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Tips for Creating Viral Content: Where to Start?

Creating a viral marketing campaign isn’t an easy or predictable achievement. However, there are scientifically proven ways you can optimize your content to perform well on social media. And when a marketing campaign goes viral, a company’s sales, engagement, and brand awareness can increase dramatically.

It’s all about the audience

For any piece of content to be successful, it has to resonate strongly with a large audience. This means you need to know a thing or two about your target audience. The more you understand who your viewers are, the more you can tailor content to their specific needs. You need to give them a compelling reason to share something with their family, friends, and followers.

Also known as buyer personas, you should dig into questions about your target audience before you even head to the drawing board. These can include average age, occupation, economic status, etc., but more importantly, deeper questions such as what do they value? What motivates them? Remember, creating buyer personas is more than knowing who to sell your product to; it’s about attracting—and keeping— more of your ideal customers by knowing who they are, what they want, and how to offer them real value.

You’ll need a powerful visual strategy

Your content is a story that is best told using visual elements, as the human brain processes images 60,000 times faster than text. Not to mention, an audience is 80 percent more likely to read content if it’s paired with colorful visuals. It is also 40 times more likely to be shared across social media than any other type of content, according to reports by Hubspot.

Keep in mind that your visual content should be interesting, informative, and contain some element of curiosity, such as humor or hope. You certainly don’t want to skimp on giving this project to a quality creative team. Make sure the content is both aesthetically-appealing and as informative as possible.

“Marketing campaigns don’t go viral unless they have a unique, interesting, and innovative idea behind them — so your campaign needs to be something new and attention-grabbing.” —Hubspot.

Speak to peoples’ emotions

What’s the most recent viral video you watched? Was it of a cute puppy, a crazy stunt, a solider coming home from deployment, or something of the like? Although we may consider ourselves logical and modern humans, many, if not most, of our decisions are made by the ancient, instinctive subconscious part of our brain, often referred to as our “reptilian brain.” This is how emotions play into modern-day marketing.

Emotional marketing tells a story that connects with an audience in a human or personal way. Here are five approaches from Entrepreneur Magazine to emotional marketing that can turn casual consumers into brand fans: Inspirational, Aspirational, Love, Milestones and Local. And while emotional marketing is a marketing strategy, keep in mind that it must feel authentic and honest in order to be effective!

Looking for more tips on creating great content? Here's a short video on how to create content people care about.