How to Use Viral Marketing in News Websites (A Knowhow Guide)

How viral marketing can help you get tens of thousands readings per day of your article? Let me reveal a secret to you.

kalenderov-marccampmanViral effect used in news websites is defined as the ability of one piece of news to be stricken up by the rumour and to cause hundreds of likes and shares in the social networks. It may get 10, 20 and 50 thousands or even more readings per day. Numerous factors that may provoke the interest of readers and stimulate users to share should be taken into account. Below I will discuss some of these factors.

A FACT: Articles are like songs.

Nowadays it isn’t enough to write a unique and nice article and to upload it in your website. If there are no social signals, if people don’t read it with enthusiasm, don’t comment t and don’t share it, this article doesn’t exist for Google and for anyone else. We can compare articles to songs. A song exists if the majority of people know it and sing it. In case someone writes a song but no one knows it and likes it, then this song doesn’t exist. The same applies to articles – imagine you create the best article, upload it in your website and post it on Facebook, and then you keep waiting for the results but there are no likes and shares. In this case we can say no article exists because it doesn’t cause any emotions and it doesn’t impress the readers. In this case we can’t talk about viral marketing at all.

Rule №1: The copy-paste trick is no longer in use

Love Social Media. Deep Dive

Part of the ideas in this article is obtained from Mark Campman’s training course named „Social Media. Deep Dive“ that I attended in London in the beginning of September 2013. The rest is based on my own experiments and observations of the “competition” in Bulgaria and around the world.
marccampmanCampman is known as “social media playmaker”. He organizes trainings in the Arabian countries and in London, and these trainings aim to provide social media success. Among the milestones of his trainings is the notion that we need to find our potential clients (and readers) by ourselves and to reach them. Thus, we wouldn’t need advertisement or traffic. This is most easily achieved through the “viral marketing” technique which can be applied in any field associated with social networks, including news websites.

Until recently, it was enough to copy and paste a press release but now you need to research, to analyze and access, to make prognoses and conclusion, and to comment. In other words, you need to create a new content which is so good that everyone who reads it to share it. If you consider writing a few things that people already know, you better give it up. You need to say something new and interesting that will impress the audience. Readers aren’t stupid and they know where texts come from, even if they are rewritten.

Rule №2: Rewriting isn’t a good solution, too

Traffic and high ranks in the search engines are achieved when you publish something worth reading. In other words, your article should be full of interesting and useful content. Respectable and successful news agencies don’t write higgledy-piggledy materials. For example, if you are working on an article from the day before and it has been read 10 000 time, don’t just rewrite it because at least 10 000 people have read it on the website that first published it and about 50 000 have read it on other sites that stole it from the original source. Search engines also know if an article is rewritten and if it is really useful, so don’t try cheating.

Rule № 3: Be committed and stay in opposition in order to grow bigger

The mostly read and shared stories on 17th June 2013 are published by the New York Post, BBC and the Guardian, and two of them are about the protests in Brazil – a serious theme that received a wide global response. Except for one material – „50 animal photos you must see before you die” – all other top 10 articles are about political and social events. People like reading and sharing texts about protests and enthusiasts defending their rights, and freedom is what they are looking for in the Internet. Stories about people who fight against injustice (embodied by the authorities) provoke sympathy and concern that leads to the great global sharing. This partially explains the success of the OffNews website in Bulgaria which supports the protests against the government. Such websites that demanded resignation of the government received increased traffic.

Rule №4: Provoke emotions!

elizabeth-house-londonAn emotional title is essential about whether the article will have a viral effect or it will remain uninteresting (the successful formula is to achieve balance between surprising, mysterious and useful information). Titles that provoke emotions, no matter whether they are positive or negative, are good titles. Fear, surprise, inspiration, pride, hope, desperation, courage, trust or laughter – these are emotions that attract readers. But don’t reveal everything in the title! Otherwise writing the whole article would be a waste of time. Yes, a good title should provide unambiguous information about the contents of the article but it should also provoke curiosity.

Rule №5: Don’t offend the reader!

viral-effectOn the other hand, misleading titles are absolutely forbidden:

  • “TRAGEDY: Robbie Williams dies in a highway accident” (when the information is about another person called Robbie Williams but not the famous singer);
  • “Facebook went crazy because of the new look of Madonna (GALLERY)” – how long would that trend continue;
  • “INTERNET IS CRYING: Check who the dead famous singer is (HORRIBLE!)”- and when you read the article you find out that the singer isn’t famous at all and you and your friends haven’t heard his/her name.

The only thing such articles would provoke is the hatred of the readers. Leave them to your competitors. Good viral titles shouldn’t mislead and offend the readers who trusted what they have read.

Rule №6: Today’s article can be more popular that the yesterday’s one

That’s how the Americans explain viral marketing.

An already exploited theme should be enriched and should contain something that can’t be found in the original source which provokes emotions. The new article can gain “secondary traffic” that is higher than the traffic of the original only if it is better and more thorough than it. If an article named “Check the Living Barbie from Ukraine” gets 10 000 reads, tomorrow an article titled “The Living Barbie BEFORE and NOW or the miracles of plastic surgery” may get two times more readings. The fact that there are written materials on a particular subject-matter doesn’t mean it is used up forever. You just need to get better every single day. So, enrich the theme, add a new and more interesting accent, say something new and valuable, gather additional information, ask for the opinion of the affected party, provide a few comments left by readers on other publications on the same subject-matter, develop them with more information and you will create a complete article that can become successful in the social networks and get numerous likes and shares.

Please, share!

If you like this article and it has enriched in some way, please, comment it on Google Plus, Facebook and WordPress or share it in the social networks you use. This way the article will reach more people and will help copywriters provide the readers of news websites with more interesting and quality articles.
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