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Marketing / Viral Marketing

Getting Mentioned by a Media Site Isn't Enough to Go Viral. You Need to Do This, Too.

Follow these steps to transform your public relations efforts into a viral sensation.
Getting Mentioned by a Media Site Isn't Enough to Go Viral. You Need to Do This, Too.
Image credit: Mihajlo Maricic | EyeEm | Getty Images
- Guest Writer
Lead Generation Expert and Founder of INFINITUS
6 min read
Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.

The biggest problem entrepreneurs have with PR is that they assume PR is the endgame.

Whether it's a feature on Entrepreneur.com, a TV appearance or a podcast interview, entrepreneurs trick themselves into thinking this alone will drive huge amounts of traffic. On occasion it will, but in the same way you cannot presume you'll win the lottery, you can't assume you'll go viral without putting in the work.

Related: 4 Ways to Market Your Business for Free

Lucky for you, there's a proven process to create viral content time and time again. First, let me tell you how I discovered this process.

My first time was a complete letdown.

Like you, I used to think getting featured in a publication like Entrepreneur.com would change my life. I assumed massive amounts of traffic would hit my site, and an army of new customers would appear.

So, when I first got featured in a large publication like this, I was excited. But a few days after the article went live and little had happened ... well, I couldn't make sense of it.

Then I thought that maybe it wasn't the article that was the problem; maybe it was me and the fact I expected success to "just" occur. An idea clicked, because at no point in my entrepreneurial journey has success "just" happened.

Related: 10 Laws of Social Media Marketing

I got thinking and came up with a plan, and built a process I have used dozens of times since to create viral content again and again. Be it a video, podcast interview, feature article or anything else, this process ensures your PR is a success every single time.

This is how:

Step 1: Share with your "warm" audience.

PR is one of the best ways to capture your audience's attention and begin the process of becoming the "go-to" authority figure in their life.

However, you cannot leave this to chance. You need to take control of the situation and ensure you create viral content on the back of your PR. The first step is to share this article with your existing audience, but not your entire audience -- rather your "hot" leads who know you the best.

For instance, let's say you get a feature article on Entrepreneur.com that covers your hero's journey. You want more people to see it, because you know this article will help you build a lot of trust and authority. It begins with you creating a Facebook ad that shares this article, so you can then "boost" this to your hottest audience.

The reason you do is because this segment of your audience is your most loyal and engaged.

Your aim is to create initial momentum and boost the amount of likes, shares and comments the Facebook ad gets. This increases your social proof, allowing you to share it with the next group of people.

Related: Use These 5 Steps to Create a Marketing Plan

Step 2: Share with your remaining audience.

Once you've built some initial traction with your Facebook post, you then share it with the rest of your internal audience.

  • Share this post across your other social media platforms.
  • Send an email that links to this post.
  • Record a Facebook video or Facebook Live, driving people toward the post.

There are many ways you can do this, but the most important part is that you do not drive traffic to the article itself -- instead, drive everything to the Facebook post or ad.

Why? Because this further increases social proof: turning 100 likes into 1,000, boosting engagement levels and getting organically shared among your audience. All this means Facebook now favors your post, allowing you to share it with the masses.

Related: 10 Marketing Influencers That Every Entrepreneur Can Learn From

Step 3: Build awareness and go viral.

You now have a "hot" Facebook post with a lot of social proof and momentum behind it. At this stage, you can share it with new leads, knowing you'll capture their attention (whereas if you share this with a new audience from the beginning, it becomes "just another post").

This is where the magic happens, and this is where you create viral content.

Not only do you now have a popular Facebook post or ad with lots of social proof, but it directs your audience to a PR article that reinforces your authority. Organically, you'll see this article grow in popularity, as the publication (Entrepreneur.com) places it on their homepage (because it's proved popular), as well as other people sharing it via social media.

All this occurs within the first 48 hours of the article going live, meaning you have now gone viral and have a timeless PR article ready for the masses. 

Related: How to Tell Stories the Media Won't Ignore

Step 4: Become omnipresent.

Assuming your PR article is evergreen, you can now share it with your audience at the most relevant time. This article becomes a core piece of content for your introductory marketing funnel, where you build initial trust by sharing authority pieces and personal stories.

But, again -- do not direct them to the article itself. Instead, drive them toward your Facebook post, as this has a lot of social proof that will help you build that all-important initial trust. Best of all, if you use a tool like Snip.ly to capture their engagement, you can further reinforce your authority by sharing timely Facebook ads based on whether they have seen the article.

This is how you become omnipresent, and how you transform into your industry's "go-to" expert.

Repeat this process two or three more times, and you'll have a handful of PR articles you can share with your new audience, ensuring you become top of mind in both their inbox and their newsfeed. But, unlike most online marketers who do nothing but sell, you share valuable content from authority sites like Entrepreneur.com, meaning you build trust, authority and engagement from Day One.

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