you track your performance and grow an audience across all channels, whilst avoiding any ‘pull your hair out’ moments. By posting regularly, your audience will be constantly reminded of your existence – which is essential for being an allround unforgettable brand. 

Be as shareable as possible 

So, what makes a post shareable? Outgrow revealed that 72% of social media users are most likely to share news content, closely followed by humorous posts at 66%, and those that spark an opinion come in at 39.5%. This could come from a place of sharing beliefs, getting involved with a trend, or perhaps it’s used as a way to connect with others. Whatever the cause, place yourself in your audience’s shoes and create something that’s not only relevant to them, but worth talking about. How do you tap into their emotions? More on this later…

Top quality content

Always be sure to cast a critical eye over any content you’re going to release to the public. Posts that consistently look visually appealing, are well written and complete with professional infographics are much more likely to capture your audience’s attention – and increase your chances of being shared to the millions. Try to get a few images in there too, as research has revealed that these posts are more likely to be shared than those without. 

Get your audience involved 

Buzzfeed knows better than anyone that people are addicted to interactive quizzes. Who knew that discovering what type of pizza you are would contribute to this monster site reaching 169 million visitors? Creating posts that your audience can engage with is a surefire way to boost popularity, especially for those with a shorter attention span who may find these more fun than scrolling through a hefty piece of long-form content. And don’t forget, people love to broadcast their own opinions, so encourage your audience to share their thoughts in the comment section; it’s a great way to get people talking and sharing. 

Learn from your idols 

There’s plenty of competition out there, but rather than envying the viral giants, steal some tips and tricks from them instead! Perhaps they’ve posted a video about their journey to success, maybe they’re following some other useful accounts that you may not have discovered yet, or one of their posts generated a massive response. Either way, try to discover what it is they’re doing differently that gives them that edge. 

Tell your story

Authenticity goes a long way, as people love to read good, honest content that they can relate to. When the competition is fierce, how can you prove to your audience that your brand is worth engaging with? Think of yourself as their knight in shining armour, who’s here to slay their pain points. 

For a reader to become a loyal customer, you’ve got to understand exactly who you’re writing for and the type of life they lead. What problems will they be facing on a daily basis, and why would they come to your brand for help? Once equipped with this knowledge, you can start creating a brand personality and emotive background story that will not only breathe life into your business, but start building up a personal connection with your audience. 

Appeal to people’s emotions

Buzzsumo analysed some of the most shared articles out there, breaking down which emotions they aimed to evoke, with awe and laughter taking the top spots. This research proves that making your audience feel something increases a post’s shareability. These types of emotions are more likely to generate conversation, whether this be to gain a second opinion or to simply share a post of a cat playing a piano to brighten someone’s day. If you’re able to form an emotional connection through your content, your brand won’t be forgotten. 

Going viral is a challenge, but with a show-stopping marketing strategy, the whole process becomes much easier. Whether you want to up your content marketing game to boost shareability, or you’re looking to increase your website traffic through SEO, PPC and PR, our team of experts are here to help you on your way to becoming the next big thing.

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