Let’s get one thing clear: too many people try “viral marketing” and fail. The reason should be obvious. Most people have no clue what viral marketing is all about. The more they hear the term, the more confused they get. This increases the likelihood that they will crash and burn when they try “viral marketing.”
Let me clue you in on a secret. The secret to viral marketing is all about getting into a niche network of people.
Believe it or not, people interested in whatever it is you are promoting are already congregating online. Maybe they follow a certain influential Twitter user. Maybe they have joined a wide range of Facebook groups and pages. Many of these are dedicated to this audience.
Most people who try viral marketing are clueless about this. They don’t even know that this niche network already exists.
So what is the secret? It’s as simple as getting into the right network and ‘resharing’ content that has already gone viral. There, I said it. The cat is out of the bag.
Many people fail with this type of marketing because they think that they have to come up with their stuff. What they’re trying to do is reinvent the wheel. Why should you roll the dice with content that has a high chance of not going anywhere? Focus instead on something already popular with your audience members.
You then take something popular on Twitter and reshare it on Facebook as well as on many other accounts on Twitter that may not have seen the viral content you’re sharing. Leverage different sharing platforms’ tagging systems and other audience visibility systems.
Believe it or not, Twitter, YouTube, Facebook, and other social media platforms want you to succeed. They want your content to spread. How come? The more popular your content becomes, the more traffic they get.
It’s in their interest for you to have the tools you need to promote your content. The more visible you become, the higher the chance you’re going to draw new people to their platforms. This is why all these platforms have their tagging and visibility boosting systems.
Use those systems. Get traffic from them. Lead all this traffic back to your conversion page.
How are you going to convert people? Well, you can try showing an ad to them. When you place the right ad in front of the right eyeballs, you may get a lot of clicks. Some of those clicks can turn into cold, hard dollars.
Ideally, you should convert as much of your traffic into mailing list members. You can also get them to check out your blog, and if they like what they read, sign up to your mailing list. Once you have a lot of people on your mailing list and they are truly loyal to your content, chances are, you can turn that mailing list into a recurring source of income.
This guide exposes the secrets to viral marketing that helps you save time, save money, and avoid unnecessary stress. Needless to say, if you follow the tips that I’m going to share in this guide, you increase your chances of finally succeeding with viral marketing.
Don’t Join the Army of Viral Content Failures
The essence of viral marketing is content. In other words, you have to get viral content so you can pull a lot of traffic from many different places on the internet and convert that traffic into cash.
So far so good. Well, the problem is, it’s too easy to fail to create “viral” content. It is.
Too many marketers have a mindset that if they “build it, they will come.” I’m sorry, but publishing “hot, awesome or creative content” on your blog is not going to cut it. Publishing great content is not enough to make it go viral.
It’s very expensive to create original content. You probably already know that first hand. Maybe you tried hiring somebody to write this content for you. Perhaps you tried writing it yourself.
Regardless of how you tried to do it, the lesson is still the same. It’s expensive. Either you pay in the form of money, or you pay in the form of time.
Viral Success All Boils Down to the Right Eyeballs
In other words, you need to get niche viewers. The secret to viral marketing is not massive amounts of views. It is neither a tremendously mind-boggling amount of traffic. Believe it or not, raw views or raw visibility is not going to translate to much money. Seriously.
Millions of views won’t produce real cash unless those views are from the right eyeballs. Unless you’re just trying to make money off YouTube videos and you get paid per thousand views, traffic, in and of itself, is not going to put food on the table.
Viral Content Pieces are Not Commodities
I know I’ve told you that one key aspect to effective viral marketing is to find stuff that has gained traction on Facebook and reshare it on Twitter as well as YouTube. But there is a limit to this.
Please understand that just because it’s hot on Twitter, it doesn’t necessarily mean it will gain the same traction on Pinterest, Instagram or Facebook. After all, if you’re sharing video, it’s hard to do that on Pinterest. Pinterest is geared only to pictures.
While you can get quite a bit of traffic, please understand that it’s not as simple as just shifting content from one platform to another.
The Bottom Line: Viral Popularity Doesn’t Matter
I know you’re probably shocked. You’re probably thinking, “Are you crazy? Do you mean to tell me that if my content gets a lot of likes, favorites, and comments, my stuff is still no good?” Yes, that’s precisely what I’m trying to say.
Those metrics don’t matter. Do you know what matters? Shares or retweets. Those are the only user actions that matter because they play a direct role in determining how much and how often your content gets redistributed far and wide.
It doesn’t matter whether you have a piece of content that gets a lot of commentaries and has a lot of favorites and likes. That’s not going to help you. You need the right eyeballs.
Because people who follow other people or who have friends tend to have the same shared interests, then it makes a lot of sense to get your stuff shared as much as possible. When people share your stuff on Facebook, chances are, they will share it with people who share the same interest in your niche. That’s what you should be shooting for.
I’ve revealed a lot of secrets in this part. Please understand that it’s not about the content. Instead, it’s about the right eyeballs. You can’t treat viral content like some commodity. Also, the vast majority of social signals don’t matter when it comes to viral marketing.
In this part, I’m going to shock you even more with another eye-opening revelation.
Shocking Fact: Viral Content is Everywhere!
