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Want to go Viral? Have Great Content

I’ve been in a lot of meeting where executives want to go “viral.” They want a video so popular that it’s forwarded all around the world and their brand becomes recognized overnight. There’s one little bitty problem with this boardroom request:

It’s really hard to do.

Why? Well, the content can’t just be good, it’s gotta be freakin’ great! People have to want to forward it to all of their friends and colleagues. That requires amazing content. What constitutes great content? It could be funny, unique, surprising, or any number of attributes that warrant telling people about. In my example above, it’s a streetballer completely dominating a current NBA point guard in a game of 1 on 1 while wearing jeans, a sweater, and loafers. OK, so there’s a bit of background on the guy. He happens to be a semi-retired hustler from the UK, but it’s still a great video that I have forwarded to several of my friends. It’s authentic, funny, and in this case something that many amatuer athletes have dreamed about doing just once: schooling a pro on the playground.

In the SEO world it’s called LinkBait. Is your content good enough for someone else to link to? Does it answer their questions, provide good resources, or just make them laugh? While generally easier to accomplish than creating viral media, it still requires someone to believe that your content is worth recommending. An inbound link is an endorsements of content. Is yours worthy?