Do you wish to create contagious content that goes viral?
Do you desire to curate content that people can’t wait to share?
For most content marketers, going viral is the ultimate desire. It brings them millions of views and shares and lasting brand impressions.
So, what’s that makes content so much contagious and go viral?
Read this post to discover the best ways and theory behind contagious content marketing!
Scientific Theory behind Creating Contagious Content Marketing
In September 2013, ‘The Fox’ was released and got around 40 million online views in the initial two weeks and earned an astonishing score of 276 million views by December, becoming one of the top trending videos on YouTube.
Undeniably attractive and bizarre, the video went viral just by provoking a strong reaction across demographics. And this is what separated viral content from regular busts.
According to Jonah Berger, a marketing professor and author of the famous book, ‘Contagious: Why Things Catch on,’ confirms that there is a scientific theory behind why people share some content.
It is not random. It is possible to create such content only when you understand the underlying science behind human behavior.
If you can predict what your audience will prefer and what they are going to pass on, you can create content that is contagious.’
Berger says,’ be it products, ideas, or messages; it is more likely to go viral only if it is able to serve the audiences.’ After years of investigation and research, Berger confirms these six elements important for creating contagious content marketing.
- Social Currency – It is sharing stuff that makes people look good
- Triggers – Acknowledging that people discuss things that are on top of mind
- Emotion – It is things that can relate to the emotional aspects of audiences
- Practical Value – It is news that people can use
- Stories – It is passing information under the guise of storytelling
- Public – Replicating what we see others do
Additionally, he states that small businesses must worry less about being viral on Facebook, Twitter, or YouTube, and create a buzz in the actual world.
Focusing on the technology and not on the psychology is the biggest mistake content marketers make.
Berger points out that technology keeps changing. Hence, one must not fix a specific technology. Rather it is vital to comprehend why people share, regardless of the technology they are using.
You must keep a close track on every person who purchases from you, every person who visits your website, every service that brings you revenue, and how you can make them work more likely and bring more advantages to your business.
You need to alter your customer base into a robust marketing department, and this is what the science behind creating contagious content marketing is.
Principles to Craft Contagious Content:
Crafting contagious content is based on 6 core principles.
1. Simple is Always Better:
As the statement conveys, it is always essential that what you convey is less and the best.
It must be simple and minimalistic as only then an effective tradeoff is possible. It requires a lot, to keep content in mind.
Condense content into a simple form that highlights the essential basics and convey the same in an effective manner.
Simple and less brings more clarity. If you are creating technical content, then you can offer users a link redirecting to the manual. Comparisons are convincing. Generate curiosity as they are great appetizers to the users.
2. Adding a Substance of Surprise:
Being narrative lets you, capture the audience. It builds strong energy around the situation. But this is not enough.
Adding a surprise of the element can be used to awe the readers and convey the important message effectively. It is something that you must do at once.
There is certain value pertaining to the element of surprise. Things with surprise add interest and novelty. You can begin a curiosity gap and close it unexpectedly to get the message across.
3. Show and Tell:
This might sound a school level concept but is highly important for contagious content marketing.
It serves as an ability to let the audience conjure up images, based on the narration. You can state small but impactful details that everyone can relate to.
One major challenge is to make graphic without actually using motion pictures and images.
It is the platform to leverage the power of the human mind to go through the written word and convert it into graphical images and a series of events.
Credibility is an important thing in the world. Add it to anything, and you will have the edge over others. A chief thing to note here is that credibility has to do a lot with prior reference to performance.
The finest way to add credibility to content is statistics along with references to the comparison. With proper context, you can define credibility for good content.
Including quantifiable performance metrics in your content would add credibility to it. If you are presenting testable credentials to the content, you are on your way to encourage the engagement potential of your audience.
Credible content holds the potential to surmount all inhibition barriers, eventually resulting in higher conversion rates.
5. Heart and Mind Emotions:
Emotions are one of the sturdiest influencing factors among humans. Being a vital aspect of everyday lives, it drives almost everything that people do.
It is a set of human behavioral responses to challenges and situations. Situational and perception awareness trigger emotional responses.
Emotion in content has to be concrete. Content curated around emotion find synergies with the consumer sensitivities. Emotional content is compelling content and makes the content contagious.
There is nothing best than sharing information via stories. Stories are real stimulators of the mind. Stories work well with video advertisements, blogs, and narrative videos.
Great stories housing all the above elements can help you create rich contagious content.
Ways to Create Contagious Content Marketing:
Creating content involves lots of elements and understanding your audience’s mind. The better you comprehend, the more effective and shareable content you can create.