Believe it or not, there are tons of stuff going viral on Facebook and Twitter every single day. In fact, according to a fairly recent estimate, over 2 million new pieces of content get published every day. You best believe that a significant percentage of that goes viral on social media and the internet in general.
Content goes viral all the time. There are a lot of reasons for this. First, the content has some emotional feelings. Maybe it’s funny, maybe it’s shocking, it angers perhaps people. Whatever the case may be, people get so worked up that they can’t help but share that piece of content.
Another reason is just raw cuteness. If you keep seeing videos of cute kittens, this is the cute factor at play. This is pretty self-explanatory. This can apply to infants, animals, or older people doing interesting stuff. As long as something is doing something cute, you can bet that there’s a high chance that a piece of content will get shared a lot.
Another common reason for virality is the shock factor. People are just shocked or stunned by what’s going on in the video. Maybe it involves some sort of crime. Maybe it involves something scandalous, disgraceful or shameful.
People like to see something new. People like to get thrown off from time to time. It’s kind of like explaining the appeal of a train wreck. You know you shouldn’t watch those, but people do it anyway.
Another reason why content goes viral is the raw shock factor of newness. For example, if there is some sort of scientific discovery that blows people’s minds, don’t be surprised if it goes viral.
Finally, content can go viral if it tells you something that you don’t already know. Maybe you already know the content, but it resends the content in a very interesting and engaging way. This type of content is like some sort of brain candy.
These are the types of content that go viral every single day. There’s no specific niche preference. You can be watching a viral video on an otherwise boring subject like furniture, but there’s something about the video that just catches your attention. You can’t help but share it with your friends.
Psychological Bases of Content Virality
Let’s get one thing clear, when you’re sharing stuff with your network, you’re putting yourself out there. You’re stepping out on a limb. It can blow up in your face. If you share content that a lot of people find objectionable, you may lose credibility. Still, people share content on their Facebook timelines and Twitter feeds all the time.
Why do they do it? What do they get out of it? What are the psychological factors at play?
Well, first of all, people like to share content because they want to be perceived as “hip.” They want to be seen as cool or as people who know what’s up with the internet. They want to be the first to share something interesting that is quickly becoming viral on the internet. There’s a tremendous emotional reward associated with being the first to share interesting material.
Another reason is just to enjoy and exercise one’s influence simply. I don’t know about you, but it makes me feel really good when I share something that I am interested in or am passionate about, and my friends share and reshare that stuff.
They validate me when I see that. They tell me, in so many ways, that my opinion is important. Every share that my content gets is a vote for my authority, expertise, and credibility.
Finally, people share content because they think it is valuable or interesting. In other words, it captures its range of personal interests.
And here is the secret: if these people’s networks are refined enough to the point that they share the same set of interests, you can bet that that content will go viral.
If you like rabbits, and I like rabbits, and I post videos of cute rabbits, chances are, you will click the “share” button once you see my status update on your timeline. Chances are, you also have friends who are interested in the same things. You probably have friends who are interested in rabbits, and they will share your content, and so on.
Never underestimate how “viral” shared interests could be because this is how Facebook is organized. When you add people to your friend network, chances are, they’re from the same background as you. They have the same experiences, you went to the same school, and you may have a wide range of shared interests. It is these overlapping shared interests that help fuel virality.
So What is the REAL TRUTH About Viral Content Marketing?
There are three things that you need to wrap your mind around. Do this, and you will do well with viral marketing. Screw this up, and you will continue to mess up long into the future. You will continue to struggle.
First, you don’t have to come up with something new. Second, you can reuse somebody else’s stuff. Third, you can reverse engineer your competitors’ viral materials and networks. Put this all together, and you have all that you need for a successful viral content marketing campaign.
Save Time and Money by Deciding NOT to Do This
Let’s get one thing clear; you have the right to try to come up with your content and hope against hope that somehow, some way, it will become viral. You’re more than welcome to do that. But let me tell you, if that is your plan, prepare to waste a lot of time, money and motivation.
I don’t know about you, but for me, there is nothing more demoralizing than putting in a lot of time, effort and emotional energy into something and not seeing any results: no traffic, no conversions, no cash, no way. You only have to go through a few more days or weeks of that experience for you to want to give up.
That is precisely why a lot of people fail with viral content marketing. They see that it’s not working, so they give up. The sad fact is, they set themselves up to fail. They let themselves down.
How come? The pursue the wrong strategy. They try to come up with something hot, new, awesome, revolutionary, and groundbreaking. But for every single marketer who can pull that off, countless others fall flat on their faces.
My advice to you: don’t do it. Seriously. Don’t even try.
Let’s get real here. Just because you think a content idea is hot and “will go viral,” it won’t necessarily mean that it will… In fact, in most cases, that never happens.
Unless you can read the minds of your target audience members, you would be better off not coming up with your stuff. Coming up with some new viral content can be expensive both in terms of time and money.
The Better Way
So what is the best way to do viral content marketing? First, you need to zero in on your niche. Remember, not all the viral content out there being shared over and over again are in your niche. The vast majority are probably not in your niche.
Focus instead on proven winners in your specific niche. You need to look at how many times they’ve been shared. You need to look at how many times they have been retweeted. These are good indicators of how truly viral they are.
It’s extremely important that you focus on how many shares a piece of content has gotten. This is a good indication of how “viral” it is.
