Mitch Wedding

By Kelly Rice

Viral content has become today’s marketing Holy Grail.  Everyone wants content that creates a buzz, captures the imagination and – most importantly – gets people talking.

After all, viral content is the best form of free marketing since your readers do the work for you.

But how can your content compete in a field where so many are clamoring for attention?

The key to creating viral content that not only grabs a person’s interest but keeps it is to get back to basics and create content people need.  In order to boost the likelihood of it going viral, you should ensure your content has these five hallmarks of all great viral content.

1.  Make Sure It’s Unique

Just saw something on another website or news outlet that you want to share?  Don’t count on it to make your post go viral.

While being the first to share news and information with readers is a great way to build trust and loyalty, it’s not the key to creating a viral post.  Instead, your content needs to be completely original even if it builds upon something widely shared.

2.  Keep it Positive

Any extreme emotion will elicit a reaction from readers but, overwhelmingly, positive content is more shareable than negative content.

The Dove campaign for ‘Real Women, Real Beauty’ is the perfect example of this.  By celebrating women who were confident and proud of who they were they spread a message of empowerment and, in the end, increased their brand’s visibility and popularity.

Connect with your local couples and make a name for yourself globally by launching a viral campaign that acknowledges home grown heroes or people striving to make a difference in the community.  Showcase amazing personal love stories from the couples who’ve hired you to show the human side of your staff and their commitment to romance.

Connect on a human and positive level with readers and they’ll remember it.

3.  Keep It Simple

Viral posts tend to be short in order to appeal to people no matter what their attention span is like.  If you can’t keep your content truly short, make sure you get the salient points in within the first 30 seconds.

Vine-style videos that accompany larger pieces can be a smart, effective and shareable way to draw interest in general and attract brides and grooms who are interested in reading or watching the longer content.

Be sure, however, to keep your layout simple and user friendly.  Make it easy to share content without cluttering up your layout so much that it can turn potential clients off.

4.  Take a Stand

The days of trying to please everyone are well and truly over.  If your content is about taking a stand or position on something, do so with conviction.

Couples don’t want a wedding professional who sits on the fence when it comes to issues, ideas or approaches – they want you to say what you mean and mean what you say.

Direct content is powerful, particular for couples searching for the wedding business they want to include in such an important part of their own story.

5.  Invite Readers Into the Action

Content that invites action helps people feel included and also makes them more likely to share your original content.

Campaigns like the Ice Bucket Challenge and Lay’s ‘Do Us a Flavor’ helped to raise awareness of their parent organizations virally because they encouraged people to get involved.

Ultimately, there are no guarantees when it comes to creating viral content, but when your content is high-quality, positive, shareable and encourages people to get involved the chances of it going viral increase exponentially.

While the landscape is crowded with one hit wonder memes and marketing campaigns that assault viewers with graphics, gifs and strobe lighting, yours can stand out for its positivity, inclusiveness and quality.

What do you think?

ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Kelly Rice is a freelance writer, avid reader and book hoarder.  She lives in Columbus, Ohio with her wife and daughter.

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