We’ve talked about what constitutes viral content before, what people are looking for and how to create it, but there’s one particular point I didn’t cover: How to make it spread like the plague. Because, you see, that’s what makes any virus attract more attention – it’s ability to spread like wildfire.
Every day we encounter dozens of viruses but most never make the news. The ones that do are newsworthy because of their ability to spread quickly, from person to person, infecting each person they come in contact with. The content of the virus is important because that’s what makes us feel sick, but without that ability to spread the content becomes irrelevant because it never touches anyone.
The same thing happens with the viral content you’ve worked so hard to create. It may be wonderful, remarkable, and emotionally charged, but if it doesn’t easily spread from person to person it will simply die on the vine. In other words, if your readers can’t easily pass your viral content from person to person, you’ve just wasted your time.
These days, most bloggers have sharing buttons on their blogs, usually on each post and page. But just like readers develop ad-blindness they also develop a blindness for your sharing buttons. Especially if they’re those cute, teeny tiny buttons so many bloggers like to use so they blend into the background. Even if you’re using a slider on the side of your post, your regular readers will eventually just ignore it.
Make sure your content is easy to share. If it’s an image, minimize it as much as possible so it won’t slow down load times on other blogs. If it’s textual content, format it so it looks good on all browsers. If it has its own URL, shorten your permalinks for easier sharing. Keep in mind that users of all experience levels will be sharing your content and make it so easy even a beginner could do it.
It takes time to brew a good virus and it takes time to create effective viral content. Take the time to also create an easy way for your readers to share it. Install large, vibrant sharing buttons directly to that post and give your readers a strong, clear call to action to share that content, now.
Don’t overlook the old-fashioned email. Include a link and a call to action telling your readers to click here to email this post to a friend. Blast your viral creation out to all your subscribers in an email broadcast and include a link at the end telling them to email it to friends.
The reason so many bloggers get poor results with viral content isn’t that the content isn’t “viral” quality. It’s because they don’t put enough planning into the process of sharing. If you want your content to spread like the plague, then you need to make it easy for it to move from person to person.