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Going viral is not easy to do. And it’s getting harder all the time. As more people go online to build websites and participate in online marketing of some sort, there is more and more competition for eyes and ears. In one sense, your competition is everyone who is seeking a voice online.

The good news is, most of those people know nothing about Internet marketing. They are just chattering.

Still, you cut out those competitors and the online competition for virality is still stiff. So how do you move from obscurity to virality?

There is no sure-fire recipe for going viral. That’s something you have to understand right up front. A lot of it depends on serendipity. You’ve got to have the right content at the right time and put it in front of the right people at the right venue. There is a lot you don’t have control over, but there is a lot that you do, too. Let’s focus on what you do have control over.

  • The right content – Take some extra time to prepare great content that really shines. It can be a video, an infographic, or just an article. But it’s got to be the best thing out there on the topic you are publishing about.
  • The right time – I don’t mean you should publish your content at 3 p.m. on Thursday afternoon. There is no optimal time for your content. You live in a global village where the Internet light is turned on 24/7. But keep in mind that if you publish an article about last year’s biggest news story while people are chit-chatting about something else, then you’re too late. Be sure you hit that topic at the right time. For a lot of news, there is a short window of opportunity and that window could be short.
  • The right people – Who is your target audience? What type of person do you want to see your content and interact with it? Define your audience and tailor your content to meet the needs of the audience.
  • The right venue – If your content is a video, post it to YouTube. If it is an infographic, publish it on your website or blog. If an article, guest blog it (or find the place with the most traffic consisting of your perfect target audience). After you’ve defined your audience, find out where they hang out. Then go there and publish your message.

Going viral can’t always be planned, but if you don’t have a good plan for your content, then the chances that it will go viral are tremendously diminished.

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