It’s no secret any more that the key not only to search engine rankings, but also to readership, is to have high quality content on the web. Whether that means well-written articles or videos, Twitter feeds or Facebook pages, businesses, artists, and individuals are getting more readership because they are investing in solid content. The latest content marketing technique is the creation of viral photo websites that draw in a sizable audience. Just consider the epic success of the Epicfail.com website; the site is so widely known that the term “Epic Fail” has become a cultural buzzword!
What is a “Viral Photo Website?”
In any other context, “viral” would sound like something you wouldn’t want, but in the context of the internet, it refers to something that spreads explosively, expansively, and extensively. It’s something that readers or viewers enjoy so much that they share it with the people in their social networks, who in turn enjoy and share it with theirs, and on down the line.
It’s a matter of basic math, really. If each viewer shared with just five people, your content will have nearly 800 views after just four shares! Now consider the fact that people using social media do not just share with five people. These days the average American has extensive social networks on multiple social media platforms (think Twitter, Facebook, Snapchat, Pinterest, Instagram, Tumblr, and Google+, just to name a handful).
How Do You Get Your Photo Website to Go Viral?
Your job, then, is to create content that people will want to share. It’s really that simple, at least on the surface. Get creative, and see what other types of photo websites are sitting high in the popularity rankings. A simple study of Instagram’s top twenty, for example, reveals a great deal about what people are attracted to in a photo site.
With a photo site, you have the added advantage of not having to worry about its length compared to the attention span of your audience. A written work or video posting may lose its viewers before they see it, and people are unlikely to share when they haven’t bothered to even finish the video or article. With a photo or meme, you are already guaranteed short-and-sweet content.
The most critical point to remember, just as when you create written content, is that your target audience is not the search engine, but the people. It certainly doesn’t hurt to “please” the search engines as well—but in truth you will get exponentially greater exposure through a single viral photo than you will sometimes get from ranking near the top of a search engine results page.
The Viral Recipe: A Few Secret Ingredients
You can give your content an extra nudge with these tips to maximize its success:
- Mondays and Tuesdays are great days to release content that you want to see go BIG. People may “officially” have less free time on a work day, but that’s actually when they most want something enjoyable and distracting.
- With photos, you have the option of using two types of formats: the photo itself, and a caption or superimposed words. Memes are often funny because they combine a graphic with written commentary to create a laugh or make a point.
- Get your content out there in a multitude of different social media venues. Think again about the math; you want as many people as possible to see your content, because that increases the possibilities of additional sharing and eventual viral status.
- If you keep in mind that you are creating content for people, rather than simply for search engines, your photo website has its best chance of going viral. After all, the people themselves are the final magic ingredient to a viral success! You can use your knowledge of search engines and what people are currently looking for, but use that knowledge to approach content that the people themselves will embrace and disperse.
Whether you are promoting your photo site itself, or using content to draw attention to other ventures, viral photo websites are a surefire bet.