Guest Column : How to make content viral organically - Leena Duwadi

When I gave heads up to the ‘fundamental differences between Barack Obama and Donald Trump’ story, me and my whole team had less clue that the listicle would perform more than we expected. The article went hell viral because it was widely read and shared by millions.

Internet world has seen almost 4 billion users, being nearly 3 billion social media users by now and the number is expected to witness massive growth in near future. Reports say, 14 new users are being added to the community every second. With no surprise, the number is going up each day, at a pace.

We all have observed that social media is no more an emerging field, it has already emerged upto a big extent. Hundreds of publications, media houses and platforms have evolved since online business of content came into existence and digital revolution happened. 

So, such digital platforms have only concern, 'how to make content pieces go viral?' And that too, 'how to ensure virality organically?'

On the basis of my experience with viral content, here I share some tips on how a content piece goes viral organically and how to master virality. 

  1. Understanding why people share content

You encounter with number of posts in your feed every moment. But how often it happens that you go ahead and click on these to read? Not every time, right? Possessing the basic understanding of ‘why people click on something, read or watch it, and share further’ is the first and foremost thing one needs to learn.

People share content because:

  • It’s informing them.
  • It’s entertaining them.
  • It’s inspiring them.

Information, Entertainment, Inspiration - these are the three basic reasons behind anyone consuming content and spreading among friends and family.

  1. Know your audience 

Identifying the common interest of your audience is another important aspect. When I mention that content should be either informative, entertaining or inspirational, it’s a must know that these three things do not happen at the same time and situation. It means, if a user is willing to consume an informative piece or a new stuff, s/he is not in the mood to be entertained or inspired by it. Likewise, if someone wants to get entertained, other two types of content don’t fall in her/his priority.

Here appears the importance of knowing the targeted audience and their taste. If someone is thirsty, there’s no meaning of serving her/him delicious dishes. It’s as simple as that.

  1. Identify your niche

It’s always good to sketch out the planning and strategy where you want to focus. Identify your niche and build audience of the similar interest. More the specific genre you choose and seed the content to the right audience, virality is ensured. For an instance, InnerVoice by WittyFeed is our biggest social media property that sees almost every post viral. Reason being, the community has audience of similar interest and they know that they get to consume the content that actually appeals them.

  1. Stay aware of what's going on around

Until and unless you keep your eyes and mind open, you will not be able to see what is going on around. Staying updated with the industry activities where you want to flourish your network, is a must.

Keep a check on what people are talking about the most on Internet and make sure you produce something around it. Most importantly, don’t expect high response at once. You may not get lot of audience engagement in the beginning, but if you put consistent efforts giving the best you can, audience will start noticing and you will find your content growing organically.

  1. Appealing headline and cover image

‘Headline and cover image’ is like movie teaser, people decide either to consume the content or not, looking at titles and thumbnails. So, they should be as appealing as possible. Try different formats and patterns and you will get the idea of what your audience prefers the most. Do not hesitate to keep a check on what your competitors are doing and how can you learn from them. Don’t copy them, but learn.

  1. Emotions always go viral

Probably the best tip one should follow. Human being is an emotional being, so any kind of emotion triggers us quickly. If you simply pick ten viral posts that you encountered (let’s say) last week or month, you will find, 9 out of 10 have one thing in common, that is, they possess some kind of emotion. Love, anger, sympathy, hatred, frustration etc. are some forms of emotion.

So, if you want to make your content grow organically, start presenting it from the emotional angle. Or pick the emotional factor of any instance and present it likewise, and see wonders!

  1. Presentation matters a lot

No content would go viral if it is not presented in the right way. Catchy and appealing presentation is the need of the hour, because ultimately no extraordinary response can be seen through ordinary performance.

Keep on experimenting with the package of content piece you serve to your audience. Simple and readable texts can be more engaging rather than texts full of jargons. I remember my mentor telling  me: “Write in the language your grandma understands.” Attractive captions, creative narrations, little bit of informal storytelling etc. are always liked by the audience.

  1. Play with your data

Last but not the least, data works as a mirror. It always gives you glimpses of what good you are doing, and what you need to do more. It’s a proven fact that relevant data study has helped many companies solve their biggest challenges. After all, relevant data creates credible strategies.

If you look a bit closer, you will find that all the pointers stated above are related to one another in some way. Among all these, keep innovating, keep experimenting and keep a consistent move on the way to be an expert on viral content. Happy virality!

(The Author is Leena Duwadi, Editor-in-Chief, WittyFeed.)

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