Okay, maybe now is not the best time to write about virality. The virus has had a bad press in recent years, who knows why. But don’t put your masks back on just yet, the only thing we’re going to help you spread here will be positive and virtual. Do you dream that your publication will be widely shared on the web, that your brilliant ideas will be disseminated to the maximum thanks to word-of-mouth 2.0? With the following, put the odds on your side to succeed in writing a viral article, to create buzz as young people say. Some published articles have gone viral on the Internet, yours also deserve to be seen, read, appreciated and relayed exponentially online. This quest for digital success sometimes obeys no pre-established rules. Do not perhaps rely too much on chance to succeed, but still try to be faithful to these few commandments. You will become, who knows, the viral content specialist.
1. Hook up the reader, you will have to
Image that grabs attention. Source: stocklib.fr
This is the starting point for any good self-respecting viral article: appealing to your audience, arousing their curiosity to make them want to read your publication. For this, two main means can be used.
The featured visual
” A picture is worth a thousand words. » Confucian
Remember to illustrate your article with a well-chosen photo, drawing or graphic. This will allow you to know the subject in the blink of an eye and will have a strong impact on the desire of your future reader to discover the content. It will also hold the attention of scrolling freaks more effectively (think colorful images).
The title, the starting point for creating a viral article
“The title is the point of view from which the public is placed to judge the work. » Emile Fabre
Like the visual, it is the showcase of your article. Once again, the goal is to ensure that the Internet user clicks on it, it is absolutely necessary to give him the desire to do so. Although this is obviously not an exact science, it seems from several studies that certain techniques or ways of writing a title are more likely than others to interest your readership:
- Insert numbers (5 ways to…, 3 tips for…, earning €3,000 per month by…). It captures attention more easily.
- Use question words (how to write a viral article, how often to wash your sheets). By responding to a problem, you will reach many more people.
- Use interesting words, impactful adjectives (unique, surprising, incredible, essential, easy). You can begin to trigger an emotion in your readers.
Attention, it is obviously necessary that the content of the article lives up to the promises of the title. A user disappointed by what he has read will make your dreams of buzz fly away.
2. Write a viral article: a long enough text, you will publish
In our society addicted to smartphones and accustomed to everything, right away, we tend to believe that fairly short content is on the rise, nay! It seems that the size of your text contributes to its success.
Indeed, according to the statistics, we grant more credit to an article developed, detailed, treated in depth. It contains a lot of interesting or useful information that we will gladly distribute. There is indeed, in this case, a logical link between length and quality.
Another advantage of the long article is that you can insert more keywords and queries possibly typed on search engines by users. This can initially improve the natural referencing of your content. That is to say, make it appear in the first results of Google. Understanding SEO is therefore a great way to make it much more visible.
3. Choose a wise type of content, you can
Already in 2013, in his book Create the trend, a university professor, Jonah Berger, spoke of “practical value” as one of the fundamental criteria of virality. The quality of the content plays a major role in the distribution of your article on the Net. The contract is considered fulfilled if people, when reading it:
- learn something new or relevant;
- find answers to their questions (we come back to the catchy title);
- discover solutions to their problems.
Then, they will more readily tend to want to make this complete and qualitative content known to as many people as possible.
It also refers to another value described by Berger, “social currency”. In other words, to gain prestige and self-satisfaction from this sharing. It is very gratifying to be able to discover something new or funny to those around you, to appropriate it, in a way.
4. Arouse an emotion, you will know
In the absence of a vaccine, injecting a good dose of emotion will undoubtedly increase the viral potential of your writings. Virality being a phenomenon limited in time, the reader must want to share what you have just made him discover, very quickly. However, as the writer Alain Damasio says in his book, The error of Descartes: the reason for emotions: “emotions are necessary for decision-making”. Those that come up most often as sharing triggers are:
- the surprise;
- To be touched;
- laughter, fun.
I dwell for a moment on this last notion. Personally, I’ve always considered humor to be one of the most effective ways to convey an idea, make people remember it and be more inclined to want others to benefit from it. I humbly try to use it in my publications and more broadly in my human relationships to leave a positive impression. Laughter creates connection.
5. Work on storytelling, it will be necessary
This technique is really nothing new. A great story has always been a surefire way to captivate an audience and make it easier for them to retain information. Many peoples have been able to perpetuate their traditions until today through fascinating stories (I was discussing this with Santa Claus not so long ago).
Using storytelling allows you to interest your readers much more by stimulating their imagination. Do not hesitate to speak directly to them so that they feel even more involved. Try to build narrative tension to keep them engaged until the end of the article. And why not make this suspense last by offering several episodes on the same theme? You will be able to create the need to read you to know the rest and perhaps establish a new unmissable event for your fans.
6. Using social networks will require
How not to mention social networks when talking about viral content. They are obviously essential when it comes to disseminating information. It is essential to develop this strategy to make your work known, because what you publish on your “profiles” will necessarily be consulted in confidence and without a priori since it will first be by people in your digital entourage. These people who are part of the same Facebook groups as you, who follow the same Instagram accounts, who are subscribed to the same YouTube channels have in principle the same interests, the same humor, the same sensitivity. They will therefore be more receptive to what you can offer them and will have no doubt that it deserves to be shared with the whole world.
And if among your “friends”, there are some influencers who put a thumbs up or a heart on one of your posts, then it’s a safe bet on its viral future.