When we come across content marketing that goes viral, our first thought is often: “How do I do that?”
Luck is a big part of why some content goes viral while other pieces sit unnoticed, but you can give your content a better chance at spreading far and wide.
Incorporate these four guiding principles, and your B2B content could be the next big thing.
Understanding the B2B Content Challenge
Paulo Coelho can craft a viral Facebook post by featuring a random quote on a nice background.
But that’s because he has a huge base of fans and everything he posts becomes popular in minutes.
Plus, he is aiming for a huge audience, like many B2C marketers. When you’re trying to craft content for businesses, things are a bit more complicated.
Many marketers and business owners already know what they are looking for when they go online to find content, and they often know exactly how and where to find that information. You can’t trick these people with random listicles and trivia. When you’re creating B2B content, you’re writing for experts.
There’s a simple trick for creating viral content for a B2B brand: to offer what the target businesses are looking for, but spice things up with a new perspective on the issue.
Volvo’s Successful Content
Do you remember Volvo’s epic commercial for trucks featuring Jean Claude Van Damme?
Now that was a great example of a brilliant B2B campaign. First of all, let’s make it clear: Volvo’s cars are meant for a broad audience of ‘normal people’, but the trucks are sold to businesses. These clients are very picky about all features they want in the main tool for their business.
It had all the necessary elements: quality, excitement, authority, surprise, and pure awesomeness. Plus, it had potential for Photoshopping, which made the internet community go crazy over the commercial.
There were memes all over social media. People who saw the memes wanted to see the video, so the campaign went viral with the speed of light.
Now let’s take a look at four ways that you can model your own content after successful campaigns like this one.
Recognize the Human Element in Businesses
One of the biggest mistakes in the marketing campaigns of B2B brands is the focus on businesses instead of people.
Business-centric content ends up being dry and lifeless, so the readers can’t relate to it. When you think about it, that’s exactly what Volvo did right with the truck marketing campaign: it recognized the buyers as people, not businesses. The commercial is far from a boring presentation of the features and power of the trucks. It raises your adrenaline and it makes you laugh – that’s what’s special about it.
It doesn’t matter whether you’re crafting a blog post, video, or infographic: you have to aim for the reader’s emotions!
Don’t forget that the content will be accessed by people, so you shouldn’t write it for a generic, faceless audience. When you infuse excitement and some humor in your campaign, you’ll have the chance of widespread readership.
Elevate the Level of Quality
What does “high quality” mean when you’re crafting B2B content?
The standards remain the same when you compare it to any other type of content: it needs to solve a problem, it should be focused on the reader, and it should offer the information your readers need.
When someone searches content useful for their business, you should keep in mind that they are proud of their knowledge and skills.
Even when you’re writing articles for beginners, you should always keep the level of your audience in your mind. In other words – always go deep! Support your claims with a strong argument, factual data, and examples.
Neil Patel’s blog posts are the perfect example of high-quality B2B content. They are data-driven, and you can sense the huge amounts of effort and time that went into a single post. In other words – they are worth reading, and that’s the exact impression you want to achieve.
If you have a post scheduled for publication, but you have absolutely no time to conduct the needed research and write amazing content, what do you do?
You still need to keep up with your schedule, so skipping the post is not an option. In such situation, you can outsource the task of writing to someone from your team, or a professional writer from a service like AssignmentMasters.
When you work with professional writers and editors, you’ll be closer to achieving the level of quality and authority needed to give content viral potential.
Make Content Positive and Exciting
In 2012, Berger and Milkman from the Wharton Business School published an article titled, “What Makes Online Content Viral?” The results indicated that positive content had greater potential to go viral than negative content.
Berger and Milkman did not conduct the study precisely for the needs of B2B marketing, but we can safely state that it’s even more important to stay positive when you’re talking to business people through the content you create.
You want to convince the readers that your offer and advice will help them achieve greater success with their business.
When you share an optimistic message that convinces them that there are solutions to the problems they face, the readers are more likely to close the deal and spread the message around.
Needless to say, positivity alone won’t make your B2B content popular.
The key to social sharing is the level of excitement the reader or viewer experiences.
Your positive content should inspire amusement, optimism, surprise, and other good emotions. People will share that content through their business blogs and social media pages because doing so will raise their own authority and social reputation.
Take a look at Sungard As Blog – it’s a good example that shows how colorful, interesting blog content can attract a huge level of attention among businesses.
Make it Shareable
When you’re trying to create viral content, you want one thing from the readers: to spread the word.
Are you making that easy for them?
If, for example, the visitor sees a nice infographic and he wants to save it to a Pinterest board, he needs to be able to do that with a single click.
Social media buttons make it easy for the website visitors to share any publication through any social network.
Instead of begging your readers “share this post on Google+, Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Tumblr, and all other social media,” you can simply feature the buttons and they will understand what they need to do.
Floating social media buttons are the best since they remain visible as the visitor scrolls down the page.
Viral Success is Possible for B2B Content Marketers
B2B bloggers and social media marketers make a huge mistake assuming that their content doesn’t have the potential for going viral.
It does; it just needs to have all the right elements (and a little bit of luck).