Let me tell you, and it doesn’t matter how many times people like it, bookmark it, comment on it – none of that matters. Because when they do that, they’re not directly recommending that piece of content to their circle of influence. They’re not pushing that piece of content to people who may share the same interests when they click the “like” button or leave a comment.
Don’t waste time considering social engagement signals that don’t push the ball forward. Focus on what counts. Focus on how many times a piece of content has been shared or retweeted.
Once you have found this material and you made sure that it truly is related to your niche, add a call to action to filter the eyeballs of niche audience members. This is a crucial part of the process.
If you were going to poach niche content that has already gone viral, you’re not adding much value. You’re also setting up false hopes for yourself.
How come? Well, chances are, the vast majority of people sharing that cute video that you found and reshared are not in your target niche. You have to call people to action to a link paired with that viral video or viral picture that filters your niche audience members.
For example, if you are passing along a video of a cat giving its owner a high five, you can put a call to action saying, “For amazing cat training tips, visit this site.”
Now, please understand that the vast majority of people sharing that cute and funny video of a cat giving high fives or fist bumps probably don’t even have cats. They think that the video is funny. They think that it’s cute and awesome. They believe it puts a smile on people’s faces. But let me tell you, most of those people are probably not in your target market.
The good news is, by putting a call to action with the content that you are ‘resharing,’ some people who are members of your niche audience would click through. You have prequalified them. This is how you piggyback on tried and proven viral content that is either directly or somewhat related to your target niche.
The Two-Step Trick to Effective Viral Marketing
I know that I have mentioned this in passing in the previous part of this article. But to drive home the point, I’m going to fully define the key steps you need to take to conduct truly effective viral marketing campaigns. These viral marketing campaigns will work not just on your social media accounts but also on your blog, your forum postings, and other online marketing efforts you take.
Step #1: Find what’s hot
The first thing that you need to do is to find what’s hot on the internet. There are tons of pictures, links, picture quotes, and videos going viral all the time. People can’t help but share this material. Find hot stuff.
Now, after you have found this material, make sure that you filter them based on how near or how closely related they are to your target niche. For example, if you are promoting a plumbing service company in Central Florida, you can share all the funny dogs riding scooters videos you want. You might even get a lot of traffic to your page. But guess what? You probably are not going to book too many new appointments for your client using these videos.
You can get a lot of eyeballs, but they are the wrong ones. Why? The videos that you reshared and marketed are not near enough or closely related enough to your target niche.
Niches are people who share certain problems. These are people who are looking for certain standard solutions. Always keep that in mind. Just because you get a lot of traffic, it doesn’t mean much.
Step #2: Share viral content to drive conversions
It’s really important to understand why you are doing viral marketing in the first place. This is where a lot of people trip up. They do. Why? They focus on raw numbers. They focus on getting as many clicks to their target site as possible.
Now, don’t get me wrong. Traffic is good, but it has to be the right kind of traffic.
If I had to choose between 1 million random visitors or 1,000 highly targeted visitors, I would take the latter all day, every day. What’s the point of getting 1 million visitors when only one in a million converts into a paying customer?
Compare that with getting 1,000 qualified visitors and seeing 200, 300 or even 500 of them turning into actual paying customers. This is not rocket science. It should be quite obvious.
To understand how this works and understand what your focus should be on. It isn’t about traffic. It’s something more. It’s all about driving conversions.
You need to get the right people to the right webpage so they can do something that puts more dollars in your bank account. That’s the bottom line. That should be your goal.
This is why it’s really important to share viral content to drive conversions. You’re not driving traffic; you’re not trying to maximize visibility, you’re trying to drive conversions.
How do you do this? Share the material on your blog. Reshare your blog’s link on social media. Use these to pull traffic to your blog. You then convert this traffic into potential sales by getting these visitors to sign up for your newsletter.
This is how you play the game to win. You convert these visitors through an internal blog page. When they click on a link, and they end up on an engaging page of content, they may like your content so much that they click on a link to get notified of your updates. That’s how you hook them.
Or you give them a freebie like some consumer guide. For example, if your blog sells legal immigration services, you may want to give away a free booklet that clues people in on how to qualify to get to the United States on a tourist visa with minimal hassles.
Whatever you do, get people to sign up for your mailing list because after they signed up, you can then send them updates that can either upsell them to affiliate products or get them to buy your products. The possibilities are limitless.
It is your email list that does the hard work of converting these people. They might not read one update, but if they check out an update and they like a link, you can turn that traffic into a potential sale. That’s how powerful a mailing list is.
Your whole viral marketing campaign should be focused on driving conversions to your newsletter. The more people you have in your newsletter and the higher the quality of your updates, the more money you stand to make later on.
How Do You Find Hot Content?
Now that you have a clear idea of the two-step trick to effective viral marketing, how do you pull off Step #1? Well, there are two ways to do it. You can take the hard way, or you can take the shortcut.
Just so you have a clear understanding of the manual filtering process involved, I’m going to describe these two options in detail. First, you can try to do things manually. You can get highly targeted content through this labor-intensive method.
The first thing that you need to do is to go to the Google Keyword Planner tool. If you don’t know what that is, sign up to Google Ads and click on their tools link, and you will be shown a menu that lists the Google Keyword Planner tool.
