Never ending long list posts with internet marketing tools continue to flood the web. Lots of them link to a service called Viral Content Buzz.
Unfortunately, you rarely find any of these lists containing detailed and proven information about the results and benefits of using this service (or any other on their list for that matter). That is what I intend to do in this post. The idea of Viral Content Buzz sounds good but how does it actually work, from a numbers perspective?
A bit of History
Back when we were running lots of small sites, we did play a bit with social signals as it allowed for easy testing on several sites simultaneously (you can read more about this here). Over the years, several people have claimed that social signals is a sign of quality in Googles eyes, and because of this, something that is likely to affect the SERP in a positive manner.
Back when we did the test, mainly by using Social ADR, we didn’t see any direct correlation between social signals and the SERP for the keyword being targeted. However, a majority of the sites lacked quality and essentials aspects, which is likely to be a part of the reason why we saw no benefit from a couple of social signals.
So with that being said, I am ready to give social signals a second go. This time I will be sending it all to muscle.zone, which is the domain of my current niche site case study. In the last experiment, I reviewed The Hoth link building service, which came with great results.
In this experiment, I will be using ViralContentBuzz as a way to send social signals to muscles.zone, while keeping track of the SERPs. This way I will be able to determine whether social signals actually will be beneficial as a way to bump up the SERP in Google. I will also note the details of traffic, and see how social shares from Viral Content Buzz will affect my site and see if it actually can help any of my posts go Viral.
But What exactly is ViralContentBuzz?
Viral Content Buzz is free social media promotion platform (paid if you want to speed things up a bit) that lets you get the word out for your own articles by sharing other people’s content.
In short, you earn credits for sharing other people’s stories on certain social sites and you can then spend those credits on your own projects. Alternatively, you can purchase access to a Pro account, immediately getting yourself a bunch of credits along with a couple of other benefits.
How Do Credits Work?
Your follower counts determine how many credits you earn as you share content within the VCB dashboard.
As you earn credits by sharing, you build up a “bank”
When you submit your own project to VCB, you’ll need to allocate some or all of your credits to this project (you call it “budget” although I think “pool” is more reflective of what it is
VCB members share your content, which earns them credits from the pool you’ve allocated to your project. Remember that their follower count allows them to earn higher amounts of credits as they share. As an example, you might pay up 5 credits for a tweet from someone with 100,000 followers, while a share from someone with 500 followers only costs you 1 credit.
If your content goes so viral that you run out of credits in the pool for that project, the project is paused until you allocate more using credits you’ve earned yourself from sharing other members’ posts.
Sharing other peoples articles and getting your own articles shared is based on a credit system. Here are the exact details of how this works:
On Viral Content Buzz, articles can be shared on the following Social Sites:
+1 Google (as a pro member only)
When you post a project, you have the option to decide which social shares you want to receive. So if you know for a fact that tweets will be more beneficial for you than say facebook likes, you can untick all options except for tweets. You also have a bunch of other options such as the ability to schedule shares, detailed reporting, etc.
Once your project has been submitted, it goes through a verification process, where the post will be reviewed in order to keep the site clean for low-quality content. With that being said, I have definitely seen content on VCB that surprisingly had been approved, in spite of the quality being low. There is also a lot of content on the site with little to no chance of going viral so I am not sure exactly how they judge if a project is approved or not.
Once a project is approved it goes into the dashboard along with all the other approved projects, where members can find content to share (and where you can find content which you would like to share via your own social profiles, in order to earn more credit).
ViralContentBuzz makes everything extremely easy, both for those who want to get their content shared and for those looking to share other people’s content. Its intuitive and it works really well.
But the main question is; Will a project on ViralContentBuzz get you more traffic, a better Keyword SERP, and potentially make your content go viral?
This is naturally extremely subjective and based on a lot more than just the social shares you can get from ViralContenBuzz. In order to get a better idea of the potential from using VCB, I set out to test it, with a couple of posts from my current niche site muscles.zone. Here goes:
The Viral Content Project
I decided to create four projects. In my opinion, one had the potential to go viral. One with potential for some traction from social shares, and two with zero viral potential. With four projects, I would be able to allocate a different amount of credit to each project and most importantly, get a better idea of the benefits from this service, compared to the details I would get from just running one project.
In order to get things started, I decided to purchase a pro membership, allowing me to instantly assign credits to my projects.
First project: A list post with 21 strange fitness products
Credits Allocated: 205
Credits Spent (till this day): 19
Credits Spent Breakdown: Twitter 4 – Facebook 7 – StumbleUpon 8.
This project was, in my opinion, the one with the potential to go Viral. The post is mostly made up of pictures and youtube videos with info on strange fitness products. It a typical buzzfeed / viralnova kind of post. The post is short on text and is more based on images, videos, and headlines.
Second project: A list of 7 different activity/fitness trackers
Credits Allocated: 71
Credits Spent (till this day): 45
Credits Spent Breakdown: Twitter 17 – StumbleUpon 28
A list of 7 activity trackers and a bunch of info on each one. I think there could be some traction with social signals to this post, but it’s probably very unlikely it will go viral. The content is unique and well written, but there is nothing particularly new under the sun here or anything mindblowing that would make people share it like crazy.
