Surviving Your Piece of Viral Content
Creating viral content is like winning the lottery. It is a rare occurrence that can bring fame and fortune to those who achieve it. Many people believe that overnight success happens randomly. But it is the result of hard work, persistence, trial, error, and luck (but don’t tell anyone!). Just like with any other form of marketing online though, certain elements need to be present to go viral. In this article, we will look at ways to increase your chances of achieving virality.
What is Viral Content?
Most people who create online content spend their entire careers trying to achieve that elusive virality.
Virality, is a term that gets thrown around a lot, but what does it mean?
In short: Viral content is any piece of media—usually a GIF or image—that goes viral. Viral content can be funny, cute, or otherwise endearing; but it also can have negative connotations, such as when a piece of news becomes too widespread to be taken seriously. For example, Let’s say you hear about a new movie on Twitter. You go check out the trailer on YouTube. Then you realize that it’s just another knockoff being released by DreamWorks Animation six months after the last movie came out (and less than two years after the previous sequel). Then your reaction might go from “I wish I could watch this with my niece!” straight into “Please let these movies end soon”.
Virality itself isn’t something everyone wishes for, it’s not like you want your content turning into an unstoppable monster. And if it does, you don’t want mere mention of the content to incites uncontrollable laughter. However, there are ways for creators who are looking for success online to increase their chances at achieving, virality.
Overnight Success Viral Content
Many people think overnight success is a random occurrence, but it results from hard work, persistence, and trial and error.
If you want to be a successful content creator on social media (and elsewhere), you need to keep at it until you find something that works for you and your audience. This could mean many hours of trial runs, redoing the work and tweaking the content.
Even if your actions aren’t working out as planned, don’t give up! Take note of what didn’t work and try something else. Remember, it’s trial and error time not just good luck. The most successful content creators are those who have worked at it for a long time—they’ve put in the disappointments and small achievements to know what works and how to make content that people want to share with others.
Moving Like Wildfire
Viral content has the unique potential to move like wildfire across social networks.
This means that even if you’re not a big-name brand, you can make waves with your content if it’s good enough. For instance, someone shared a funny meme with you and you shared it with two others, and so on.
It’s also a great way to promote yourself or your business. If someone sees something funny or compelling about your company, they might go out of their way to find out more about who you are and what you do.
The only problem with this is that viral content isn’t necessarily easy to predict ahead of time; there are no set rules for creating viral content. The goal is to capture the audience so the basics are “be funny” or “make people feel something”. If they relate, they will probably share it.
Try Different Tools
BuzzSumo is an analytics tool that lets you type in any URL and see the most popular articles on that topic. If can use this to find inspiration on topics that are popular on the web. Find out who’s writing about it, and how many followers they have. You’ll see a list of articles with their social shares at the bottom of each one.
This is just an example, do your research and find a program that works for you.
Viral Content Luck
There’s always a bit of luck involved when going viral. The right person may see your content at just the right time.
You can’t predict when your content will go viral, but there are ways to increase your chances. One way is to ensure you’re posting at the right time. For example, post on days when people are most often checking social media. While that seems like it should be every day, your analytics may tell a different story. Never forget to look at your analytics. Another way is to ensure that your idea has good timing. For instance, an article about how someone’s favorite sports team won the championship. Make sure it you post during the season and not three months from the event. It also helps if you have good visuals like photos or videos.
These are things that should contribute to making sure you are maximizing the number of people seeing your piece of viral content. And then it is just possible— that it goes viral!
Traffic and Content
Are you prepared when you do go viral? Is your server prepared? When dealing with site traffic spikes, you have a few options depending on what type of server setup you have now.
If you’re lucky enough to have a site that gets millions of visitors in a day, you probably have a few things in common with me:
● You will need a bigger server.
● You’ll need more servers.
● You might even consider commissioning some cloud-based infrastructure to take care of the traffic spikes instead of using your own hardware.
Naysayers and Downsides to Viral Content
While many people focus on the upsides of creating viral content, the downsides are all too real. When someone decides to attack your content or your website, it can be very upsetting and difficult to deal with personally.
Here are some things that could happen:
● You might be sued by someone who claims copyright infringement. This is often a problem for parody sites and parodies of famous covers songs (e.g., “The Gummy Bear Song”).
● Someone may copy your site’s design and use it for their own purposes. To prevent this from happening, you will want to register for copyrights as soon as possible after you create something original. This is so you have some legal protection from others who try to steal from you. Or even worse and sell what YOU created! Even if they do not sell anything directly off YOUR work…they’ll likely still profit indirectly. How? Well, they do that by getting more traffic than they deserve because they’re using one part of something else’s product line. Which makes no sense at all when compared against what REAL creativity looks like!
Fortunately, for writers and artists, tools are available online to protect their work from theft or plagiarism. In particular, iThenticate is useful for detecting plagiarism in written work such as blog posts or articles. While costly it could be worth it to a career blogger or social poster.
I hope this post has given you an idea of how easy it is to make your own viral content and its benefits. There are many other steps involved in creating something that goes viral, but these tips should be enough to get you started on your way to becoming a successful content creator!