Click on that tool. Enter a few keywords directly related to your niche. Keep doing this, and you will see tons of related keywords.
Once you have this massive list, filter them based on their accuracy or specificity to your niche. Once you have cleaned up your keyword list, use these on Facebook or Twitter to search for social media accounts that target these keywords.
Of course, you’re going only to consider social media accounts of people, organizations or businesses who are truly in your niche. You can tell by the way they describe themselves whether they are in your target niche.
Keep filtering these accounts. At the end of a long process, you should have a nice, clean list of social media accounts of your niche-specific competitors. These accounts can be on Pinterest, Instagram, Twitter, Facebook, YouTube, and you name it. The longer your list, the better.
Find and Poach Your Competitors’ or Niche Fans’ Viral Content
Please note that when you click through the social media accounts of people and organizations in your niche, you will quickly discover that there are two types of accounts: competitors and fans. I’m not even going to describe competitors because this is self-explanatory.
Fan accounts are non-commercial accounts started by people who are just emotionally invested in your niche. For example, if you are promoting a dog training online courses, you might be able to retrieve a large list of puppy training social media accounts. When you look at their content, it’s obvious that they’re not doing this for money. They’re just sharing their interests or enthusiasm. These are fan accounts. You need to gather a big list of these as well.
Once you have gotten a massive list of niche-specific social media accounts, go through all their content. Take a look at how many times their content has been reshared or retweeted. Pay attention to pictures, videos, interesting links, picture quotes, or any other type of media.
As you can probably tell, this process is not easy. You have to know what you’re doing. You have to know what to look for. You also have to have a lot of time. Doing things by hand can burn up a lot of time.
If you don’t have the time or patience to find all your niche competitors’ and niche fans’ social media accounts and poach their content, use BuzzSumo. This online tool will scour the major social media platforms for content that is directly related to your niche keywords.
Make sure that you save the niche keywords that you got from the Google Keyword Planner tool and use them at BuzzSumo. You will see a lot of content that has been filtered already based on certain social signals like retweets or shares.
BuzzSumo is a handy tool because it saves you a tremendous amount of time, effort and frustration.
Get Your Links Ready
Once you have filtered your competitors’ most viral pieces of content, copy their URLs and put them in an Excel sheet. On the right side, try to find the description for that piece of content. Usually, when you come across viral content on a social media platform, there’s a short description or even a title. Use those materials.
Maximize Niche Targeting for Your Curated Content
What is Curation?
Once you have gathered your reverse engineered content, please understand that you are going to be using them to build credibility for your social media accounts and, ultimately, to drive traffic to your target website. Your target website could be a resource site, it can be a series of article pages, or it can be an actual blog.
However you set it up, you’re going to be using third-party content to build credibility for your accounts and build their following. What will pull traffic from those accounts to your target pages, blogs or resource sites are specific pieces of content or ads that you “rotate” in between curated content.
I hope this is clear to you. You’re going to be publishing curated third-party content on your social media account.
Now, you may be asking, “Isn’t this illegal? Wouldn’t these people object?” No, they won’t.
It’s a win/win situation. You’re driving traffic to them while at the same time establishing your niche credibility. You’re also calling people to action with their content to like your page, follow you on Twitter or Instagram or whatever other social media platforms you’re on.
You’re creating a win/win situation. The people behind the curated content get traffic and brand visibility. You, on the other hand, get to build up your social media accounts.
Once you have a big following, an increasing number of people would then see the direct links to your conversion pages. They can then click through, and you end up with more traffic to your email squeeze page. This can lead to a larger email list, which can produce a great number of income opportunities later on.
That’s how you play the game. It all boils down to reverse engineering and curating somebody else’s content.
How to Improve Curated Content
I wish I could tell you that you can take third-party viral content and promote them as is. This is precisely what a lot of other marketers are doing. Unfortunately, if you were to do that, you’re going to be leaving a lot of money on the table.
You have to understand that you’re not just trying to pump up traffic with curated content. That should not be your main goal. Your main goal should not be traffic volume. Instead, your main goal is to get niche-targeted people to view your materials.
The more of these people you reach, the more likely they would click on the link to your social media account and become a follower or channel subscriber or page liker or fan. Whatever form it takes, your objective is to get a massive amount of people to follow you. You’re trying to create a fan base.
And it’s going to be hard to do this if you are sending out curated content with the same headlines that were originally used. People can see that your stuff is not original, so they probably would ignore it. After all, this stuff is viral, so they’ve probably have seen it before from somewhere else.
Your first step after you have filtered curated content for niche specificity is to change their headlines. Create niche-targeted headlines for all your curated content. Bring it home. Tighten the focus of this content.
For example, if you have a drop shipping store that sells cat pendants and you have found great viral videos of cute kittens, make sure the headline of the video teases people or informs them about your inventory.
This is not easy because you have to do it in an attention-grabbing way, but if you’re able to give this enough time, you can come up with a nice specific headline that will get people excited about your niche specific social media account.
Create Niche-Targeted Descriptions or Commentary for Curated Content
Not only should you recreate the headline of the content that you’re poaching, but you should also do the same for its descriptions or commentary.
