5 Tips for Creating Content People Will Share
Going viral…it’s the holy grail of modern-day mass marketing. How do you breathe enough life into your content for it to touch thousands or even millions of people beyond your reach? It’s not easy, but it does become easier if you know what you’re doing before you start production. Follow these five tips to boost your marketing content into the hallowed halls of virality:
#1: Put the right emotions in play.
Researchers have identified some common denominators when studying emotions evoked in highly viral content:
- The overarching message should be positive. The subject matter may provoke sadness, fear, frustration, or some other not-so-jolly feeling, but the outcome and/or call to action should be positive or uplifting.
- Anticipation and surprise are highly effective. When content drives curiosity, creates a sense of astonishment or makes people uncertain about what’s coming next, it has higher potential to go viral.
- Evoking admiration also works well to increase social shares.
#2: Tug on heartstrings quickly, but weave in some “normal,” less emotional moments, too.
If you want a video to go viral, be compelling from the outset…the easiest way to lose your audience is to make them wait while you set the stage. And, because you want people to watch and share, your video should take them on a little ride – the proverbial emotional roller coaster, if you will – so they’re driven to offer friends and family the same experience by sharing it.
#3: Don’t inject too much of your brand in the content.
You can put your stamp on it, but keep it minimal – company name, logo and maybe a quick line of copy at the end to tie the messenger in with the message. Go too far beyond that, and people will decline to share your content just as they would if you asked them pass out promotional flyers on the street. Emotional branding in healthcare is so much more about what you do than what you say, so keep your footprint small on viral content and save your role for where it matters most: real-life patient experiences.
#4: Consider your options with Influencers.
Who out there can help you reach – and influence – enough people to make your campaign go viral? Think local celebrities (or national celebs who grew up in your community). Think relevant thought leaders with significant social followings. Think bloggers and reporters with lots of engaged subscribers – and ask yourself who among them may take an interest in your message and reach thousands of potential “sharers” with just one click? Give it some thought…you may find you have more options with Influence Marketing than meet the eye.
#5: Make your content useful and helpful.
Whether or not it goes vital, content with practical applications helps you garner attention as an expert or helpful resource. The same researchers who identified the most effective emotions for viral content also discovered that PSA-style messages – those that serve the “public good” – have potential to go viral. This claim aligns with separate findings that suggest many people are happy to support health-related causes by sharing on social media.
What’s your favorite viral campaign and why? Leave a comment to keep this conversation going about captivating the masses in ways traditional mass marketing never could.