Viral marketing is something of an enigma, even among many seasoned marketing agencies. It can be orchestrated or accidental, paid or organic. The virality can come from successfully hitting the right target, or it can be due to unintentional hilarity. For the purposes of online marketing, however, you don’t want to focus energy on what you can’t control. So what are the tangible, actionable ways you can encourage your content to become viral?
Understanding Social Media
Since the advent of social media, the marketing landscape has changed completely. Where television and radio once ruled, internet marketing has outstripped them by leaps and bounds. Today, consumers are more likely to seek information online before they go anywhere else, and the average person spends hours every week on social media networks like Facebook and Instagram. The game is, as they say, afoot. In order to keep in step, it’s important to understand the medium.
All too often, companies are under the mistaken impression that social media marketing means creating an account, throwing up some pictures and information about sales, and calling it a day. Not only is this example ineffective, it can actually be damaging to your brand. Consumers of the internet era require two things: authenticity and interesting or beneficial content. These things require time, effort, and strategy on the part of your marketing team. If you don’t have a dedicated department that can invest that time, you’ll find online marketing a steep mountain to climb.
Quality Viral Marketing
The first step is in understanding what makes quality viral marketing. One of the go-to tactics of knowledgeable marketers is link baiting — the practice of creating appealing content that encourages sharing. This sort of content can come in many forms. Many sites use listicles, infographics, eye-catching images, humor, controversial topics, and other similar attention-grabbing content. Consider for a moment the type of articles that catch your interest and get you to click. What about them sticks out to you? If you can create interesting, easily-digestible, informative, entertaining, or breaking news style content, you’re on the right track.
You’ll also notice that the most successful sites — Buzzfeed and Upworthy are excellent examples — have mastered the art of drawing people in with a gripping headline. These are the headlines that create a sense of intrigue and urgency, inspiring people to follow to get the full story. They’re also known as “clickbait.” If you see a headline along the lines of “He Proposed to Her in Central Park and You’ll Never Believe What Happened Next,” you know it hooks people in. The trick is keeping them on the page once they click, which means you have to deliver on the headline’s promise. If you can do that, you’ve struck social sharing gold.
Not sure you have the in-house manpower to spare on this sort of marketing effort? No problem. You can find skilled social media consulting and creative online marketing through Zentiv. With over 13 years in the business, we’re well-versed on what makes online users click, stick, and buy. Don’t waste time and effort throwing out lines and hoping someone bites. We’ll help you choose the best bait.