It’s really important to make it clear that this content is intended for a specific audience. This way, when this material blasts its way all over the internet and through all social networks, it can then filter people who are interested in the content. Only people who are really in your niche would want to click on the link that you paired with the content to go back to your social media account.
Use Niche-Targeted Hashtags
This piece of advice applies to people using curated content on Twitter and Instagram. If you did your homework correctly in previous parts, you should already be aware of Twitter hashtags that are very popular in your niche.
Compile a list of these. Rotate among these when you publish curated content on Instagram and Twitter. This way, you “piggyback” on hashtags being searched for by people interested in your niche. This is how you get niche-targeted eyeballs.
Again, the whole point here is not just to drive a mob of otherwise uninterested people to your social media accounts. Instead, you’re looking to get a nice flow of people who are truly interested in your niche, and then getting them to follow you on social media.
Remember the Secondary Effects of Curated Viral Content
Viral content is so powerful because you don’t just attract people who are already interested in your niche; you also end up motivating them to share with their social circles. This can lead people sharing the same interests, or roughly the same interests, to see the links to your social media accounts.
To understand how this secondary traffic effect works when crafting headlines, descriptions, and commentary. You’re not just repackaging hot content. You’re trying to reach people and also their friends and the friends of those friends who share the same niche interests.
I want to share with you this big picture so you can see how important this is. This is not something you blow through. So you have to give this proper attention to maximize the niche targeting capabilities of the curated viral content that you are sharing.
Remember to protect yourself when sharing others’ content
I wish I could tell you that you can flat out recycle everybody’s content without any legal problems. Of course, if I were to say that to you, I would be lying. I would be putting you in harm’s way. Don’t do that!
If you are going to be curating tried and proven viral content, you have to protect yourself legally. How do you do this?
The power CTTO
What does CTTO stand for? It stands for ‘credit to the owner.’ When you post this, you are saying to the world that you don’t own the content and that you are attributing ownership to the person who owns the content. Now, understand that when people post CTTO, they don’t just do it in passing.
The ones who do this right will link to the source. For example, if you are posting a funny cat video and it turns out that it was a video originally made popular by a person with a personal account, include their account link in your curated post. Put CTTO and then the link to that person.
This way, people would know that that person is the owner. You are just curating this content. This is a very important part of getting legal protection. You have to give proper attribution. You cannot give the impression that you created this content yourself.
Make sure to comment on the content
Under US copyright law as well as Canadian intellectual property law, if you use other people’s protected intellectual property, you can gain some protection for lawsuits when you do certain things. First of all, your sharing of the content must have some commentary. Either you’re sharing it for news value, or you’re sharing it to foster conversation.
This is how the fair use doctrine works. It is all about opening up copyright law to allow for genuine discussion. This way, when you comment, you are triggering the fair use doctrine. Now, I’m not saying that your comment should be very short and shallow. That’s probably not going to protect you.
If you are going to be curating other people’s viral content, your comment must be content in of itself. It must be that useful. It must have some impact, and it almost must add value to the content that you are curating. You can’t just say, “Check this out” or “Haha, funny.” That’s not going to work.
Use this tremendous opportunity to talk about your niche. Use this opportunity to highlight your expertise and level of authority in your niche. This way, you can kill two birds with one stone. On the one hand, you qualify the curated content under the fair use doctrine. This makes it harder for the owner of the content to sue you for copyright infringement.
Remember, under international intellectual property law, the only person who has a right to copy and distribute the copies of his or her original work is the content creator. Alternatively, that person may assign those rights to another person. Those are the only people who have legal rights under copyright law.
The fair use doctrine makes certain exceptions in certain contexts regarding that protection. This way, you can freely share somebody’s content, provided that you are adding commentary, adding value or you are positioning it to foster discussion.
It is also important to make sure that the content that you are sharing is not the whole content. For example, you are probably going to run into trouble if you share a complete movie that somebody else produces. But if you are going to share snippets of the video or screenshots like the stuff that you see on Buzzfeed, you probably will be okay.
You have to look at how much of the content you are quoting or sampling. If you use the whole content, then you may be in trouble. It is also important that you link to the source. This way, they benefit from your curation. This creates a win-win situation.
In most cases, third-party content producers don’t mind. They would love to encourage you. Why? The more you spread their content, the more traffic they get. The more you popularize their content, the stronger their brand becomes. You’re doing them a big favor. Things get a little dicey when you’re sharing snippets of popular movies or TV shows. That’s when things can get a bit touchy.
Do yourself a big favor and make sure that there is a commentary on the content that you are curating. Make sure that you use the acronym CTTO to protect yourself. Also, if you get any complaint or notification from the rights owner, pull the curated content down. It’s not worth it. You don’t want to blow all the cash that you have managed to build up, creating your distinct online brand, because you don’t want to let go of curated content.
If you’re doing this right, you should have a lot of curated materials anyway. You’re not losing much if the rights owner tells you to pull down a few posts on your social media accounts. When you get such notifications, make sure you act on them promptly. Don’t sit on them. Don’t blow them off. You’re just going to be making things harder on yourself if they decide to sue you.
Intellectual property rights law is no joke. There are fines that you can face, and you might even spend jail time. It can get that bad, so do yourself a big favor and make sure you protect yourself adequately when sharing other people’s content.
