Perhaps the one thing that unites SEOs, content marketers and anyone with a Web site is that we all want our content to go viral. And we all sometimes struggle with getting it to do so. While there are tons of posts on how to promote content or how to woo bloggers, sometimes a mini-case study is the best way to show these principles in action and master the steps. Well, yesterday we all got a good one thanks to the marketing efforts of web comic Matt Inman aka Oatmeal.
Want to know how to attract 12 million eyes in just four hours? Grab a pen. You’re not going to want to miss this.
Step 1: Create stuff people like. Lots of it.
You’ve heard it all before: Content is king. Users love unique content. The search engines need something to chew on. Yeah, whatever, it’s all sounding about a bit like 1997 up in here, isn’t it? What you really need to do is create stuff people like. That’s it. It’s not rocket science and it doesn’t matter if it’s a Web comic, a resource, a video, or even a sock puppet. Just that you’ve done your research to know people will connect with it. And that you get off your butt to actually create it.
Step 2: Build a loyal network of minions fans.
It’s called social media for a reason. If you want people to support, promote and help you go viral, you have to help them first. You have to give them a reason to care about you and make an effort to invest in them. When they see you’re legit, they’ll flock to you like fist pumps to the Jersey Shore.
Step 3: Speak to the people you want to reach.
Create content with a purpose. If you want that blog post to get on the radar of your industry’s top writer, address them in the post or write them to say it exists. Don’t just sit around and wait for the Good Content Fairies to drop your post in their lap. They’re too busy having tea with Santa and the Easter Bunny. You have to take matters into your own hands. If you want Tumblr, a site with 55 million unique visitors a month and one of the top-40 sites by page views (source: Financial Times), to notice your State of the Web: Winter 2010, call them out.
Step 4: Apply peer pressure
Step 5: Go viral
Go viral when Tumblr accepts your offer four hours later and puts your content in front of its entire network.
Not so hard, right? Thanks to Matt for providing us a great example in how to market ourselves and our content. You have the steps. Now it’s up to you to work them.