4 May 2013

How To Write For Viral Marketing

Mention the work "viral" and we all think of a YouTube video such as "Gangnam Style". However blog posts can also be crafted to go viral, provided you capture the interests of your audience.
Below is a list of 10 things based on extensive research that will help your blog posts become more viral.

Capture Your Audience's Attention
Capture Your Audience's Interest

  • Make use of social trends.  Your article or post must cover a hot topic.  If it is yesterday's news, you will have little interest.  So the question is how do you make your post more newsworthy?  Consider using "Google Trends" or "Twitter Trends" to find a choice subject matter.  I had used Google Trends in the past to identify how current some products where and which products were up and coming, but I had never considered using "Google Trends" for article writing.  Likewise many of us use "Twitter Trends" without thinking to see which hashtag keywords are trending on Twitter but never consider applying this to article writing.  Now you know better.  But I will admit it is tricky mixing what you would like to cover with what is currently in the news.  Sometimes timing is everything.
  • Write about universal problems as an alternative to being on trend.  As a counter-pose this strategy is more slow burning but longer burning.  There are no rules to say that you can't mix these two approaches within a blog on a particular subject matter.
  • Spend time with your title. Article titles make or break the number of views your post will get.  In my early days of blogging, I used to change the title several times after publication and observe the reaction.  This is an exercise I would highly recommend.  Sure keywords are important here but so are they in they are arranged and how they are presented.  I guess the issue here is that you, the writer, has one view but your audience may have another.  So get into the mind of your audience. 
  • Write longer articles.  There is a perception that longer articles are more worth sharing, as if the length of an article is social proof of its gravity.  That's the psychology and I respect this but struggle with its implementation at the same time.  Personally I have difficulty waffling. 
  • Use emotion.  In the world of social media there is little room for emotion.  But do your best to build it in where appropriate.  One way to do this is illustrating when small changes bring big results and how these result effect people in a positive way. 
  • Readers skim content in today's world.  Its a fact.  So organise your content with paragraph headlines or key points so that readers get an overview of what you have written.  Only 20% of readers will ever read an article in full, life is too busy. 
  • Write for people and not search engines.  The viral effect is brought about by people not by search engines.  Ok, get your title found by search engines but it is people who will share your article provided it strikes a chord.  Grab their attention and interest, don't exhaust them by saying the same thing over again with different keywords.   Let the article flow naturally. 
  • Have at least one photograph or image at the top of the article.  This image should graphically represent the contents of the article and add interest.  This image is vital if the article/post is to be shared with LinkedIn or Facebook.  The image gives a "flavour" to the text.
  • Make sure your blog has social media share buttons to allow your article to be distributed.  One important point here is make sure the share bar is below the article or post title.  Only 20% of any blogs' audience ever read to the end of an article.  So if you have share button at the article's end they wouldn't get used.  The big point here is that people will  share an article without reading the post in full, provided the headline is good enough or the subject matter topical enough.
  • Always ask for feedback on your article or if the readers would like to add anything to your list of "how-to's" or "to-do's".  Your readers may have a view on the subject matter that adds to your post and gives a better understanding.  Engagement leads to share-ability.
So if I have missed anything or you disagree with any of the above, please leave a comment below.
Regards, Chris.


  1. Writing a content for viral purposes is not that easy, you need to write a unique and fresh content that you think people might want to share to others...


  2. Thanks, always up to get some new opinions and ideas. Also I write about the marketing issues of today and tomorrow, make sure to have a closer look.


  3. Hi Marko, vielen Dank fuer Ihr Kommmentar.
    Gruesse an alle deutsche social medien fans!

  4. Oestereichische social medien fans ebenso!