It’s every entrepreneur’s dream to see their content go viral. With more than 2.5 billion people online everyday, the possibilities are exciting. Despite the staggering opportunity, there are many other entrepreneurs. including some with the same message, trying to reach the same audience as you.
If you are going to capture attention, and build your business, you have to stand out. One viral piece of content has put several entrepreneurs “on the map.” Creating viral content, however, is easier said than done. There are blog posts, videos, podcasts and books that claim to have the answers, but fall short of giving actionable advice.
Creating viral content may be simpler than you think. Here are five ways to create content that gets shared across different mediums and exposed to a larger audience.
1. Get more personal and conversational.
Often, entrepreneurs create content “multitude style.” We anticipate a large audience being exposed to the content, so we try to speak to the multitude. We say things like, “You must,” or “You have to.” We use general terms.
The problem is that the multitude isn’t consuming the content together. They consume it as individuals. When an individual consumes something you created for a crowd, it’s goes over their head. The best kind of content is personal and conversational.
When you create content as if your ideal reader is right next to you, they will feel like you’re speaking directly to them. Stephen King says he writes all his books for one person, his wife Tabitha. Who is your “Tabitha?” Once you figure that out, create content just for them. The multitude will love it and share it.
2. Split test headlines.
Don't assume you know what your audience will respond to. Understanding whom you’re targeting is not the same as understanding how they will respond. The only surefire way to know is through testing.
We have an amazing way to split test headlines for free: social media. If you have a Facebook group, or are a part of one in your niche, you can get feedback from one of those groups. Poll the groups, ask them which headline they would click on. You can do the same for Google Plus, or Linked In. Test several headlines to see what your audience will respond to. This is the secret to creating irresistible headlines.
3. Give clear takeaways.
I don’t know about you, but I love talking about myself. I’m the coolest person I know, but that’s not enough to hold anyone’s attention. When we talk about ourselves, our audience says, “Great,” but walks away feeling empty. There’s no motivation for them to tell others because that’s the same content most “experts” use.
Your audience is tuning in to learn how to get help with their biggest problems and struggles. They need clear, and actionable advice. They want to know what’s in it for them and why they should spend their time consuming your content. Give them a reason.
Related: How to Make Your Content Go Viral
4. Eliminate fluff.
Kurt Vonnegut spent days editing just a single page of his writing. He eliminated every single word that he felt didn’t fit. Stephen King is the same way. It’s great to paint a picture for your audience, but do it without crossing the line into fluff.
Your audience is busy. They don’t have time to watch an hour-long video, a unnecessarily long blog post or a podcast episode that could have ended an hour ago. You can have more in-depth content, but only if it’s fluff-free and actionable.
5. Leverage all your networks.
The true definition of viral is “crossing mediums.” It’s not necessarily how much your content has been shared, although that can be the start of viral content. Between social media and large authority websites, we have the opportunity to share our content far and wide. We have everything we need to give our content the best chance of going viral if it’s good and right for our specific audience.
Leverage every medium where you have a presence on. Share the content, and get your fans involved. Use the mediums you have now to get exposure on even larger mediums. If you write well for your blog, try landing an article on a large authority site like this one.
Content is king, and good content is the best way to reach and grow your audience. Growing your audience leads to new leads and eventually new business. You can get your share of those 2.5 billion people if you spend a little extra time creating better content.
Related: A Scientific Take on Viral Marketing