Now, please understand that what makes this murky is the fact that when content goes viral on the internet, it usually changes hands so many times. This may have happened so much that you don’t know who the real owner is. You don’t know who created that content in the first place.
Do yourself a big favor and make sure that you follow the rules above and you are very responsive to take down notices or notifications.
How to share viral content on Facebook
Now that you have a good understanding of your grand strategy for sharing viral content and leveraging content curation to build up your social media and blog following, here is a specific part on viral content marketing on Facebook.
Post viral content first on your Facebook page
The first thing that you need to do is to post the curated content on your Facebook page. This is the first place you’re going to post your material. You then take the link of that created post and republish other parts of Facebook as well as Twitter and other social media platforms using tools like Hootsuite.
This handy tool enabled you to upload a massive amount of content to your social media accounts and space out the publication of that content. You can also play around with the hashtags, comments, and titles. The great thing about HootSuite is you don’t have to babysit your social media accounts, telling it when it should publish.
You need to designate the time and set the software and pretty much forget it. Once you have uploaded all your content, you can pretty much sit back and let HootSuite do its thing. When people visit your social media accounts, they get the impression that you’re actively operating your account because you’re publishing at a regular rate.
What they don’t know is that you have set this up well in advance and it was software that published this material. This is a great way of automating your operations, so you don’t have to physically or manually do work. A lot of people make great passive income just by using tools like Hootsuite to post curated content on their social media accounts.
These then drive traffic to their mailing lists. These lists are then automated to send offers at specific times. The owners and operators of these systems sit back and collect cash. I know, sound pretty awesome, but you have to have a system as well as a clear plan to pull this off.
When to republish
If you did your homework correctly, you should have a large collection of viral content in your niche. This stuff is tried and proven. These materials are known to attract a tremendous amount of eyeballs in your niche. The problem is, you don’t want to keep republishing the same content over and over.
For example, if you have 300 links and you have set up HootSuite to tweet out your materials at a rate of 6 times a day, this means that after 50 days, your list will get republished again. You may want to tweet more frequently, like 12 times a day, and this would cut down your republish date to 25 days.
Can you see the problem here? You’re probably going to lose followers if it becomes obvious to them that you’re just recycling the same content over and over, this is why I suggest that you get a huge amount of content so that even if you are publishing at a very frequent clip every single day, your republication is not going to look obvious.
Why republish anyway?
You can do things the hard way and get just a massive list of content and set up your system so that you’ll never publish the same content more than once. You’re more than welcome to that. It takes a lot of work, time and effort. A lot of people don’t do things that way. Instead, they would rather republish.
As long as you have enough materials to recycle, you should be fine. If you’re going to be republishing once every two months, that should be safe. Still, why should you republish? Well, when you do this, you get many bites of the apple. Maybe for whatever reason, your initial publication did not get your followers’ attention, hey, it happens. If you republish, you get another chance.
Also, when viral content gets hot, it gets cold very quickly, but this doesn’t necessarily mean that people who are interested initially in it have completely lost all interest. When you republish at a later date, you might awaken interest. People might think that it’s a nice throwback and share it and this can give you new fans.
Regardless, if enough time has passed since you originally published the curated content, you give your fans the impression that they are seeing new content. This is always a good thing.
Always include a link to your conversion page with your curated viral content
Every time you publish curated viral content, you should link to the source, you should give proper attribution, but you should also link to your conversion page. This is your mailing list. If you can’t do that, then Facebook will publish your curated content as something published by your Facebook page.
This might be good enough. If you are sharing the direct post on your Facebook page to related Facebook groups or other pages, people might click to like your page and possibly get your updates.
Post your Facebook pages’ URLs on niche-related Facebook groups
Now that you have published a lot of content on your Facebook page take the URLs of those posts and share them on Facebook groups in the same niche. Now, please understand that you cannot do this on day one. You can’t just join a group and all of a sudden dropping links. You’re going to look like a spammer. People are not going to like what you’re doing.
You probably will get banned sooner rather than later. I suggest that you don’t even try to do that. Instead, join these niche-related Facebook groups and engage with group members. Ask a lot of questions, tell them what you know and otherwise carry yourself like a respected member of the community.
Remember, these Facebook groups are nothing but online message boards. They are like little online communities. When you join these places, conduct yourself like a responsible community member. Add value to the conversations through your posts. This is how you establish credibility.
Once you have established credibility and authority, you would then be able to share some of your content in addition to the direct third-party links that you’re sharing. You should do that to cover your tracks. You don’t want to be obvious about this. You don’t want to be the account that is so transparent. People can easily see that you are just promoting your Facebook page. People don’t like that. It’s only a matter of time before they ban you.
If you’re going to be dropping links, a small percentage of that should be your Facebook page, but the vast majority should be high-quality content. It fosters discussion. That’s how you build credibility and how you are given more permission to keep posting your stuff. You have to earn this by becoming credible first.
Facebook viral content strategy
If I haven’t been obvious yet. Let me spell it out. For Facebook, your viral content strategy should first involve posting your curated viral content on your Facebook page. Next, you share that content on niche-related groups. This will then drive likes to your Facebook page. You want Facebook users to find themselves on your page.
By giving them enough information, some of them might like the page, and this means that whenever you publish an update, a certain percentage of your page fans might see your content. This can then lead to those people seeing your conversion page links and finding themselves on your blog or your squeeze page.
