Thanks to social media, small business owners and big brands have become obsessed with a common goal \u2013 getting their content to go viral. We\u2019ve all seen that funny cat video on YouTube with 2 million views and know we want to know how that can be us. How we can use content and viral marketing to run, grow and promote our business. Whether you realize it or not \u2013 you\u2019re a content marketer now, using your blog and your brain to publish content that people simply can\u2019t resist passing on to their friends. Or at least that\u2019s the goal. If you\u2019ve ever hit the \u2018publish\u2019 button on a post to only be met by crickets, you know that getting your content to go viral isn\u2019t as easy as we\u2019d like it to be. However, there are some things you can do to increase your chances of viral success. What are they? Take a look at the five tips below. Master the Call to Action A strong piece of content that doesn\u2019t include an equally strong call to action is a piece of content wasted. One of the most important things you need to do as a content marketer is learn how to create calls to action that compel people to act and take action. If you want someone to retweet your post, to share it on Facebook or to post it to their LinkedIn group, you need to give them a strong reason to do so and you must tell them what that reason is. Sometimes it can be as simple as adding \u201cplease RT\u201d or \u201cplease vote\u201d to the end of your tweet and sometimes it\u2019s going to take a little bit more ingenuity. But right there, in that moment and that CTA, is your chance to influence someone toward a viral action. Don\u2019t let it slip by. Act to engage the bored When you\u2019re trying to get a piece of content to go viral, your audience is not simply the person most interested in buying your product or using your service. You\u2019re going after the \u201cI\u2019m bored\u201d the \u201cI hate my job\u201d clan, as well. These are the people who spend their entire day sitting in an office reading blogs, scanning Twitter, and messing around on Facebook simply because they\u2019re bored or have nothing better to do. To go viral, your content should be something that even normal people (aka people not affiliated with your world) will enjoy sharing and passing around. Be conscious of publishing times This sounds pretty logical, right? People need to be around in order to share your content. So if you\u2019re publishing your killer blog post at 6pm Eastern on a Friday afternoon, you\u2019ve probably already botched your attempt. Because no one is around. They\u2019re off for the weekend or, if they\u2019re on the West Coast, they\u2019re getting ready to be off for the weekend. Be conscious of factors like this and plan around them. Research shows that people are more likely to share content earlier in the week, so if that\u2019s your audience, that\u2019s when you should be posting your most viral-worthy content. Also be aware of the time. If you\u2019re a West Coast publisher, that may mean you need to write posts in advance and schedule them for earlier in the morning. If you\u2019re posting content at 1pm Pacific, you\u2019ve nearly missed an East Coasters entire day. This stuff matters. Create stuff people want to read Okay, so going viral isn\u2019t just about poking the bored, it\u2019s also about putting out material that provides real value. What does that really mean? For many audiences, it may mean being the first to break a big news story, holding a contest that generates a lot of interest through its prizes, or publishing an instructional How To that breaks down a problem for a large segment of your audience. If you\u2019re not sure what your audience is looking for, I\u2019d encourage you to check out this post on how to sculpt great content from the SEOmoz blog which I think does a great job illustrating how easy it can sometimes be to give people exactly what they\u2019re after. Break down the barriers We\u2019ve talked about this before \u2013 it you want people to share your content, you need to break down the barriers and encourage them to take that act. That means using social media buttons to make it easy for users to share your content, to use tools to see how they naturally share your content, and really making it part of your process. Make no mistake \u2013 getting your content to go viral isn\u2019t an easy task. If it was, we\u2019d all be able to do it and it would lose its value. However, the list above runs through a couple of things you should be doing to at least increase your odds.