So You Want Your Blog to Go Viral

girl-407089_1280 (1)Blogging is both art and science. The art is about getting the right author with the right domain expertise. Many PR Pros often engage a writer to ensure that the company’s or client’s insights are delivered in an engaging manner and employ a series of monitoring tools and response processes to engage with the readers.

That all makes for a great start. What companies want is for their blogs to become viral. It maximizes brand equity and increases readership (read: potential customers).

The problem is that there is no magic formula for going viral. Many campaigns are usually devised after the content happens to go viral, not before. In fact, viral content is viral because nobody thought it could be. A perfect storm of moods, readership numbers and quirkiness often creates the right environment.

The next best thing is to follow a viral campaign. Content needs relevancy and active ground research on what your potential readers are reading and “like.” You can start by adding keywords in your headline. Why? Because in the blog-laden Internet, most readers want to know about something that is both current and relevant. Associating with an internet topic that is all the rage is an excellent way to drive traffic to your blog.

Readers will appreciate if you include links to content that has similar topics.  After all, they are not just there to read about your company’s views, but to shape their perspective and expand their knowledge.[bctt tweet=”Readers will appreciate if you include links to content that has similar topics #PR” username=”@BroadPR”]

Lastly, add video or pictures. These days, most viral content simply includes videos that offer messages in a catchy way that nobody else has yet to do. Who would have thought an Apple Pen and a Pineapple would create a global phenomenon? It is not the content; rather it is the delivery.  Make sure your blog employs multimedia.

At the same time, understand these two risks:

Risk #1 – Viral content has a shorter shelf life.

It is true for almost all content that goes viral. It may be good traffic for the moment, but people’s attention online is very short. After a while, they will move to the next big viral content or topic. If your blog content goes viral, cater for a sharp drop off by monitoring comments closely. If your blog is riding on the current viral topic, ensure that you have a content map that allows you to move to the next one easily.

Risk #2 – Mentioning key viral content after the rage can be a turn-off.

Once a viral topic becomes yesterday’s news, readers can be turned off if the headlines use the same viral keywords over and over. In fact, it can lead to a perception that your blog is outdated or yesterday’s news, even if it is not. This can severely impact the reusability of your content.

Going viral is often hit or miss. But if you are prepared and understand the risks, you will be able to reap the rewards if and when your content does go viral.