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It’s every business’s goal to see the content they produce go viral. With more than 4.5 billion consumers online every day, the possibilities are exciting. 

If you are going to capture attention online, you have to stand out. One viral piece of content can lead to tremendous audience growth and more sales. Creating viral content, however, is easier said than done. There are blog posts, videos, podcasts, and books that claim to have the answers but fall short of giving actionable advice.

Creating viral content may be simpler than you think. Here are five ways to create content that gets shared across different mediums and exposed to a larger audience. 

1. Produce conversational content.

Too often, content is created “multitude style.” You anticipate a large audience exposed to the content, so you try to speak to the multitude. You say things like, “you must,” or “you have to.” You use general terms.

The problem is that the multitude isn’t consuming the content together. They consume content as individuals. When an individual consumes something you created for a crowd, it goes over their head. The best kind of content is personal and conversational.

When you create content as if your ideal reader is right next to you, they will feel like you’re speaking directly to them. Stephen King says he writes all his books for one person, his wife, Tabitha. Who is your “Tabitha?” or ideal client. Once you figure that out, create content just for them. The multitude will love it and share it.

2. Test and re-test the effectiveness. 

Don’t assume you know what your audience will respond to. Understanding who you’re targeting is not the same as understanding how they will react. The only surefire way to learn is through testing.

Poll groups and ask them which headline they would click on. You can do the same for Instagram or LinkedIn. Test several headlines to see what your audience will respond to. Testing is the secret to creating compelling content.

3. Always provide clear takeaways.

When you talk about your organization, your audience says, “great,” but walks away feeling empty. There’s no motivation for them to tell others about what your business does because that’s the same content approach most businesses use.

Your audience is tuning in to learn how to get help with their biggest problems and struggles. They need clear and actionable advice. They want to know what’s in it for them and why they should spend their time consuming your content — give them a reason.

4. Eliminate any fluff.

Kurt Vonnegut spent days editing just a single page of his writing. He eliminated every single word that he felt didn’t fit. Stephen King is the same way. It’s great to paint a picture for your audience but do it without crossing the line into fluff.

Your audience is busy. They don’t have time to watch an hour-long video, an unnecessarily long blog post, or a podcast episode that could have ended an hour ago. You can have more in-depth content, but only if it’s fluff-free and actionable.

5. Leverage authority channels.

The true definition of viral is “crossing mediums.” It’s not necessarily how much your content has been shared, although that can be the start of viral content.

Between social media and large authority channels, you have the opportunity to share your content far and wide. You have everything you need to give your content the best chance of going viral if it’s good and right for your specific audience.

Leverage every medium where you have a presence. Share the content and get your audience involved. Use the mediums you have now to get exposure to even larger mediums.

Content is king, and good content is the best way to reach and grow your audience online. Growing your audience leads to new leads, and eventually, increased sales. You can get your share of those billions of people online if you spend the time creating better content.