Everything you need to know about creating viral content

Ted is one of those guys who believe in going to bed early and that’s the reason why he wakes up to some interesting messages from his friends every morning. However, last Sunday morning was a bit unusual as he received the same meme from 5 of his friends.

Ted was a bit annoyed, not because he got the same message from multiple contacts but because he wasn’t the one to share such interesting content with the group.

That kind of meme is something that marketers prefer to call as viral content. However, it’s not just memes. Any piece of content that is circulated rapidly and widely from one internet user to another can be termed as viral content.

It could be a Facebook post, a YouTube video, a tweet, a meme or any social media content that gets shared over and over again.

As you may have guessed, the quick-spreading nature of the content has gotten it the name – “viral content”. And thanks to its immense reach, marketers have tried to leverage viral content to promote their brands over the years.

But unfortunately, there is no definite recipe for creating viral content. In fact, most pieces of content that go viral on the internet aren’t created with the intention to go viral. It is like finishing your assignment overnight and getting an A for it. But is it just dumb luck? I think not.

What compels internet users to share content online?

New York Times interviewed around 2500 people to understand why they shared a story online. According to the survey, the main reasons were:

  • Share valuable and entertaining content with each other.
  • Be more open to others (allowing people to understand the user better).
  • Grow and nourish relationships (by staying connected with others).

For self-fulfilment (to feel more involved in the society),

To get the word out on the issues, they are concerned about.

If you want to create viral content, you need to consider these aspects that compel users to share content over and over. Although it does not guarantee a 100% success, at least you know what the audiences are looking for.

However, in order to produce viral content on a regular basis, you need to prepare an effective strategy, keeping these aforementioned points in mind. I have a few suggestions on that context.

The how-to on creating viral content

Again, no expert on the internet can tell you a sure-shot way of creating viral content. However, there are several tactics to prepare content that is more likely to go viral:

Be funny

Since we are talking about leveraging viral content for marketing, I’m assuming you have come across BuzzFeed. It is one of the leading brands on the internet that are pretty close to cracking the secret behind viral content. If you look at their content, you are going to find a humourous tone in each of their content pieces.

Whether it is a video, a meme, or a blog post, adding some fun elements in content gives the audience a reason to share the content with friends. Internet memes are popular these days because of the fun element it carries. The entertainment quotient of your content often determines how far your content would go.

Do proper research

Besides entertainment, information is something that often makes people share a particular piece of content online. Obviously, that information needs to either new or intriguing enough for the readers. And for that, you need to conduct in-depth research for the content you create.

Brown Smith , a professional Content Writer works at and according to the Brown. If you follow 8fact’s social media accounts, you may have seen them posting some interesting facts that most of us don’t know. To produce such content consistently, they obviously have a team of experts digging for a new, intriguing or weird piece of information consistently. To boost your chances of going viral, you also need to produce well-researched content regularly.

Focus on blogs with lists

If we consider blogs as a form of viral content (since blogs are more effective in generating leads), lists are something that can boost your chances significantly. Again, take the example of BuzzFeed. A majority of their popular blogs are basically written in listicle format.

’11 Products Under $500 That Will Always Be Useful’ or ’12 of the Best-Rated Sunglasses on Amazon That Are Actually Cheap AF’ are some of the examples of blogs with lists. Since these topics are relevant and offer multiple options of the same – they get the reader’s attention fast. If you check out the views of each of these blogs on BuzzFeed, you’ll find the count in millions.

Keep it short

Even a couple of years ago, people used to believe that long and detailed content is more acceptable to the readers. But ask yourself – would you read a forwarded blog that is 2000-words long? None of us would.

Shorter and concise piece of content are not only reader-friendly but also perfect for sharing online. And since people these days have the attention span similar to a goldfish’s, shorter content is your best bet at going viral. Since blogs are generally 800-1200 words long, infographics, images, video clips and memes are more likely to go viral due to their shorter length.

Make the content more relatable

Audience interaction may be a crucial part of a content marketing strategy, but when it comes to creating viral content, the content itself needs to be interactive. A majority of the blogs or opinion pieces that go viral are usually more relatable to the readers.

If a majority of the readers can relate to your content, they are more likely to share it on their social media accounts and start the domino effect that eventually makes the post go viral. Obviously, you need to conduct an audience survey to see who the target audiences are and how you can engage them with your content.

Wrapping it up

You need to try a number of things to hit the right chords with the audience. Since there is no definite roadmap for success in the domain of viral content, you have no other option but to try all the possibilities that are available to you. If the stars are in your favour, you may get to see your content getting thousands of shares in less than 24 hours. Until then, exercise the suggestions that you just received to boost your chances.

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Author bio

Nionica Starc is a senior content marketer at a reputed e-commerce website in Australia. He is also a part of the leading assignment help provider –, where he offers quality Kellogg’s supply chain  SWOT analysis to students on marketing topics.