Third project: Supplement Review
Credits Allocated: 79
Credits Spent (till this day): 9
Credits Spent Breakdown: Twitter 5 – StumbleUpon 4
A post with a review of a supplement. I think its fair to say that social shares won’t trickle down on this one. I still find it interesting to see if anyone is willing to share it, and if there will be any positive keyword SERP movement based on this.
Fourth Project: A page with several weight gainers compared
Credits Allocated: 68
Credits Spent (till this day): 15
Credits Spent Breakdown: Twitter 7 – StumbleUpon 8
A page where I list several different weight gainers and compare then on various details. This page is targeting the main keyword. Enthusiasts might re-share the page and make the social signals trickle down, but besides from that, there is little to no chance that this post will go Viral.
Looking into the details
Let’s take a look at the details. Although these four projects only have been running for a couple of days, there are a couple of things worth mentioning. Here goes;
Less FB Likes more Stumbles and Tweets
First of all, I think it’s interesting to note that in spite of allowing for facebook likes on all projects, I (so far) only got a couple of likes on one of the four listed projects. Pople are clearly a lot more willing to share posts on Twitter and StumbleUpon than on Facebook.
More Stumbles than Tweets
Comparing only StumbleUpon and Twitter, I clearly got more shares on StumbleUpon than on Twitter. This might be different from category to category, and post to post, but based on the four projects listed above, these were the results I got.
No Need to Schedule Shares
None of these projects got bombarded on day one (or any following day) with shares. They have been drip feeding completely naturally which might be good if Viral Content Buzz is used as a source for link building (which it’s not, in most cases). Most people will use Viral Content Buzz as a way to make their post go viral, where loads of shares within a very short span of time (in my opinion) would be preferable. Things dont go viral by being socially shared here and there over a long period of time. It goes viral by getting hundreds of shares within hours. Again, results might be very different for different categories. I imagine that top notch IM related posts will get lots of shares, quickly, because many members on Viral Content Buzz comes from this industry (thats what I think at least). So based on this, I would say for most people, there is no need to schedule shares on Viral Content Buzz.
Traffic Before and After
Again, let me highlight the fact that these campaigns have not been running for a long period of time. Nor have all credits been spent and because of this, the results here is not nessecarily equivalent to the rsults you might get from a campaign. With the being said, below is a screenshot of the traffic stats to the site. The pink arrow indicates the date where the four Viral Content Buzz projects were initiated.
After a couple of shares, the traffic actually went down. Now I am completely aware that this is not a true reflection of what a campaign can do. Only a few credits have been spent at this point but it’s still interesting to note that these shares did nothing in terms of traffic.
Keyword SERP before and after
First of all it should be noted that prior to the Viral Content Buzz projects, I did not rank for any keywords on project one and two. These were new articles and at inception of the VCB projects, they did not show in the search engines for any keywords. Project three and four did. Lets start out by looking at the keyword SERP for the fourth project.
Keyword SERP: Best Weight Gainer
Click on the image to see the whole thing. The circle on the image highlights the day the VCB projects were started. As you can see, the keyword is just around the same place as it was prior to the VCB project. Things to Keep in Mind
I guess it’s needless to say that no project went viral. Now as highlighted several times above, the projects has only been running for a short period of time and only a small part of the credits have been used, so this is not a true reflection of what is possible with a viral content buzz project.
Traffic can increase over time as a result of these projects if I get shares from the right profiles. Keyword SERP can go up, but it might take some more time before things kick in.
In addition to this, several aspects could have been changed and probably made these campaigns perform better; more catchy headlines, better content quality, different industry, etc. The folks behind Viral Content Buzz actually gives you free access to a bunch of videos over at Udemy where they teach you the important aspects you need to adhere to, if you are looking to make your projects go viral. I didn’t take this course, but I bet I would have done better if I did.
I Got shares exactly what I was promised – social shares. Some shares are still pending. In my case there was clearly no need to schedule shares (but there might be might be, if you got all the viral ingredients ready). Traffic wise, this did close to nothing for me. Nothing went viral. So far, this has not affected SERP for any of the keywords I currently rank for, on these posts used in the projects. However, the SERP might improve, but could take longer before the link juice has any effect. So personally I didn’t have great results with this service. That is not to say the service doesn’t work. It works exactly as advertised in that you get the shares you point to your projects if people are willing to share it. Whether you will see any benefits from these shares comes down to the article being shared. If you are looking for a keyword SERP improvement, I think its fair to say your money and time is spent better elsewhere. From a traffic point of view, Viral Content Buzz might be good option if your article is top notch with a true viral potential. It can get things started, but it all does come down to the article being shared. If the viral potential is there, VCB can get things started. If you article doesn’t have the viral potential, VCB wont do much for you.
The short version is, that if you got some truly good content that has viral potential, Viral Content Buzz can get the process started. Whether shares will trickle down and foster more social shares, really depends on the quality of the article. Based on my results with this, I would say that either you will truly benefit from using this service or you will not see any results at all. There does not seem to be much of an intermediate route here. A final note is, that creating a post that will go viral, with the help of VCB or not, is difficult!
In an attempt to be fair to the guys behind Viral Content Buzz, I plan to follow up on this post in about a month from now and take a second look at the social shares, traffic from these, and my Keyword SERP status. As I will continue to work on the site during this period, results will naturally be skewed, but it should still allow me to share some insights that have been missed in this post, due to the short period of time that I have had these campaigns running.
If you have tested Viral Content Buzz, I would love to hear your thoughts on it. Let us know if you managed to make a project go viral.