When was the last time you created something online that went viral?
Whether you're new to content marketing or are a viral content maven, you probably know that it can be nearly impossible to predict which tweet or video or meme might go viral. Often, it feels like virality is just completely random.
We asked three content marketing experts to weigh in on what they think makes some content super-popular while other content goes straight to the internet graveyard.
Drawing from their own knowledge and experience, they share their perspectives below. Learn what they think sets viral content apart.
What Makes Content Go Viral?
We all have opinions on what types of content go viral: a soundless social video, a data-backed explainer, a perfectly timed newsjack. But no matter the format, it ultimately comes down to emotion. Does the story make you feel enraged, inspired, understood? With everything you create you have to ask: If this scrolled by on my newsfeed, would I care? If the answer is no, it’s not worth it. Your online content habits are your own best judge.
-- Megan Conley, Content Marketing Strategist at HubSpot
When creating new content, seriously ask yourself two questions: "Why would anyone share this?" and "Will this help someone better express themselves?" If you can't answer either of these questions, that content has no chance at going viral. People share content that strikes an emotional chord with them. Your job is to identify and articulate that emotion-driving element.
There are two interdependent sides to the notion of viral content. On the human side, when a piece of content excites its audience, triggering an emotional response, to the point that they can't help but to share it. In other words, it's "remarkable" content. From the engineering side, social technologies measure engagement, map it over time down to the millisecond, and then surface content deemed high quality to get more impressions and even more engagement. The interplay between those two mechanisms is what makes content go viral.