The traditional media would decide for consumers what was worth watching, what they would watch, and what would become popular. This circumstance has changed drastically, thanks to the internet and social media. The power shift has allowed people to interact, share and even create their content. There are 2400 tweets, 95 million photos and videos shared on Instagram every day. This has led to a rise of a new phenomenon: virality.
Jonah Berger, the author of Contagious: Why Things Catch On, used to read a page of the Wall Street Journal which included a list of five most read and five most shared articles of the day. He always wondered why what was read and what was shared were often different. It might seem to us that there was randomness as to which content would go viral.
Making your content go viral might seem like an uncontrollable process to you. Do you feel that you need divine intervention to make your content go viral? Some researchers argue that this process is not just a fortunate combination of events. Rather, it’s a phenomenon that can be controlled.
The process involves curating content, producing your content, distributing it to the social mechanism which is influenced by peer-to-peer sharing conduit. You might feel that you cannot control the working of the social mechanism. You need to tap into a certain distinctiveness of viral content that would stimulate people to watch and share.
The content has to be curated and produced before the social mechanism comes into play. This is the stage where you are in control, opposite to the social mechanism when it is already published when you might have limited control.
We know you have gone through Berger’s STEPPS and you already have a guideline ready on how to make your content go viral. We dug deeper into a little more research. This is what you should ensure to make your content go viral :
You know that consumers won’t search for your content if you want them to make your content go viral. Then why do you think we are asking you to be findable? Most of the content that went viral was discovered by the ‘Consumer Zero’ while they were searching for some other content.
Hashtags and links are the carriers that will make your content go viral. Use frequently used and trending hashtags along with new, unique ones. Place your link in a spot that is accessible and easy to find. Keep your username simple and catchy so that the consumer doesn’t have to make an effort to remember you.
Having a standard display picture or a logo across all platforms of content creation will increase your findability. Incorporating value-added SEO keywords into your content will increase the visibility of your content. In the case of written content, your title will attract new viewers. Write a compelling title.
We love stories. Reading, hearing, and enacting a story is one of the favourite pastimes of the people. Do you know why? Stories are nothing but an emotional rollercoaster. Marketing Researcher Thales Texeira feels it is important to create maximum emotional excitement quickly. But don’t go all overboard with emotions.
Pulse the emotionally heavy-hitting points with gaps in your content as if cleansing the palate. Use simple language to communicate your ideas. Create a segway between parts of your content to ensure continuity. Make use of short and crisp sentences in your content. Make sure you display words for enough time for the consumers to read and understand your video content.
Understand the significance of the KISS principle- Keep it short and simple. You need to attract the attention of your consumer in the first 10 sec. Use fewer graphics and more infographics to convey your content in short.
A catchy song or a tune in the video will attract consumers to your content. Using a tune or a song already in trend or is being repeated by the other creators will create a sense of familiarity. Consumers will also be drawn to content that will have some resemblance to the content they already came across. Offer practical solutions that can be replicated, wherever possible. Consumers will find it more relatable. Berger suggests that the promise of practical value often leads to successful content.
Breaking through the noise and going viral is the direct result of having a viral coefficient above 1. A viral coefficient is the total number of new viewers generated by one existing viewer. A viral coefficient above 1 means the content has viral growth and is growing, and a coefficient below 1 means that sharing growth is diminishing.
Place your shareable link to your content at prominent places across the platform that you are sharing the content on. Upload contents in a format that can be shared through different operating systems. Consumers share content that fulfils two features: how positive the message is and how excited they feel by the message.
It has been observed that amusing and arousing content with a positive message has been shared more frequently than less amusing content. Curiosity, Amazement, Interest, Astonishment, Uncertainty are emotions that you should tap on.
Your content shouldn’t be just to consume and then forget about it. Make your consumer do something productive through your content. Create content that will make them respond to you. You can share a gist of your content on a micro-platform and apply a ‘CTA’ (call to action) feature at the end. We believe in leading by example. So, here is how we take action.
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