Online niche marketing and social networking gurus toss the word “viral” around way too much.

Want to double the traffic to your website? Get a blog post to go viral.

Want to rank hire in Google search results? Create a viral video.

To hear these “experts” tell it, your business model will be sustainable forever and you’ll make money hand over fist — all you have to do is go viral.

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A step removed

Chances are you have a pretty good idea of what constitutes viral content. It’s material that gets a high number of views in a short amount of time. Everyone shares it so much that it generates buzz — it’s something people are going to seek out in order to stay in the loop.

But there’s one thing most niche marketers need to realize about viral content: It’s only as good as the result it produces. For most small business niche marketers, viral content is a means to an end. It increases brand awareness or it drives traffic to your website, but you need to make sure those things lead to increased sales, more clients, etc.

With that goal in mind, here are 8 ways to create content that has a better chance of going viral.

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1. Set realistic expectations

Unless your niche market is international pop stars, it’s unlikely your YouTube video is going to get billions of views like “Gangnam Style.”

Focus on creating content that will appeal to potential customers and track results based on the kinds of people looking at your content, not just how many of them there are.

2. Make it transferrable

Just because you’re targeting a specific niche doesn’t mean you can’t also make it transferrable.

Figure out who you want to reach with the content, then make sure all those groups can take something from it.

3. Make it relevant

People are less likely to click on a story about football two weeks after the Super Bowl. You want your content to add to conversations already going on within your niche. Viral content is all about sharing, and people like sharing things they feel are topical.

4. Make a video

At any given time there’s at least one “must-see” video floating around the web. People like sharing videos. The good news is they’re cheaper than ever to create. Come up with a way to visually present content that will be useful to your niche.

Gold top 10 winner

5. Make a list

If you can’t video (or even if you can), present your content in a list form.

Which story would you rather read?

  • Movies nominated for Academy Awards, or
  • 5 leading contenders for the Best Picture Oscar

Lists give the impression that you’re offering a lot of added value — if they don’t like #1 or #2, maybe #3 or #4 will have some use for them.

Another benefit: Lists imply ranking or picking a “winner.” Even if readers already know the five contending movies in the example above, they might still be interested to see which one came out on top.

6. Give them something

If your content doesn’t work as a list, make sure it’s giving people information they can use. How-tos, insider information, expert analysis, warnings, or free stuff is bound to get more attention.

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7. Make it easy to share

Content goes viral when lots and lots of people share it with their friends. Make sure your content is easy to pass along through social media buttons, email, etc.

8. Promote it

Your first round of sharing should come from you and your team. If you create content that you’re proud of, spread the word through your company’s social networks and your personal connections if you think it’s appropriate.

Encourage co-workers, friends and family to do the same.

If you would like to find out more about social media to boost your niche I invite you to contact me. I have been helping professional service providers such as CPAs, attorneys, and financial services providers focus their business development efforts on profitable micro-niches for over 10 years. Email me at david@themirconichemethod.com/.

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