How Going Viral Transforms Your Business
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It a requirement for businesses these days to come up with a solid content strategy including search engine optimization and effective use of keywords. While content is still king, it is not last decade’s content. Keyword stuffing and click baiting may cause you to lose out in the long-term, because anything that interferes with user experience is rejected by visitors and search engines. Even quality content is not enough, but it has to grab that the visitor and get him or her to do something. Content should have the goal of compelling readers to share it on social media.
Going Viral – How It Impacts Your Business
The Power Of Sharing
When you are in kindergarten, you no doubt learned that it was important to share. In fact, kindergarten kids are required to share their toys or they get a gentle scolding from the teacher. It may be a content marketing manager’s dream to be the kindergarten teacher in that scenario, where she could force people to share content. Since your visitors are not in school and they are free to do what they want, you have to engage and attract them with content that is delightful, informative and even indispensable. When content has this quality, it achieves shareability and can rise to the coveted status of going viral.
How Going Viral Shapes A Destiny
Going viral is an exponential level of shareability. Basically, it’s when a meme, and article or video goes gangbusters and is so popular that it is almost impossible to avoid. Once an individual or company has an item that goes viral, their future can be transformed, even after the trend passes. While news cycles are notoriously brief and are getting shorter with the multiplicity of media sources, the memory of something entertaining or compelling that went viral has the staying power of a classic. People remember the ice bucket challenge even though they are hard-pressed to recall last week’s major headlines.
One company whose destiny was altered by an item that went viral is Hampton Creek, a business that specializes in natural and organic food, particularly egg and dairy free products. What was potentially negative publicity that could have wrecked the company’s reputation quickly gave Hampton Creek positive name recognition and made it a household brand. It all started when Unilever, owner of the Hellmann’s mayonnaise brand, filed a lawsuit against Hampton Creek over the use of the word “mayo” and its Just Mayo product. The bone of contention, from Unilever’s point of view, was that mayo implies something that is made with eggs, and Hampton Creek shouldn’t have used the term “mayo.”
David (vs) Goliath In The Supermarket Aisle
Hampton Creek was the underdog in this battle and won out in the end. Instead of seeming fraudulent, the small natural foods maker won the sympathy of consumers who are turning towards healthy alternatives and have positive attitudes about a vegan diet. The larger company represented the status quo of food products that contain unhealthy ingredients, such as eggs that are full of saturated fat and cholesterol. The many shares on social media led to supermarkets stocking up on Just Mayo, Just Cookies, and other Hampton Creek products. Now these products are a permanent fixture in the minds of many shoppers, thanks to a failed lawsuit going viral.
How To Go Viral
If only going viral where is easy as catching a common cold, but sadly, it isn’t. It can be challenging to predict what will go viral and what is ignored. It pays to do a large amount of market research and to observe closely what tends to go viral. Grabbing attention is one requirement, but as you see with click bait frustration, grabbing attention the sake of grabbing attention and providing nothing can cause people to turn away. The important first step is shareability, and to make something shareable it has to be not only entertaining and informative but should be perceived as indispensable. People will share things that change their point of view, shock them and provide them with the information they can’t get anywhere else.
The Holy Grail of going viral may elude most people and companies, but once it is achieved, it can permanently and positively affect your brand. People remember things they have shared and are appreciative when friends share things with them they find entertaining and useful. This gratitude is not something that people forget in a few days, a few weeks, or even years.
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