Six Building Blocks for Creating Viral Content

Kalli FedusenkoAdvisor Perspectives welcomes guest contributions. The views presented here do not necessarily represent those of Advisor Perspectives.

Want to be the next viral sensation?

No matter how great you were in high school, you weren’t ever going to make it as a star NFL player or land the leading role in an HBO mega-hit series (sorry, Mom). Creating viral content might seem just as out-of-reach. While it’s definitely a white whale for business owners and content creators, you can break down the elements of a viral video or post, incorporate them into your strategy, and launch your social media stardom.

Here are the six things you can do to create stellar content and increase your odds of going viral:

Know your people

Find your target audience, research your demographics, learn which platforms they’re active on, blah blah blah – I know. I talk about knowing your target audience a lot. But that’s because it’s one of the most basic and important principles in business, marketing, and, you guessed it, creating viral content that resonates. Are you going to hit a win with “Three Tax-advantaged Ways to Sell Your Vacation Home” if your followers are primarily debt-ridden college students? Probably not. Content is more likely to go viral when it matches the needs or values of your target audience. Not sure what will entice your people to like and share the crap out of your content? Learn who they are, where they’re at (online, geographically, and in life), and what’s important to them. Start here to find your target audience.

Hit them in the feels

Content goes viral when it evokes a strong emotional response. It only takes one mention of “Sarah McLachlan” to fill your head with depressingly adorable, crying puppies while “In the Arms of the Angels” plays softly in the background. It doesn’t matter if you just rolled your eyes or reached for the tissues. You had a strong emotional response, and there’s a 99.9% chance you’ve seen the video in question. An emotional reaction drove millions of people to share and talk about this commercial, catapulting it into the viral stratosphere (it has 3.6 million views on YouTube). What emotion do you want clients and prospects to associate with your brand? Trust? Relatability? Friendliness? Competence? Key in on those emotions and create content that makes your target audience feel understood. Tug a few heartstrings, make them laugh, or remind them that #MondayMood keeps you chugging coffee too.