Just remember that it is not the computer you have to please, but it is the audience minds that you need to influence.
While you have read about the guidelines to create contagious content, it is now time to explore different ways to create contagious content marketing.
1. Leveraging Validation:
Every person has a strong intention for approval. According to research, people were more likely to prefer and donate when the list of prior donors was longer than before.
When people have a list including names of their prospects, like neighbors and friends, they are more likely to donate.
2. Creating Buzz with Good News:
After examining more than 7,000 articles in New York Times, Jonah Berger find out that article with positive news is more likely to be shared and go viral.
Another study by BuzzSomo found that most of the common emotions raised by articles included amusement, laughter, and curiosity.
People prefer sharing interesting things, funny things, informative content, or unique content. Make sure you create content that has any one or more of these elements.
Only then it is possible to create a reactive content that triggers high emotions and influence readers. Most importantly, focus on the headlines to evoke awe and curiosity.
3. Investing in Aesthetics is Worth it:
According to a study conducted by Jakob Neilsen, around 16% of users read web copy while 79% prefer reading by scanning the page and picking out individual sentences and words.
The look and design matter, when it is about written content. Organizing the content in an easy to scan way offers a clear path to increasing engagement.
With appropriate subheaders, you can break up the blocks of text and pick easy to read font that will help readers to boost content engagement.
4. React Fast:
There was an immense buzz generated by Facebook post and Oreo’s tweet during the Super Bowl blackout.
The main reason was that they were timely and subtle. They delivered an instant reaction to every unexpected event, which created a powerful ad on the most costly advertising day of the year.
With so many tools available, even small businesses can react possibly to every small business. This is possible with cameras and smartphones. You need to share experiences, news, and exchanges to engage the audience.
A company focusing on financial industry managers would be interested to know about statistical predictions and how much time it will consume.
Similarly, a group of service managers can be targeted by offering articles on the effectiveness of commercials and hashtags.
5. Adding Emotional Appeal:
Emotion is an important ingredient for almost all decisions. This is even proven by numerous researchers and studies. You can create contagious content marketing by adding a visceral response to it.
Performing a gut check, confirming that the content feels, and making the reader feel emotional are ways to create such content.
6. Creating Something Controversial:
When a few things are liked by some people, while others hate it, then such content is more likely to get shared.
Controversial subjects always attract readers. Creating the content on moderately controversial topics would tend to evoke enough anger and have a huge impact, which is highly effective to trigger for content sharing.
7. Present Content in a Classy Way:
If you are generating content to let people buy your product, then it would get more social media like only if the content is presented in a classy way. Bringing leadership in the white space of your content will bring it more likes and shares.
Statistics, research, actionable elements, and infographics are some of the elements that add practical value to the content. It would help you curate content that is more shareable. This can bring focus to your content.
8. Link to Something Bigger:
According to a survey by the New York Times, 68% of people offer a better sense of who they are and the things they care about.
Philanthropic and non-profit organizations, in particular, can take advantage of this sort of sharing by being a part of a business that supports an important cause.
Those sharing on a support cause or an issue are already motivated and require only some boost to pass along the related content.
How to Give Your Content Viral Potential:
Now, you’ve read everything about creating contagious content marketing, important principles to create content that goes viral, and the scientific concept behind this subject.
So, what’s still left?
Besides elements, ways, and principles, the traits that make a viral content potential are still left to know. So, read to know about the various traits to give your content viral potential.
There is lumpsum data available to an average person at present than ever. They have an ocean of facts, figures, and data to delve into.
Displaying relevant information in a beautiful and attractive way is the key to making your content go viral.
Developing an emotional connection with the audiences is of utmost importance. Besides above-mentioned aspects, building a strong emotional connection is possible only when you take an important stand on the information and issues presented in your content. Definitely, this has strong viral potential.
One favorite thing that most of the population enjoys is a good laugh. Humor content is bound to get more liked and shares.
Though creating humor content is quite tricky, but this is the tone your audience prefers. Creating something that is sublimely silly and is able to deliver your message is needed.
Stick to the Strategy:
It’s good that you want your content to be viral, but at the same time, it’s important that the content is in line with your marketing strategy.
It must not sound offbeat to the overall marketing campaign or strategy. Build contagious content that is related to the topic, product, or data you are marketing through other channels.
There are various ways to create contagious content. Including graphs, statistics, and analytics would add value to it. Try the above-mentioned ways to create shareable content.
Once you do it, do measure the engagement rate of your content in order to determine what is and what is not working. This will help you continually improve your content quality.