3 Insights for Creating Viral Content

3 Insights for Creating Viral Content

Publisher coverage and social media advocacy have become the modern day word-of-mouth marketing channels, meaning campaign performance created with intentions of increasing brand awareness and organic traffic should be measured in the form of media mentions and social shares, among other metrics. Taking this into consideration, my team at Fractl was inspired to analyze our own successes to see how we could replicate them in future work, using media mentions and social shares as performance metrics. Appeal to broad, tangential audiences for high-quality media coverage. Brainstorming content topics that literally tie back to your brand tremendously increases your team’s creative freedom to reach a general audience. Regardless of the audience, earning high-quality coverage from the media to reach those audiences requires creating original content from credible data sources. Evoke an emotional response with controversial content. The result was nearly 650 media mentions and over 67,000 social shares. Nearly all of the campaigns incorporated some sort of data visualization, and the top performing campaigns included visuals illustrating rankings or comparisons of the data. Polarizing ideas are best represented visually through ranking and comparison charts, which in turn help to spark online discussions. Appealing to broad audiences through data-driven, emotionally impactful content is truly the key to earning high-quality media coverage and generating social shares, so don’t be afraid to tap into some tangential or controversial ideas when trying to brainstorm your next viral campaign.

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The great thing about content marketing as a whole is its ability to achieve various marketing goals through different content strategies. From brand awareness to driving organic traffic to lead generation, tailoring your content to match your objectives is a must for ensuring your content doesn’t add to the noise by fulfilling the needs of your audience.

For marketers trying to achieve goals tied to increased brand awareness and higher search rankings, viral content becomes the ideal solution. Mass exposure through the free press and social communities not only benefits your brand by reaching and engaging a broad audience, but it does so through trustworthy and authoritative sources.

Within the past decade, several studies reveal consumers are much more inclined to listen to their friends and online peer reviews than traditional forms of advertising when it comes to making their purchasing decisions. Publisher coverage and social media advocacy have become the modern day word-of-mouth marketing channels, meaning campaign performance created with intentions of increasing brand awareness and organic traffic should be measured in the form of media mentions and social shares, among other metrics.

Taking this into consideration, my team at Fractl was inspired to analyze our own successes to see how we could replicate them in future work, using media mentions and social shares as performance metrics. After scanning through nearly 350 of our recent content campaigns, we pinpointed three characteristics of content that earned the best-performing metrics for brand exposure.

Appeal to broad, tangential audiences for high-quality media coverage.

It goes without saying, to reach the broadest audience possible, your content must have broad appeal. For most industries, that may mean taking a tangential approach to your content ideation. Brainstorming content topics that literally tie back to your brand tremendously increases your team’s creative freedom to reach a general audience.

Looking at the most Instagrammed places in America allowed Busbud, for example, to execute a viral campaign that tied back to their industry– travel– but went beyond the narrow scope of their services within the travel industry of comparing bus ticket prices. The result was over 300 media coverage stories by both high-authority publications with general audiences like Vox and niche industry publishers like Travel + Leisure.

Regardless of…

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