Next, auto-publish content on your Facebook page to maximize eyeballs on your conversion page. In other words, keep posting regularly on your Facebook page. Don’t feel guilty about this. Please understand that only a tiny minority of your Facebook fans will get to see your updates.
The vast majority of people who have liked your page will not see your updates unless the option “see first” when they first like your page. But generally speaking, only a small percentage of your page fans will see your updates, so it helps to publish regularly and to publish a lot.
As long as the quality is there and as long as the quality is high enough to drive engagement, you should not suffer from this. However, if you publish stuff that has absolutely no engagement, Facebook might penalize you. If you think very few of your fans are seeing your content now, wait until Facebook punishes you for low engagement. Even fewer of your fans will see your content after the penalty.
Next, get clicks on your conversion page. This is how you get list members. Finally, you auto-publish your email updates, and you get conversions passively. That’s how you play the game. You send out email updates to your mailing list on an automated basis. That’s how you drive traffic to post with ads, or you get traffic to actual sales pages when people buy something from these sales pages so you can get a commission.
If you’re selling your products and they buy something, you get 100% of whatever money they paid. Map out your overall Facebook viral strategy using the sequence I described above.
How to share viral content on Twitter
Post the viral Twitter content on your Twitter timeline. After you have posted the actual viral content video or link or picture, tag influential accounts in your niche. These are people who already follow this type of content. Tag them to get their attention. If you’ve done your research properly, you should know who these people are.
Chances are, you are syndicating some of their content as well. Also, by this point, you already know what kind of niche-related hashtags people interested in your type of content would use. Use these hashtags. The trick here is to use HootSuite or any other type of auto-publishing tool to rotate your hashtag.
I cannot emphasize this enough. You have to rotate your hashtags. Why? When people are interested in a particular niche or a particular narrow range of subjects, they use hashtags. There are like the search engine keyword phrases you are targeting. The problem is, you don’t know which hashtags will drive the most traffic. You’re completely in the dark.
This is why you have to rotate your hashtags. Eventually, when you look at your statistics, and you look at the timing of the traffic coming from Twitter, you should be able to connect the dots. You should be able to take an educated guess as to which specific hashtag set accounted for the nice search and traffic.
Don’t forget to rotate your hashtags. Failure to do so is going to be a missed opportunity. You’re going to be blowing it big time if you don’t bother to rotate hashtags. You should already know what hashtags are hot in your niche. It’s a good idea to keep collecting hashtag ideas and rotating among them to see which ones produce the most results.
Fill up your Twitter feed using auto-publishing tools like Hootsuite
The good thing about HootSuite is that you can use a database file using the CSV format to input content data. You don’t have to manually enter each piece of content that you want HootSuite to publish for you.
If you’re using MS Excel and saving it as a CSV, make sure that you are rotating your hashtags. Make sure that you are ‘resharing’ or retweeting certain content and then rotate the hashtags. Even if you are not retweeting curated content, you should still rotate your hashtags.
Again, the key here is to constantly experiment to see which hashtag accounts for the nice surge of traffic your conversion page has gotten.
Do this while auto-publishing
While HootSuite is doing its thing, you shouldn’t just sit back, relax and wait for the cash to come in. I know that’s what a lot of “make money online” books or “internet marketing riches” books tell you to do. That’s the hype. That’s the dream. Unfortunately, dreams are often very different from reality.
If you want your curated viral content social media account marketing campaign to be successful, you have to roll up your sleeves and do something on the side. While your stuff is auto-publishing, look for competitors’ accounts on Twitter. You should already have a list of these. Look at their followers and pay attention to the most active ones.
These are the ones that are tweeting every single day and then filter them based on their niche specificity. Look at their Twitter feeds. What do these followers normally tweet about? If you can see a tight correlation between your content and the stuff that they are constantly tweeting or retweeting, follow them.
This is crucial. Follow them. Here is how this can lead to you getting more followers on Twitter. Generally speaking, when people follow other accounts, a certain percentage of the people they follow will, in turn, follow them back. This is “follow me, and I follow you.” It’s all about reciprocity.
Now, this should not be surprising. After all, when you are nice to somebody, chances are quite good that they will be nice back to you. That’s how the human mind is wired. When people follow you back automatically on Twitter, that’s just reciprocity in action in the digital world. This is a very powerful form of promotion because the people following you back are more likely to be in your niche target audience.
These are people who are more likely to be truly interested in what you have to share. Eventually, they might keep seeing your conversion page tweets enough times that they take action. Just remember that the part of the reason why the total number of clickthroughs on Twitter is relatively low compared to other social media platforms is that of the rule of 8.
In other words, people get so bombarded with so much information on Twitter that they have to keep seeing the same piece of content over and over again for them to think that it’s okay to click on it. In their minds, sheer familiarity means that somehow the content is somewhat trustworthy to take a chance on that content.
Whatever the case may be, keep retweeting your stuff using tools like HootSuite while at the same time directly following active followers of your competitors.
Focus on the strategy
It is really important to make sure that you auto-publish only niche specific viral content. I mean you should already understand this, but if you are still fuzzy on the concept, you have to make sure that all the curated materials that you are producing are on point. They have to be niche specific.
