5 secret ingredients to create viral content

By Rich Homer Tuesday, May 22, 2018
5 secret ingredients to create viral content - content marketing

Creating viral content – the one that spreads over millions of people in a very short time is the dream of every marketer.

Now that we have so much viral content available on social networks, we have no choice but create our own to attract audience.

Whenever we come across an appealing content that has been shared by your friends, we also wonder how the authors can did it.

Well, this doesn’t mean that they are content experts or content creators with luck. They surely have known about the secrets of how to make content go viral. If you are a blogger or content creator for social networks or marketing purposes, this may be the information you need. That’s what I’ll show you in this article, you’ll get millions of traffic for your site.

I. Case study of viral content

There are many videos that has been watched and shared millions of times all over the world. They are obviously good examples of content that goes viral. Have you heard of “What does the fox say?”, “Gangnam style” or viral advertising campaigns such as Google’s “How it feels”, P&G’s “Thank you, Mom”, GoPro’s “Fireman save kitten”, etc... They are all viral and succeed, and there must be some secrets behind that we have to find out.

II. 5 secret ingredients to create viral content

1. Create trustworthy content

Maybe you don’t know, trust does play a role in content sharing. According to researches conducted by Ordok and Buzzsumo, byline and implied trust affect people on Twitter, LinkedIn, and Google+. However, people on facebook seem not to care much about this.

Articles with a byline or bio have been shared 0.10% more than those without a byline/bio on Twitter and Linkedin. While on Google, such articles have 42% more shares than those without a byline/bio.
In contrast, byline/bio trust doesn’t play a major role Facebook. In fact, facebook users are more likely to interact and share entertaining or emotional content.

Key ingredient: Remember to consider whether to have a byline/bio or not when you create content on different channels.

2. Appeal to the emotions

Content that evokes emotional reactions is easier to go viral. Such emotion include wonder, awe, humor, anxiety and sadness.

Top 3 popular emotions invoked are awe, laughter and amusement. And top least popular content are sadness and anger. This can be explained by a document by Jonah Berger and Katherine Milkman saying that people is more likely to share and interact to positive content than negative one.

Key ingredient: Keep your mind positive and so does your content.

3.  Create the right types of content

To create viral content, you have to make it on the right format. There are six main types of post that include list, infographics, how-to article, what post, why post and video.

List post and infographic lead to more shares than other types of content. Why how-to post and video receive less share than an average post.

Key ingredient: if you write a long-form content, make it easy to scan, structure it as a list post or design an appealing infographic.

4. Have some relevant influencers to share your content

Your content will be reached by more people when there are influencers sharing it. Influencers are the people who have thousands or even millions followers on their social networks. Once they share your content, the number of people who see your content increase and of cause, the number of people react to your content increase.

Key ingredient: Remember to choose the right influencers. They have to be the relevant people who can draw attention in the field of your content referring to.

5. Repromote your content on a regular basis

According to OrKok, after three days, the number of share dropped at least 96% for the next four days on all social networks. More precisely, facebook shares drop the most while Google+ and Pinterest drop the least.

Here is the number:

  • Facebook: 98.9% decrease
  • Twitter: 97.4% decrease
  • LinkedIn: 97.34% decrease
  • Google+: 96.7% decrease
  • Pinterest: 96.7% decrease

Key ingredient: Never let your content appear just one time! Repost and repromote your content at least a week later. Also, you can find old content that ties into an upcoming event/holiday, and post it again to attract users.


Creating viral content is a difficult task. However, we all know the power and the rewards of viral content especially when attract potential audience. When you just starting, you may fail several time until you succeed.

Don’t forget the secrets behind content that goes viral. You have got to create content that stimulate positive feelings other than negative feelings.

Moreover, content that evokes high-arousal emotions will easier to go viral. In conclusion, remember to make your content trustworthy, interesting and emotional, that’s the secret to viral content.