I recently got a link forwarded to me from a lawyer friend of mine. I usually don’t open those joke emails or political emails that everyone sends around. Yes, they are probably very entertaining and/or informative, but I don’t have time for such nonsense. However, my friends email baited me with the headline:
Did I open the link? You bet I did. Why? Because the headline resonated with me – the target audience of the message. Why did I not link to it here in the blog post? Because the pictures are pretty racy (and not very professional) and I don’t want to offend anyone. You can search for it on BuzzFeed or Google if you want to find it yourself.
Why did I open the link (and share it with you)? To prove a point. Viral content works only when:
- The headline resonates with the audience
- The content is unusual
- The content is over-the-top or entertaining
- The content is easy to share
Every marketer wants to create great content that goes viral. Imagine writing a blog post that millions of people shared. It can be life changing for a business and a person.
What is another example that is less racy? Check out the author of Getting Things Done, David Allen, on Twitter:
The subject of organization and getting things done (GTD) isn’t sexy, but Mr. Allen has 1.23 Million Twitter followers. In fact, the GTD system has a cult following on the web. There are thousands of sites dedicated to GTD. Why? Because the product works better than any other personal organization system on the planet. If you haven’t read the book you should.
One of the first pioneers in the world of search engine marketing was a guy named Bruce Clay. Bruce was just your average SEO guy with a very small shop. Then one day back in the early 1990s he created a diagram that showed how all the search engines worked together and linked back to one another. Back in the old days there were about 20 search engines – not just Google and Bing/Yahoo – so things were complicated and people wanted to understand how things worked. Fortunately for Bruce, thousands and thousands of people linked to his infographic (before they were called that) explaining how search engines work.
Today Bruce makes $20,000 or more per speech and he has a huge search marketing teaching consultancy. He credits much of his success and income to that first infographic for putting him on the map.
High quality, viral content can change your business. You just have to do one thing – make great content. If you create amazing content, it will go viral all on its own.