To have something go viral and cut through all the nonsense that’s overflowing on the Internet these days, it must be interesting and shareable—i.e., a linkable asset. But how do you create such valuable content?
Investing in your content is essential to create a community of engaged followers. Harness your content ideas into something bigger. Give your networks a reason to talk about you. Online and social media buzz around your brand, business or product can translate into real word-of-mouth conversions.
Understanding how content becomes a linkable asset
People should be able to gain something from your linkable asset. It could be a white paper, blog post, infographic, video, webcast or anything else you can publish, embed or make available as a download. Valuable content will be linkable as long as it can be easily posted or shared with over email, messaging or social media.
The key to valuable content
Aim to create content that people will find useful and entertaining, but still unique. Try to come up with a new angle or perspective no one has ever seen before. Make viewers want to refer back and share it with their networks. No one will share content that’s old news or lame!
Keep in mind that content can’t only be created in hopes of acquiring links. Content that has the potential to go viral will be tailored to meet the needs of an audience and give viewers something of value. In-depth pieces of content that users want to revisit have a much stronger, lasting impact than basic pieces. Someone may take the time to read a short, simple post about “3 Ways to Make Your Garden Sustainable,” but a full post on “20 Tips to Make Your Garden Sustainable” will be a comprehensive, useful resource worthy of sharing and even bookmarking so they can keep referring back to it.
Choose a timeless subject
Focus on creating content that has staying power. Consider employing “evergreen” content that will always be relevant to your audience, compared to topics that may change over time. Topics tailored to current events and trending themes may go viral, but news today will fade out tomorrow.
For example, users will always want to know “How to Find the Perfect Hairstyle for Your Face,” because this topic won’t change much. But they will probably not be as interested in a dated version like “How to Get Hair Like Justin Bieber,” which will become less relevant as teen pop culture icon JBiebs phases out.
Set linkable assets up for success
Truly viral content will hopefully not require much promotion, but you still have to put in some effort. It’s not enough to simply publish a linkable asset in one place and hope it shows up in everyone’s Facebook feed.
Go above and beyond on social media
Your first resource should be your existing audience. Push out your content over the obvious social platforms where you’ve already built up a following. You can enhance this by tweeting to specific industry experts you want to grab the attention of, joining and posting in Google+ communities related to your industry, as well posting in professional groups on LinkedIn.
Find niche media sharing websites
Most types of media have a specific platform or network built up around them. Take advantage of the systems already in place by placing your content there. Use these platforms for your specific type of content:
- Video: youtube.com, vimeo.com
- Infographic: visual.ly
- Slide show: slideshare.net
- White paper: scribd.com
Make sure to add a descriptive title with relevant keywords and include a blurb or intro.
Basic outreach and networking
When you need to get something done, use your networking skills. Encourage blog owners, webmasters or business owners in your industry to reblog or share your content with their own audiences. Approach bloggers with guest posts that summarize or support your asset and ask for them to cite your asset as a source for more information.
Employ a newsworthy press release
Online press releases are read by bloggers and journalists. Developing a press release on your content containing quotes, statistics or other bits of information pulled from the content can make all the difference in attracting a variety of viewers and content promoters to start talking.
Take your content to the next level
Hopefully, you’re already creating high-quality content tailored to your audience and won’t find creating a linkable asset much of a stretch. With these guidelines in mind for creating viral content, marketers can expand the impact of their content and be rewarded with continuous traffic and greater brand exposure.
Phil Laboon has consulted for everything from startups to Fortune 500s, developing clients’ online presences and online credibility. Eyeflow Internet Marketing specializes in providing organic SEO, online marketing solutions, social media and PPC by utilizing strategic, ethical and natural techniques. Each campaign is customized based on customers’ unique industries and goals.
The Young Entrepreneur Council (YEC) is an invite-only organization comprised of the world’s most promising young entrepreneurs. In partnership with Citi, the YEC recently launched #StartupLab, a free virtual mentorship program that helps millions of entrepreneurs start and grow businesses via live video chats, an expert content library and email lessons.