What Kind of Content Tends to Go Viral?

Very little online content goes viral without deliberate planning. If you're trying to get your content to "spark" and go viral, it really helps to have a strong understanding of what kind of content tends to go viral.

Of course, nobody can accurately predict what will go viral, nor can they make something go viral 100% of the time. But by understanding what kind of content tends to go viral, you stand a much better chance of creating something that will be shared.

Here are a few of the main attributes of things that tend to go viral.

It's Human Nature

It's rare that a factual video goes viral. Instead, it's usually human interest videos that capture the public imagination. The singing homeless man on the street; the baby laughing at something senseless; An incredible display of guitar prowess.

Strong Emotional Content

The more emotions you can arouse in your audience, the better. Let's take one of the world's most viewed videos, the "Charlie Bit my Finger" video. The video features a baby whose brother bit his finger; he sits there laughing and complaining at the same time. This video has an astounding 367 million views at the time of this writing. That's more than the population of the United States! One of the main reasons this video took off so strongly is because of how palpable the emotions were in the video. The watcher can almost "follow along" with the baby's emotions and also experience the joy of playing with a baby brother.

Videos That Provide Unique Information

Another type of content that does really well are videos that are uniquely informational. The key here is that the videos really have to provide content that can't be found anywhere else. For example, one video that went viral featured a science professor showing how to light a candle without ever touching the wick. A content video that went viral during the 2008 election was a video of a dozen famous actors all asking people to vote (that was a new idea at the time - don't try it nowadays). Informational videos work in many different industries, but the most important thing is that there's something truly unique to them.

Content That Appeals to Specific Groups of People

Content that tends to appeal to specific groups of people tends to do very well if it has strong emotional or informational content. For example, political videos that are either informational or emotional can go viral just by being passed among a party's members. New food laws, something which may be seen as boring, could be very interesting to vegans if it affects the foods they'll be able to purchase. A video about the new laws could really take off among that specific community.

These are some of the factors that go into determining whether or not a video goes viral. At the end of the day, a video going viral really means that a lot of people want to pass on your content. The key, as with many other things in business, is to just create something so amazing that people want to share it.

Focus on creating awesome content that helps, entertains or inspires the people who need it most.

Google Pull the Plug on Keyword Planner

As recently reported by Search Engine Land, Google have limited access to the search data previously available through the AdWords Keyword Planner, unless you are a paid customer.

Google's keyword tool has long been one of the go-to keyword tools for marketers and bloggers. However, in their recent update, Google have seen fit to limit their search data to those with paid AdWords accounts.

Personally, I always found logging into Google's AdWords dashboard a bit of a pain. And since this data limitation may affect you, I thought I'd share my favourite 3 tools for Accessing Google's hidden data - only faster!

Here's what you can expect to see for a typical Google search you might make on any given day:

Here are 3 free tools to get around the limitation:



Keywords Everywhere (Chrome Extension)

Yes, it's another Google Update. No, you don't have to worry.

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Keyword.io is free for basic use, and covers a range of longtail keyword suggestions from 

  • Google
  • Amazon
  • Ebay
  • Bing
  • Wikipedia
  • Alibaba
  • YouTube
  • Fiverr
  • Google Play Store

It's also possible to choose which national search engine you prefer to use.

Keyword volume is not shown, but you can export the data and paste it into Keywords Everywhere's "Get metrics for my keywords" which is available when you click on the Chrome extension icon.

Ubersuggest is an old timer's keyword planner that received a makeover in 2016 and it is awesome. Just enter your seed keyword and it will hunt down longtail suggestions for you.

Again, you can change your search options, and if you have the Keywords Everywhere extension installed, you can see search results onscreen.

Click the downward arrow to search Google for the term, check Google Trends or look for more longtail keywords.

Get search volume right from your Google search page with Keywords Everywhere. Click on the little star beside the result to add that keyword to your favorites, and go to the settings to have the page highlight searches that match the volume and CPC you stipulate.

Choose how you want your targeted volume and CPC to appear in the settings:

Want to explore other keyword tools? I suggest taking a look at the following 39 recommendations for keyword research tools and guides.