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Keys to Developing Viral Content

By David | May 24, 2012 | Home | Blog Categories | Articles

Viral ContentViral content is one of the latest buzzwords in internet marketing and if you 'go viral' you can expect a huge surge in traffic to your website. Successful viral content results in a sudden influx of inbound links, thousands of people talking about you on Facebook and Twitter and an increase in the general awareness of your website, product or brand. With benefits like this, it is no wonder that content creators are desperate to be the next viral success story.


But how exactly do you go about creating content that is likely to go viral and what can you do to help the process along a little? While it is impossible to predict exactly what will be the next LOLcats or dancing baby, there are certain steps you can take to produce content that is popular and likely to be shared.


Follow our top ten tips for viral content creation and with a bit of luck, your content may well be the next big thing.


1. Make it Funny


People spend hours on sites like Facebook not only because they want to connect with their friends, but also because they want to be entertained. Some of the most popular content since the birth of the internet has not been amazing, insightful or even well produced but is simply effective at putting a smile on your face. Office workers love sneaking five minutes out of the daily grind to look at something funny and they will gladly forward it on to coworkers.


2. Make a Video


Search for pretty much anything on Google these days and the chances are there will be at least a YouTube video or two in the first page of results. Videos are easily embedded and shared on other websites and social networks and provide a nice break from a wall of text.


3. Make an Infographic


Infographics are popular because they are a great way of displaying complicated or detailed information in a visual way. Far from plain old line charts and bar graphs, viral infographics are works of art in their own right and just beg to be shared around the internet.


4. Make it Controversial


It is said that no publicity is bad publicity and this is certainly the case when you are trying to get links for your website. Writing a piece of content that attracts comments from people with strong opinions who do not necessarily agree with you (or each other) is a sure-fire way to bring traffic to your site.


5. Make it Inspiring


People love happy endings and stories of triumph over adversity. If you can share content that brightens up the reader's day or encourages them to follow their dreams despite the potential pitfalls, they are bound to pass it on to friends and family.


6. Make it Unbelievable


The internet loves incredible photos and stories and the users of the internet love sharing them with others. A great example of this is's series of 'Images You Won't Believe Aren't Photoshopped'.


7. Make it topical


Content about a current event or news topic that everyone is talking about has a good chance of going viral. Many of Facebook's highest trending articles of 2011 were about news events such as the death of Osama bin Laden and military operations in Libya.


8. Make it Multi-Platform


You no longer need a computer to access the internet and an increasing number of people are using mobile devices to browse websites, watch videos and connect on social networks. Make sure your content is accessible on all devices so you do not miss out on any potential readers.


9. Make an Amazing Resource


If your content is so detailed, useful and unique that people cannot help but link to it, you are sure to be onto a winner. Look for areas where there is currently a lack of useful information and aim to write the most informative, complete guide you could possibly imagine. Aim for a high word count and plenty of images, infographics and videos to illustrate your points and break up the text.


10. Make it Easy to Share


There is no point creating an amazing, funny, inspiring piece of content if nobody knows it exists. Make sure you include buttons so that it can easily be posted to the popular social networks and get the ball rolling by posting about it yourself on sites like Facebook and Twitter.

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Publish date: May 24, 2012
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