How can I make my blog post go viral? The $64,000 content marketing question

How can I make my blog post go viral?

If I had a dollar for every time I’ve been asked that, I would have $64,000 by now, almost literally!

It came up again recently as another fly-by-night agency/freelancer was caught out making unsubstantiated claims about being able to guarantee a viral response for a client.

So let us be clear: Nobody can actually guarantee you natural, organic, viral outcomes for your content marketing.

It’s not all about numbers

One of the first myths about “going viral” (when, suddenly, an image or piece of content becomes wildly popular overnight) is that if someone with lots of followers shares your content (often for a fee), you’ll have it made.

Unfortunately, a recent report on social media influencers in Inc magazine, revealed how pathetic the actual dollar-value impact is of getting a Kardashian-style celebrity or locally-based “guru” to share your content.

Too often, we find there are fake followers bloating their credentials. And fake followers help nobody, other than the crooked spruiker!

It’s actually about care factor

We also know that on the internet, most practitioners accept that interest tends to surround three types of content:

  • Stuff we love
  • Stuff we hate
  • Stuff that amuses us

Nigel Dobson-Keeffe, my colleague from my podcast, The Adelaide Show, shared a photo that shows how strong the local and the “What’s In It For Me” factor is in virality.

The image Nigel shot, above, is of the guard rails on Gorge Road being pushed across the road at perfect right angles by nature, as a result of South Australia’s recent storms.

This is amusing from a “wow, look at nature” perspective but the reason that wherever this image has been shared it has ended up being shared many, many times over, is because people “care”.

For some people, they love seeing the quirks of nature, for others, this means an important road or route for them has been closed and that will impact their lives and the lives of those around them.

So, how can I make my blog post go viral?

My short reflection today has been designed to leave you pondering this question.

Is there a real, tangible, local-impact aspect to the social media or blog post you are about to share?

Will it impact lives in your target market?

Does it impact your relationship with your clients and customers?

A photo or story of your winning footy team might be fun, but if it has no relevance to your target market, should you be sharing it?

So, I cannot give you the formula for virality.

What I can do is highlight that when you craft your social media content with an eye on your ideal customer, make sure you also keep a weather eye on the world around them, and how the two worlds are connected.

Then, I hope you catch a virus.