Also, they have to be tried and proven; otherwise they have already been shared and retweeted. This is not new stuff. This is not stuff that somebody just came up with. This is material that has been going around because you know people are interested in this stuff.
Next, you build an organic following of niche specific followers by reverse engineering your competitors’ following by just simply going through your competitors, looking at their follower list and cherry picking their most niche-specific active followers.
If your stuff is truly niche specific and you make it a point to add value to the lives of people checking out your materials, don’t be surprised that a comparatively high proportion of people you followed will end up following you back. The name of the game here is to get niche followers by using niche specific content.
This can increase the chances of you making with your conversion page content. Of course, nothing is guaranteed, but if you follow all the steps above and your followers are very niche focused, your chances of converting these people into actual buyers can be quite high.
Filter your content formats to get viral on many platforms
By simply taking content from one platform and then sharing it on another, you can get quite a nice flow of traffic. Now, please understand as I mentioned at least twice in this guide, just because a piece of content is popular on one platform doesn’t automatically mean that it will gain traction in another. Always remember that.
With that in mind, here are just some common strategies for ‘resharing’ content from one platform to another.
YouTube video strategy
The first thing that you need to do is to find videos on YouTube that have a high amount of views. This is the first indication of success. This video is not a sleeper video. It’s not a video that was published and was quickly forgotten. This video gets a lot of attention in your niche on YouTube.
Next, pay attention to the comments. How many comments are there? Usually, when people comment, it means that they are emotionally invested in the video. It either registered at some level, or it struck them in some way. Whatever the case may be, it had an impact on them. Look for high comment videos and, finally, look at the number of likes.
This is not as important as the number of comments and the number of views. Again, you need to double check that these YouTube videos that you’re considering of republishing are really specific to your niche. Once you are sure that this is the kind of video you would want to curate, download these and share on your Facebook and Twitter accounts.
Again, make sure to protect yourself by including CTTO and linking to the YouTube channel of the source. When sharing on Twitter, rotate the hashtag. Similarly, you can download Facebook and Twitter video content and share it on your YouTube channel. You’re just doing things in reverse.
Still, you are going to have to protect yourself by posting an attribution link next to the CTTO text.
Find viral infographic or picture content on Instagram and Pinterest. Share these on Facebook and Twitter with proper attribution. Do the same with viral Facebook and Twitter photo content, but on Instagram and Pinterest platforms. Again, make sure you rotate your hashtags. Make sure that this stuff is really niche specific.
Also, if you find viral content in your niche on Twitter and Facebook, look for accounts on Pinterest and Instagram that target those niches. Look at their followers and try to follow those followers and possibly get them to follow you back. This way, you’re working on two levels. You’re not just shuffling curated content around. You’re also building up an organic niche following for your accounts.
All content must eventually lead to your conversion accounts
On your YouTube channel, you should have a link to your squeeze page or blog. This can be in your about page. This can also be in the description of every video you upload on YouTube. Please understand that most people don’t click on the about link on YouTube. They might like your videos, but they might not bother to get more information about you.
Do yourself a big favor and make sure that every time you upload a video, put your squeeze page URL or blog URL in the description section.
On your Twitter account, make sure you include your squeeze page URL or your blog URL in your bio profile and rotate among these in the content that you are sharing. The same applies to your Facebook page, as well as your Facebook group posts. It’s all about maximizing eyeballs to your squeeze page or your blog homepage URL.
Of course, as I’ve mentioned several times here, when you are republishing curated content, you have to be hands on. You can’t just take content that is already popular and shuffle it off to another platform or redistribute it on the same platform that content is already on. You’re probably not going to benefit all that much from that content’s viral appeal.
You have to play around with the title, as well as the commentary, and add more value to each piece of content. As you can probably tell, this can take quite some time and that is why I suggest that you hire a virtual assistant with solid English skills from places like Fiverr or you’re looking to save money, cognoplus.com.
If you need expert writing services, you might want to try Upwork or if you are operating on a budget but require very high quality, try ozki.org.
This guide gives away several secrets that you probably haven’t heard before. There is a reason why these secrets are not out in the open. They are unpopular. A lot of people who make their convincing living others that they can become instant overnight millionaires dong online marketing don’t want you to know about these secrets.
They don’t want you to know about the work involved. They don’t want you to know that there is a shortcut involved. They don’t want you to know about the fact that you can shorten your path to success by reverse engineering other people’s success. They don’t want you to know the fact that you can use your competitors to do your homework for you.
They want to keep you in the dark about all of that. Why would they want to do it? Well, they want you to believe that if you create hot content, people will magically appear on your website. In other words, they want you to keep coming back to them for guidance. They don’t want to give you the raw framework you need so you can get started.
Now, please understand that I’m giving you a raw framework. You still need to constantly experiment, tweak and modify whatever it is you are doing to fir your circumstances. This enabled you to fine-tune your results and eventually achieve ultimate success. When working with viral content, it all boils down to finding what works and building on it.
If this is your mindset, you should succeed. But if you think that you need to poach other people’s work and put in very little time and effort in syndicating this material, you probably are not going to be all that successful. Remember, at the end of the day, it all boils down to the value you add to people’s lives.
That is the bottom line. If you execute all the tips and tricks that I’ve included in this guide with value in mind, you should end up doing pretty well. I wish you nothing but the greatest success.