Viral Content Ideas for Boring Industries

by Jason Acidre on April 24, 2012 · 29 comments · Content, Search, Social


The incremental evolution of search engine optimization as well as with how information is being served and consumed over the web nowadays has certainly made content marketing a very powerful method, combining link attraction, social, search, branding and lead generation as a single force.

Although, not all niches are gifted with this arsenal, as some might say, but is this really true? Not quite, knowing that all it really takes to make a viral content to spread like wildfire is to have a compelling material and know why, how and where to promote it. There are many types of content that can be built to serve as a buzz generating segment of a website such as:

  • Data visualization (infographics, interactive or video infographics, kinetic typography and/or linked data)
  • Video tutorials or series
  • Expert content (research-based blog posts or articles)
  • Slide presentations
  • Ebooks
  • Contests
  • News
  • Curated posts (curating images, links to external sources, listing experts/influencers/blogs, etc…)
  • Crowdsourcing or group interviews

The types I’ve mentioned above usually have the same elements when it comes to presentation, for them to somehow increase the chances of getting socially shared, linked to and be consumed and effectively satisfy the content’s target audience.

  • Visually attractive design
  • Data-driven
  • Comprehensive
  • Value of information
  • Optimized for search and social sharing
  • Compelling headline
  • Contains a strong call-to-action

In this short post, I’ll just share other content types that might help attract visitors, links as well as fascinated customers to a business, particularly to the ones who think that their niche is not that interesting, to which content marketing and link baiting may not be as feasible if compared to other industries that have larger market.

Explain Your Business Process in HTML5

Samples:

The best thing about investing on this type of page is that it’s scalable, since aside from naturally attracting links and social shares continuously (as long as the page proves to provide value in terms of information), you can also attract possible customers to your business from this page, especially if you have included a strong call to action within the content.

You can constantly bring traffic to this page as well by directing your homepage visitors who want to take a tour of your site and/or learn more about your product/services/business to this high-value content.

Comics as Blog posts

Sample:

The content’s visuals will make it more fun to read and it will easily capture your visitors’ attention, which is very important, especially if you’re looking to generate customers to your website.

You can hire graphic artists to collaborate with your copywriter when conceptualizing for your content. If you can do this to all of your blog posts (merge design, fun and information), you’ll definitely conquer your industry’s blogosphere and stand out as the most captivating content provider in your industry.

Incentivized Videos


Sample:

Produce engaging videos, even if you’re offering a boring product/service, you can always incorporate something cool to it (such as adding an awesome concept, story and/or music with it, like the sample given above) to diversify your content’s target market and to increase the rate for social sharing.

Offer incentives to visitors who’ll watch your video(s), like giving away discount coupons to those who’ll get to see the video until the end (by showing the coupon code at the end of the video).

Interactive Curation and Crowdsourcing


Sample:

Create a list on Listly and embed it to a page on your site. You can practically make a list of anything using this tool (like listing the best cars of the year, most tragic news in your industry, etc…), but the best part about using this feature from Listly is that it allows other people to easily contribute or add an entry that they think best fit the list, which makes your content more socially engaging – and worth sharing or linking to.

There are also other ways and tools that you can use to build an interactive page that can potentially go viral, such as curating tweets (like quotes/ideas from industry thought-leaders, the best links shared by influencers in your industry on Twitter, or interviews made via Twitter) and embedding them to your blog posts. You can also use Storify to curate and embed industry-related discussions to your posts.

Promoting your “Great Content”

The key to most successful viral campaigns, especially on the web, lies on how the content will be promoted. Below are some of my other posts that can give more details on how to promote these types of content, for them to efficiently get across to its target audience, attract more natural links and social shares, achieve better search rankings, and to constantly generate traffic and possible leads/customers:

Final Tip

Always include and continuously improve your calls-to-action on these strong pages, since if these pages are going to attract lots of visitors from various traffic sources, you’ll definitely want a fraction of them to convert to leads and/or sales.

Sorry if I haven’t been able to write a lot this month, I’ve been really busy with our clients and with other offline activities recently. If you liked this post, you can subscribe to my feed and follow me on Twitter @jasonacidre.

Jason Acidre

Jason Acidre is Co-Founder and CEO of Xight Interactive, marketing consultant for Affilorama and Traffic Travis, and also the sole author of this SEO blog. You can follow him on Twitter @jasonacidre and on Google+.

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{ 22 comments… read them below or add one }

jon April 25, 2012 at 8:24 am

great link building tactics, you said you havent had much time to write a lot this month but hey, what youve written is great content……this is sooooo important, cheers mate

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Arastoo April 25, 2012 at 12:48 pm

Thats quite comprehensive set of tips for content creation. I am going to try list.ly pretty soon.

