Content is a truly divisive subject knocking around the online traps, drawing contradictory arguments out of the wood work and prompting an unprecedented dialogue surrounding virality, including the how’s, what’s and accusations of luck.
While luck is certainly a factor is some cases (most of us don’t know what we have until it hits the cyber waves and takes off), there’s seems to be a specific pattern emerging in viral content across the board, suggesting thousands of hits aren’t a pipe dream and you can soon be on the train to Share City – at least for now, until something changes and it inevitably does.
1. Unique Appeal
You know the saying, you’re unique, just like everybody else; it sounds hyper cynical, but this perspective is very true for content. If there’s an idea, a notion, a satirical musing rolling around in your head, the chances are somebody has already beat you to it. So this is where we all need to step out of our comfort zones a little bit and list the ways in which we’ll approach a particular topic.
Do your research too, have a look at the styles circulating the Share Sphere at the moment and extrapolate how you can be different – not necessarily completely unique, because we’ve established this is impossible – but launch your content with a different take, fuse markets and humour, dare to take a few risks in the process and you might spin up a winner.
This is not a word, but the principle stands. This article probably lost half of its audience around the first couple of lines (adios), another fifth of the remaining readers around the first appearance of “unique” and now I am left with you lot.
Some (not all) people online require things to be spelt out for them and categorised to spare their precious surfing time, despite most of us investing more hours into the internet than our real world relationships – but it must be easy to read.
So think categories, headings, easily accessible guide posts to point your audience in the right direction before they blink. If they blink, shrug and click away, your article is history and not a sharable item.
This is a huge problem among online content writers – the expectation they will go viral straight away without investing any amount of time establishing a relationship with their audience.
Let’s be clear, the internet and the readers of the internet owe you buckleys; if you don’t put time aside and consistently produce useful, interesting or funny information they can’t pass their day without, why would they send you viral? Don’t expect the world to bow down to your words before they can be trusted. And trust always takes time.
Though there are several ethos out there dictating all sorts of bullocks to willing followers, we subscribe to the Search Factory code of viral content – be interesting, be engaging, stick around, wait it out and invest in your audience.