Engineering a Viral PR Campaign

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viral content

A lot of people believe having content go viral is a fluke, just a one-off thing that happens and can’t be controlled. Though it is true for some viral content, it is also true there is common ground among most viral content and making certain any PR campaign with the goal of going viral checks all the boxes is the best way to guarantee a viral outcome.

What works….

Pics. There is no denying the impact of really good pictures, high-def and good content pics connected to the story. If the picture grabs attention, the first hurdle is cleared. If the picture is compelling enough, it will receive numerous click thrus to the article.

Keep the promise. For marketing purposes, you don’t want to just get someone reading the article, you want them sharing it. You also want them satisfied when they finish reading or viewing the post. Don’t make silly promises like, “You’ll be shocked when you see what this product can do.” Aside from anything else, consumers are savvy enough to know a statement like that is bound to leave them feeling a bit cheap and dirty because they wanted to the promise to be kept, but it wasn’t, so they feel they’ve been conned. No one is going to feel good about sharing that with friends and family.

Emotions. Make sure the content is valuable and that when it is shared no one feels it reflects poorly on them for reading, let alone sharing. Connect the positives to the brand and give usable, innovative or “ah-hah” information. Build as much positive or heart-stirring emotion into the post as possible. Tell a good story, tie it to the things people care about such as family, pets, home, and travel. Of course, there are other ideas, the closer you can connect a product or brand with what people care about, the better for the brand.

Easy and usable.  Keep the post easy to read, fairly short, lots of good pictures, and something that can make the reader’s life better or easier, and you’re likely to have a very shareable – going viral post.

Recipe sites have developed great ways of marketing their brand by sharing short videos of easy recipes using just a few ingredients. They show each item being added with information written over the video. The visuals are close up and enticing.

Following these ideas creates a formula for building viral content. Get comfortable with the process, start easy until it becomes almost second nature, and then make presentations in a unique voice to build a following.

If content is compelling, original, helpful, and easy to read and share, going viral won’t be an accident, but a frequent destination.

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