To grow your Instagram or social following, you can take different routes. Using viral content is one of them.
If you want to jump on this train, most people use one of two ways to achieve great success:
- Repost viral content from other popular accounts.
- Create their own viral content.
Today we’ll be focusing on the latter – creating viral content on your own. To get you started right off the bat, I’ve created a step-by-step guide for you to create and use viral content to attract new clients and grow your business.
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What is viral content?
Basically, viral content is visuals with a viral character. Plain and simple.
It’s typically posts that get 2x as many likes as other posts, more saves, and more shares.
I bet you’ve seen these kinds of posts yourself. They can take any format, but often quotes perform very well, like this one:
“Be the CEO your parents always wanted you to marry.”
Though this quote may be cheesy, it has gone viral over and over again.
Posts like these all have something in common: they typically strike a chord with audiences. In other words, they trigger something inside of people, and that’s something that makes viral content extremely powerful. It’s able to move people.
Now, let's look at the three steps you need to follow to create viral content.
Maybe you're also interested in this: Start Selling Through Instagram Stories: The Only Framework you Need.
Step 1: Define the content type
Looking at viral content, we distinguish between two content types.
- Affirming content or “yes, it’s me” content. This is the content that people love to share and typically content that has the potential to stir up some controversy, too. It’s the kind of content people use to prove to other people, “huh, you thought I couldn’t make it, look at me now, bitches”. At the same time, affirming content is motivational and inspirational.
- Educating content or “yes, it’s you” content has more of an educational character and may include lists of tips (productivity hacks), carousels (mini guides), or videos. This kind of content typically gets more saves than shares or likes.
Likes, saves, and story shares are strong, but what’s really powerful is if someone else reposts your content on their feed – almost like an endorsement. These kinds of reposts were what helped me grow my Instagram following.
Step 2: Choose the format for creating banging, viral content
We already talked about quotes as one format for viral content, but there are so many other ways to create banging content.
- Lists can be about almost anything. For instance, 5 tips to make sure you work out in the morning, 3 systems to use to stay productive, 10 things you should stop doing, …
- Infographics are extremely good at grabbing people’s attention thanks to the combination of lists and images. This format typically receives a lot more traction than regular text content.
- Carousels are almost like lists. Rather than putting all your tips in one screen, use multiple screens, and voila, you’ve created a mini-guide.
- Videos are great to let your creativity loose. You can organize your script into a list, tell a story, cite a quote, or combine several strategies.
Step 3: Make your design irresistible
Content and format for your viral content are crucial, but so is the design.
Now you’re probably thinking: should I brand my content or not?
Like anything else in life, there’s a balance to strike.
If you attach too much of your own branding to the design, you may risk that others won’t like it and that in itself will be a reason for them not to share or repost.
Another, perhaps even more crucial element is the Instagram algorithm. Branded content isn’t easily recognized as Instagram as something that should be pushed to the Explore Page – and this is where you need to be in order to go viral.
So, what does work?
At the moment, Twitter images are doing very well on Instagram, as well as lists with duotone colors like black and white.
As such, there’s no strict formula for designing for virality.
Online marketing is ever-evolving and changing. So, to assume that something works because it did yesterday would be wrong.
Instead, you need to think of viral content like fashion: you want to stay on-trend, but at the same time, you must stay ahead of what’s working. Keep testing and pivoting to find out what works for your audience.
Key takeaways to start creating viral content
This step-by-step guide was simple and sweet, as promised. But before you completely dive into the world of virality, I want to send you off with a few key takeaways:
- Let go of your ego: you don't have to use your own branding to create viral content.
- Don’t blindly copy what other people do; make it your own.
- Put on the consumer hat: find out what your audience likes.
- Start with the content, then decide on the format.
Do you want to listen to this podcast episode? Head to Apple, Spotify, or wherever you get your podcasts, and search for episode 47 of The FastForwardAmy Show.
Do you want to start creating banging, viral content right away? Join the free Viral Templates Tutorial. Here's what you'll get:
- Create Instagram templates that will make your content go viral.
- Save time and stop stressing out about creating new posts every week.
- Grow your reach and attract new customers with your Instagram content.
Can't wait to see you out there! Let me know what you think by tagging me in your Instagram stories @fastforwardamy.
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