Content marketers want to go viral. Yes, this is my broad sweeping claim, but admit it. You see shareable content from Buzzfeed, EliteDaily and Bored Panda and you wonder, “how can I replicate THAT”.
According to FRACTL, Steve Harvey’s wrong announcement in the 2015 Miss Universe winner had increased organic traffic by 123%. So yes, who wouldn’t want to go viral? It is a quick way to get noticed — millions of shares and likes, plus a lot of traffic to the site. It is the golden ticket!
The problem with that is that it takes time to create it and a longer time to replicate it (if anyone knows the exact percentage of content going viral, give me a ping!). Plus you need the ability to anticipate and know the best distribution channels for your content. From split testing headlines to mining content and being familiar with your target audience’s needs is what drives the sharability of the content you created.
So what is wrong with wanting to go viral?
Company-centered VS Consumer-centered
Ask yourself the following questions:
That is biggest problem when content marketers focus on KPIs when creating viral content.
Instead, shift the focus on the consumer. Create content that benefits or adds value to them. By looking primarily at traffic to website, you just want a get-rich-quick scheme. Don’t underestimate you audience. People reading your content are smart. While you may have gotten a lot of clicks on that post with a click-bait title, the numbers will tell you that overtime, the engagement rate is not picking up because what’s in it for them to keep talking about it?
Viral content does not help your KPIs
Depending on the nature of your company, the audience your piece of content attracts may not be valuable to your brand.
The problem with viral content is that while you get an explosion of eyeballs on your website, the kind of customers who keep coming back can be few. Going viral for the sake of it means you might be sacrificing the need to attract the right customer base. So if you want to re-engage with these people who liked or commented on your viral post, they may not be loyal to your brand. Just to that post.
Misuse of the marketing budget. Yes, I said the B-word — budget. Do you want to waste man-hours, time and resources on coming up with a singular piece of content and hedging your bets on it to succeed? With such high risks, if you’re a novice, then its best to stick to content that is accessible to a target audience that is right for your company. Instead, refine your content delivery process. Take a look at how newsletters can be optimised. Or devote resources on SEM and in optimising pages. Marketing goes beyond that of content. Content may be the king, but what is royalty without its subjects to keep the palace afloat?
That is my argument on why content marketers should focus less on viral content and more about creating pieces that add value to your audience’s lives. If I haven’t convinced you about the dangers of viral articles and videos, then here are some guides that breakdown the art of it:
Love it, hate it, viral content is here to stay. How can content marketers be responsible with it? Share your thoughts with me in the comments section!