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by James Perrin on 16th January 2012
When it comes to online marketing, ensuring your campaigns are seen is tantamount to its success. Basically, the more your content is read, viewed, liked and shared, the better, both in terms of traffic and link value.
It is one thing to write an inspiring piece on the benefits of your products and services, but to market it effectively and successfully poses and entirely different challenge altogether. Unfortunately, when it comes to online marketing, the old adage of, “If you build it, they will come” just simply isn’t true. So you must ensure your content get’s seen, where ‘going viral’ is the Holy Grail.
What Does ‘Going Viral’ Mean?
For those who like buzzwords, Internet marketing certainly has its fare share, and ‘going viral’ is just one example. In fact, the term is so popular that it has come to the fore in wider society, coming to mean that something online has become popular in a very short period of time.
So in terms of online marketing, the idea that something you write, create or develop suddenly becomes an ‘Internet sensation’ is as a result of ‘going viral’. However it is easier said than done, and not every single piece of content that you create will experience such popularity. When it does though – it will make the world of difference.
How Can It Help?
Ultimately, when it comes to online marketing, the aim of the game is for your website to generate a great deal of traffic, by appearing higher up in search engines and generally being advertised and promoted on the Internet. There are many ways in which this can be achieved, specific to your goals, but creating off-site content, which is then distributed and seen by the world, is a tried and tested method that is incredibly effective.
The reason for this is that by creating additional content it can act as PR and marketing, helping to promote your website, the products and services you offer, or perhaps a promotion and offer that you desperately want people to know about. It’s all geared towards generating additional traffic to your site, with an added SEO benefit of improving your link value, thus helping your website rank higher within the search engines for the search terms in which you are targeting.
The most valuable type of content though is always defined by the amount of interaction it sees, both in terms of being read and seen. This also extends to social media platforms, with people voluntarily sharing the content with friends and followers. If your content contains a link pointing towards your website somewhere within the copy or on the page, then this link will become more valuable as it generates further interest in the way of links or views. If it ‘goes viral’ then your link profile will be helped immensely, ultimately improving your website’s rankings within the SERPs.
How to Make Content Go Viral:
First thing’s first, content that goes viral do so for a variety of reasons. It is brilliant, creative and innovative. It captures people’s attention and imagination, often because it is exciting and engaging. Finally, it’s always something that has never been seen before and, frustratingly (for marketers) can happen completely by accident.
An important lesson though is to ensure that you focus on the content first and foremost. It is always the content that is the driving force behind something going viral, so always ensure it is of the highest quality and that it is good enough for people to share – that’s key. In addition, there are a number of tips to consider before and after you start to create any sort of off-site marketing, all designed to help its viral potential. Here are some key tips:
1. Optimise Content
When it comes to content being seen or read, having it contain the keywords that people are looking and searching for is essential. This means keyword optimising the title, as well as any subheadings, but also for the content to contain keywords within the copy (if it’s written material), or the description (if it’s a video or pictures).
Tip: Research the types of keywords that are most appropriate and valuable to your campaign. Embed these where possible, focusing on headings and within the content or descriptions.
2. Ensure it’s Valuable
Often readers will ask, what is in it for me? So whatever you create has to solve a particular issue or problem. If someone comes across your content and finds it helpful and useful, then it is likely that they will share this with others, enhancing its value. It needs magnetism, to attract and touch the reader or viewer.
Tip: Research content ideas on forums and chat rooms. Establish ideas that can help people. Also look into the keyword volumes, so you are targeting words or themes that more people are actually looking at.
3. Focus on the Message
Creating off-site content isn’t an opportunity to come up with any old thing, just with the intention to get additional views and links. This is often known as link bait, and whilst it’s great in the short term, it can be particularly damaging to your business or brand, especially if the content you have created is controversial or deliberately antagonistic [See: I'd Do Anything for a Link...But I Won't Do That!] Ensure that your message is relevant and appropriate, even if it is something completely different and creative.
Tip: Remember that it’s your businesses name and brand that will feel the effects of your efforts, so if it’s stupid or offensive then it will do more damage in the long run.
4. Share the Message
With a strong message that is optimised and valuable, then the next thing is to target those who will benefit. Use social media platforms such as Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn, but be sure to befriend, mention or copy in those who you want to see the content. This is the key to social networking, sending the message to the most important or appropriate people, who can then carry on sharing your content. Target those who gave you the idea in the first place, for example the forums and chat rooms. This will ensure that your content is of value, increasing the likeliness that it will be shared further.
Tip: Use social media platforms to your advantage. Target those who you know will read your content and are likely retweet, mention and interact with you.
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Content Marketing Manager, James Perrin is a regular contributor to the Koozai blog. Well experienced in sales and marketing, James also has a passion for journalism and media, especially new media. From the latest industry related new stories to copywriting advice, James will provide you with plenty of digital marketing information.