Going viral. It’s every blogger and entrepreneur’s dream. But what does “going viral” really mean? And how is it done? Viral is the shortened term, but really this trend is considered “viral marketing,” according to the Merriam-Webster dictionary.
VIRAL MARKETING : marketing designed to disseminate information (as about a new product) very rapidly by making it likely to be passed from person to person especially via electronic means.
SeoMoz.org, is a Seattle-based company that develops search engine optimization (SEO) software. The concept of “going viral” is taken a little further in a recent lesson on the SeoMoz.org website via their The Daily SEO Blog. This lesson, titled “How to Increase the Odds of Your Content Going Viral” is presented by SeoMoz.org co-founder Rand Fishkin.
According to Fishkin, making content go viral may seem like luck of the draw – but there are avenues that can be taken to increase the odds that your material will be widely accepted and distributed. Social shares, mentions on other blogs and distribution of links; and emailed and talked about content are all components of a viral piece of content, Fishkin says. Having a variety of distribution channels outside of basic SEO will improve content virility.
When it comes to written pieces, visual elements such as photos or charts and graphs are also beneficial to increase the spread of written content, Fishkin says. Maintaining a professional look, design and feel for your platform – whether a website or video, as an example, make content visually appealing and therefore easier to spread. Content creators should also consider using customized shortened uniform resource locators (URLs) links to help promote their content when shared by others. “You an shrink down the title so it’s easily understandable,” Fishkin says.
Also key, Fishkin says, is to ask influencers in your personal community to give you input on the content before it’s even published. This will ensure quality and help dictate what audience will share the content. Better yet, if you personally know an influencer who already has a large audience – that power user will be more eager to share your content.
Lastly, Fishkin cites the importance of the topic, timing and seeding of content in making content become viral. “This essentially the process of figuring out what works best in your community,” Fishkin says. This can mean jumping off on topics already experiencing discussion in the news.
Bottom line – Fishkin recommends strategic and planned distribution of content to improve odds of “going viral.” Watch Fishkin’s video to learn more. Check out Fishkin’s video – and SeoMoz.org – to learn more!