“We need your help to create some viral content.”
“We’ve been writing some blog posts, but we haven’t done any viral stuff yet.”
As content marketing specialists, we hear this type of comment all the time.
It’s not that it’s impossible to set out to create viral content and succeed as the good folks at Inc., HubSpot, Entrepreneur, Mashable, KISSmetrics and plenty of others have explained, but it’s not easy either. Moreover, devoting your time, energy, talent and money to such a goal is unlikely to help you achieve the ultimate marketing goal: selling more of your company’s products or services.
The Harsh Reality of Viral Content
Unless you have access to some extraordinary comedic talent or a business that lends itself to videos or babies, the likelihood that your content will go “viral” is very small. And the type of content most likely to go viral is often least likely to fit with your brand — especially when you’re a B2B company.
The goal of creating viral content also misses the essential point that “viral” simply means the content gets shared and viewed by an extraordinary number of people. That’s not necessarily a bad thing, but in B2B content marketing, the more appropriate goal is to get your content in front of the right people — the ones who will purchase or further promote what you’re trying to sell. While it might be thrilling to get millions of YouTube views, if those views are from people with no interest in or ability to buy your products and service, they’re pretty close to worthless. You’d be far better off writing a simple, less-thrilling blog post that gets the attention of 10 leads with real interest and purchasing power.
Content Marketing Is a Marathon
An effective content marketing effort isn’t something that happens in a week or a month, it’s something you must build and maintain for the long haul. There is no secret recipe or magic pill that help make it move any faster. And even in the rare cases where brands do get an explosion of attention from some viral content, they have to keep working to maintain their visibility and make sales.
The best way to succeed in your content marketing effort is to start with a strategy, complete with buyer personas. Then build an editorial calendar that maps out the blog posts, white papers, guides, infographics and other content you’ll create to execute your strategy and connect with your target buyers. Finally, you’ll follow through on publishing that content and promoting it through social media, email newsletters, press releases, and other means suited to your business, industry and buyers.
It’s not an exciting or sexy process, but it’s an effective one that over time will help you achieve the goal of connecting with prospects, shoring up relationships with customers and selling more.
The Rep Cap team won’t promise to create viral content for your brand, but we will create high-quality content that appeals to your customers and helps your company sell. Contact us to to learn more.