If you spend any amount of time on the internet, chances are that you’ve heard the term ‘viral content’. Think of this story of a dad having a casual conversation with his baby. There are endless other examples of viral moments to draw on. These emotional, relatable or trending conversations are usually spontaneous bursts of rapid engagement. There are many opinions as to what makes content go viral. My own view is that while it’s technically possible to engineer viral content, the best things in life are usually organic.
For companies and brands at the local and regional level, viral content is an opportunity to have localized interactions with your audience. Tapping into the data at hand – whether from Facebook or Google Analytics or a 3rd party aggregator – can help inform the content. Not everything will be relevant and not everything will work (as I wrote about here). However, that shouldn’t deter you from testing content on a monthly basis. Gauging your audience’s reaction and making the necessary adjustments will keep you one step ahead in your content marketing.
But don’t take my word for it. Here are two recent, real-world examples courtesy of the AC Marketing team:
ACM’s Content Manager, Sam, is known for translating quirks and experiences into kindred pieces of content. One of her recent posts poked at our community’s cheese-cutting habits. It was a simple idea, easily executed as part of our client’s maintenance content. The results were stellar, to say the least, and spawned a wealth of insight. On an organic level, persons were quick to tout their skills or lack thereof, including other skills they use in the kitchen. On an ad level, the conversation raised additional awareness of both the page and other activities we had ongoing.
The combination of a well-defined and vocal audience and an everyday act with a popular food staple turned into content gold. From a Community Management perspective, it also became a hunting ground for data. The feedback and ideas gained from the post have already been added to our content pipeline.
Pauline, ACM’s Digital Consultant, has had her share of LinkedIn stardom. No topic is off limits, even ones that make organizations uncomfortable. In the leadup to a presentation, her research inspired this post about job descriptions within the Marketing field. It’s an enduring issue we’ve noticed, the condensing of various marketing functions into one. What my colleague did not expect was the influx of opinions and insight both within and outside the HR industry.
Linkedin, in itself, is community-driven. Everyone is looking for that space where they can share their ideas and expertise. Moments like these bring matters to the forefront which would’ve likely been overlooked. The addition of the #linkedintt hashtag gives additional depth to the conversation. It raises awareness and draws in that much needed local perspective.
These two examples encompass the beauty of viral content. From the ability to have more personalized exchanges with your audience to tackling important professional topics regardless of industry.
There’s no definitive formula for your content becoming viral. But there is one common thread throughout this blog – your audience. Building an engaging community that is true to your brand will help you in the long-run. What are some of your favorite viral content this year? Tell me in the comments below.
Read my related blogs How to Take Advantage of Content and Trends in 2019 and Building an Engaging Audience for more information.
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