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Steven Papas April 25, 2012 at 9:05 pm

You need to appeal to your customers or potential customers no matter what your industry is. I like this post because it can work with a little manipulation for most industries.

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Arwin April 26, 2012 at 9:30 am

Among the examples shared, list.ly looks very promising and I agree that images are powerful medium of getting a lot of attention online.

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Ella Turgeon April 26, 2012 at 1:44 pm

All of these tips are very important for creating eye-catching content but the call to action tip really stands out because everyone can do more of that and often it gets overlooked. Also bringing valuable information will go far too and will help that readers will not only stay on your page, but come back. Great article!

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Jeff @ Xstudios Web Design April 26, 2012 at 2:32 pm

I’m in love the with the List.ly idea. It’s not being used a whole lot in some of the niches I just checked. It’s a brilliant tactic. I noticed the following:

1. I can foresee getting direct click through traffic from both visitors on Listl.ly directly and other sites that choose to embed your created list.

2. The embedded list is framed, so the other list contributors will not gain any “ranking” benefit directly from this, but of course can hope for direct click thru’s.

This looks like a really powerful way to get some social attention.

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Lionel April 26, 2012 at 11:20 pm

If some one needs to be updated with most recent technologies afterward he must be go to see this web site
and be up to date all the time.

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Edward April 29, 2012 at 7:34 pm

Indeed, viral content is a wonderful concept and especially important when you’re looking for traffic or attention. Thanks for sharing sharing your wonderful ideas.

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Jonathan April 30, 2012 at 10:46 am

Your right, it is very easy to say that your industry is not gifted with this arsenal. But it is not true, it is just not being creative. Comics and videos are always a great idea.

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Ammara Wasim May 2, 2012 at 10:50 pm

Hi
Comics as blog post , i really like this idea. I think it will attract people more. Incentivized videos are also attractive and these days its getting fame. Because some people want to see video instead of read. Overall post is awesome. Thanks.

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john bay May 6, 2012 at 2:34 pm

“Data visualization (infographics, interactive or video infographics, kinetic typography and/or linked data)”
yes, good point, i have seen so much content go viral in forms of visual infographs/statistic sheets or random/interesting topics

its fun, and it works

i fully back this one :)

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Kelly May 16, 2012 at 12:30 am

I work for a very boring company here in mindanao and this will probably spice things up. thanks for the ideas

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Sam Applegate May 18, 2012 at 2:33 am

Nice post! It’s one of the most common problems I face – how to create great viral content in ‘boring’ niches.

Sometimes you have to overlap into other ‘more exciting’ niches to gain some traction.

i.e. if you’re a plumber, look for major celebrities which have had plumbing disasters. Try to create something funny targeted around them. 1 retweet by a household name, with millions of followers.. could certainly get the ball rolling…

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juan david May 20, 2012 at 11:03 pm

hi jason nice tips, i think infographic is very useful in boring topics, btw i really liked your post on kikolani.

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Missy June 2, 2012 at 5:53 pm

I recently created a massive list for my blog and had I known about Listly, might have used them to curate and make the list even bigger. Am off to check out the site and see if I can still use it somehow to make the most of all the work that went into writing my list.

Found you via the Link Fish Media blog. (where you and your blog were profiled) Glad to have found you.

Cheers!

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Alisa Conley June 7, 2012 at 11:02 pm

This is very, very helpful! I never thought you can channel the messages from a “boring” industry into something like this.

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Karen June 9, 2012 at 2:16 pm

The oatmeal…

Damn if the oatmeal turned into a SEO he would really kick the asses of all the infographic makers out there, that just make infographics for the sake of obtaining a link…

BTW, I really feel the need to post this here: http://www.polepositionmarketing.com/library/ebooks/link-building-secrets-2008/peter-van-der-graaf/

Peter was not only facing a boring industry, but a “google forbidden” one. He (kinda) details the strategy that worked him like a mofo… As of today, its by far the most creative content strategy Ive seen!

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Rachel June 14, 2012 at 12:58 pm

Link bait is really hard to come up with though! I feel like you definitely need a team of creative minds to come up with truly shareable content.

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Alissa@テインバーランド シューズ September 28, 2012 at 3:59 am

Very nice article, totally what I wanted to find.

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Alam November 24, 2012 at 4:41 pm

Hey, i notice that you mention theoatmeal in this post! Hahaha… his comic is one of my favorites. But i don’t think you can do comics for somethings boring like hydraulic fracturing though… lol.

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Leida November 23, 2013 at 4:47 pm

Everything is good if you dont keep your steps away FB… and now because they own Bing… there are so many ways to get everything setting up with not just content but traffic if you could follow their new updates…

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Sahuri Nur June 2, 2014 at 7:19 pm

Talk about viral, the most important is about content,
Thank you

Reply

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