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How to Elevate Content to Go Viral and More Shareable

Just one piece of viral content has the potential to explode your sales and bring your business to new levels of success. With each piece of content that takes off on social media, you can expect to see a wave of new potential customers and clients making their way to your business.

Content Summary

Analyze Your Competitors
Create Sharing Incentives
Use Storytelling
Play on Your Customer’s Values
Include Visual Content
Make Sharing Easy

Unfortunately, viral content isn’t easy to create. With new blog posts, videos, and infographics being uploaded every day, the competition is never-ending. If you want your content to be shared by hundreds or even thousands of individuals, you need to create something incredibly high-quality.

Although it may be difficult, it isn’t impossible to create content with the potential to take off — you just need to know what separates shareable content from content that gets ignored. To help you improve your chances of having a piece go viral, here are six ways to improve your content to make it more shareable.

Analyze Your Competitors

Viral content all comes down to the topic. If you’re not creating content around a topic that your target audience cares about, they’re not going to feel compelled to share it. However, knowing what your audience will connect with can be a bit of a struggle, meaning you could end up wasting a lot of time and money trying to figure it out.

Checking out your competitors is one way to understand what your target audience is looking for without spending too much time on research. Because you and your competitors share an audience pool, they’re going to try and make the same kinds of connections that you are. What’s worked for your competitors is likely to work for you, too.

Take a look at the content your competitors are creating and sharing. Identify what is working and what isn’t, including what posts have gone viral. You’ll also want to pay close attention to the kinds of content, such as videos or infographics, that are getting the most shares.

Keep in mind that you don’t want to directly copy what your competitors have created. Instead, you’ll want to use it as inspiration for your own content. Play off their popular pieces to create even stronger content that will resonate even better with your target audience.

Create Sharing Incentives

Just about everyone is a sucker for something free. When you create an incentive for sharing your content, you’re likely to get a lot of engagement from individuals searching for something free.

Running a social media contest or giveaway is a great way to encourage more of your target audience to share your content. However, you need to fully plan out your content and the incentive. If the process is too challenging or the incentive isn’t big enough, people may not care enough to share.

Incentives are also a great way to expand your reach and get new individuals excited about your products or services. When you offer something for free, you’re giving away a sample of what you can provide long-term. This allows you to establish a strong foundation for a relationship with customers. They’ll remember the sample you gave them and if they’re happy, they’ll come back for more.

Keep in mind that there will probably be some individuals just looking for their free item. While you’re likely to get some new customers from a giveaway, the attention may be fleeting. You’ll want to be prepared to nurture any new leads you get from a social media giveaway.

Use Storytelling

Storytelling is one of the most common strategies for creating shareable content. Because storytelling allows your audience members to put themselves in the shoes of the storyteller, they can create a deeper connection to the content. If it relates to their day-to-day lives and experiences, there will be a stronger chance of them sharing the piece.

The use of storytelling in content also tricks the viewer into believing they’re not really engaging in marketing. Unlike traditional marketing pathways, storytelling in content allows the audience member to open up to the message instead of feeling like they’re being sold to. This different approach can improve your customer’s receptiveness, increasing the chances of them sharing your content.

Storytelling should have a clear direction. Whether you’re choosing to infuse your personal experiences or fictional situations, there should be a clear reason why you chose to tell that story. It should solve a problem, present a solution, or build trust with your target audience.

You can use storytelling in just about every kind of content. However, if you’re going to tell a story, be sure you’re including a beginning, middle, and ending. You don’t want to just introduce a story as a lead-in to your content.

Play on Your Customer’s Values

Shareable content comes down to what your audience cares about. If they don’t care about the information you’re sharing with them, they’re not going to share it with their own communities. In order to improve your shares, you want to create something that your customer will care about. This typically means playing off their personal values.

These days, customers like to purchase from companies they have a genuine connection with. It’s no longer just about liking a certain product or services. Company and customer relationships also depend on the values they share and whether or not they’re running the business according to the customer’s standards and expectations.

Creating content centered around your customer’s values, while still connecting with your company, can improve your chances of getting new shares. Whether you choose to discuss a charity or nonprofit that relates to your industry or you mention your own sustainable business practices, playing up your customer’s values can make them feel more connected to you, increasing your chances of getting new shares.

When creating content based on your customer’s values, you need to make sure it is relevant to your target audience and your company. While you may get shares, you also want to get new business. If your audience can’t see the connection between your content and what you do as a company, those new leads will be a waste of time.

Include Visual Content

When it comes to social media, visual content is more likely to be shared. Videos, images, and infographics are all eye-catching, causing audience members to stop scrolling when they come across an interesting visual on their social media newsfeed. Not only does this bring more attention to your post, but it also improves the chances that they’ll share it.

Things like videos and images are also easy to view within the social media platform. Unlike blog posts or webinars, users don’t need to click to another page to view all the information. This means you can attract busy people without the time or attention span to read through an entire blog post.

Including visual content is a great way to go viral, even if it’s just a sneak peek to the actual content. As an easy way to grab attention on social media and encourage more shares, visual content can point more people towards your website. Once there, they can engage with your brand, make purchases, or sign up for your newsletter.

Think about ways you can include visual pieces in each piece of content you create. Whether it’s an attention-grabbing header or a video overview, you should always include at least one awesome visual if you want your content to go viral.

Make Sharing Easy

Our target audience is busy. Whether you’re trying to attract new mothers or business professionals, most people don’t have the time to try and figure out how to share a piece of content with their friends and family. If it isn’t as easy as clicking a button, you could be missing out on some free publicity.

Luckily, most blogs and websites make it easy to share their content. With the addition of sharing buttons, reposting a piece of content to a social media platform, email, or even text message is as simple as clicking an icon. You can even set up your Twitter account so that it will automatically tweet out links to your blog posts at a pre-determined interval.

When placing your sharing buttons, make sure they’re in a location that makes sense. Whether that’s a scrolling bar along the side of your page or at the bottom of your content, you need to consider the behaviors of your target audience. Try placing the buttons in various locations to see what works best for your audience.

You can also include bits of content within your post that encourage sharing. Simple “Tweet This!” boxes with links to post to Twitter can improve your shares and make it easy for your reader to share with their networks.


Remember that at the root of every viral post is your target audience — not a search engine or social media algorithm. When you create content that appeals to your target audience, you’ll get the response you’re looking for.

The next time you create a piece of content, keep these six tips in mind. Infusing one or two into your next post can improve your chances of getting shares, expanding your audience and helping you bring in new business.

Alex Lim is a certified book reviewer and editor with over 10 years of experience in the publishing industry. He has reviewed hundreds of books for reputable magazines and websites, such as The New York Times, The Guardian, and Goodreads. Alex has a master’s degree in comparative literature from Harvard University and a PhD in literary criticism from Oxford University. He is also the author of several acclaimed books on literary theory and analysis, such as The Art of Reading and How to Write a Book Review. Alex lives in London, England with his wife and two children. You can contact him at [email protected] or follow him on Website | Twitter | Facebook

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