Creating viral content is difficult and can be disheartening if it doesn’t reach a wide audience. You can create thought-out and great content but still not get the number of shares that you wanted. While there’s no surefire way to get millions of shares, certain techniques will almost always give you better results than simply posting on social media and hoping for the best. To help you get closer to becoming a viral sensation, here is a list of ten things that you may not have been doing that could increase the number of views and shares your content receives.

Use sleek visuals to increase audience engagement.

It is essential to create a visually appealing website in order to keep visitors engaged; this includes selecting a color palette, fonts, and images to break up text. Visitors form an opinion of a site within a few seconds, and up to 60% of their opinion is based on the color scheme. A study of over 100 million articles found that posts with at least one image get twice as many shares on Facebook as those without. Additionally, infographics are the most shared type of content, and users are 30x more likely to read one than a text-based article. On social media, images and infographics are much more popular than videos, with images being tweeted 361% more and receiving 128% more retweets. Posts with thumbnail images are also much more successful than text alone, and articles with a Facebook preview image are shared and liked three times more than those without.

Create interactive and personalized content.

Providing an interactive, personalized experience for viewers can help create engaging content and stand out from the competition, even though it requires more time and resources. Many online publications have already adopted this trend, creating awe-inspiring pieces with advanced effects and multimedia elements, allowing anyone to create their own interactive stories. This is especially rewarding for millennials. Long-form tools such as Story.AM,, and Visme can be used to create interactive infographics with text, multimedia elements, and images. Adding fractal content to this mix can create viral content. Apps like and Fatbooth and using interactive quizzes can produce share-worthy results.

Produce well-researched long-form content.

Longer content, such as pieces between 3,000-10,000 words, is shared the most, according to Buzzsumo, while shorter content, such as pieces shorter than 1,000 words, is shared the least. Despite there being 16 times more content in the shorter category, taking advantage of less competition in the long-form category can lead to more visibility and backlinks.

Evoke high-arousal emotions.

A study conducted by social psychologist Jonah Berger found that positive news articles are more likely to be shared than negative ones, as people are more inclined to share content that induces positive sentiments like wonder, humor, and joy. Berger concluded that six emotions, awe, anger, surprise, anxiety/fear, joy, and lust, are what often lead to content going viral. In order to be successful, content should surprise readers and shouldn’t be played safe.

Know your audience well.

To understand your audience and trigger their emotional response, go beyond the typical demographic and geographical information. Consider what makes them tick, laugh, and angry, as well as who they look up to. Once you have pinpointed your target, creating a caricature of the individual can assist you in determining the correct tone and structure for your work. There are various options available depending on the reader/viewer.

Get influencers to promote your content.

Reaching out to social media influencers and involving them in the creation of content is an effective way to boost views quickly. Apps like Buzzsumo help find influencers who have shared content related to the topic of interest, and by engaging them (e.g., through an interview), there is a high chance of them sharing or retweeting the content.

Create content that enhances sharers’ identities and paints them in a good light.

The New York Times conducted a study that revealed people share content to build their online personas and make themselves look good in front of their peers. Content that makes them look smart, in the know, thought-provoking, altruistic, original, cool, or creative is more likely to be shared. People also share uplifting content to help others and stay connected with their loved ones. To target specific types of sharers, content should be useful, actionable, provocative, insightful, and/or linked to a certain cause or identity group.

Establish a sense of trust with the reader or viewer.

If you want to build trust with your readers/viewers, one of the best ways to do it is by including a short bio and picture of yourself in your footer. People are more likely to engage with content created by real people, so make sure that you are visible to them. Additionally, you can get readers/viewers to trust you even more by interviewing experts on the topics that you write and/or speak about. By doing this, you can show users that you “know, like, and trust” the people that you are featuring in your content.

Educated the reader/viewer with intriguing research.

In order to gain visibility and secure backlinks from authoritative sites, it is essential to create unique content, such as survey results and data-driven articles. Fortunately, this does not require a great deal of resources or specialized knowledge. Free survey tools can be used to conduct research, and public APIs and internal databases can be used to provide fresh information in your field. Stale content is not going to draw in an audience, so take advantage of these resources to get your content out there.

Craft an attention-grabbing headline and spin a captivating tale.

The headline of your content is a very critical component—it can make or break a story. To make sure your readers continue reading, create a headline that draws their curiosity and persuades them to stay. If you need assistance or are running out of time to brainstorm, construct a headline swipe file to trigger content ideas. There are many blog post title templates and blog topic generators available on the internet. Lastly, don’t forget to tell a captivating story—the more personal, the better. Studies have proven that messages with a narrative and characters that people can relate to are more engaging and compelling than non-narrative messages.