Content that goes viral is the Holy Grail of marketing. But what makes content go viral? Here are 7 traits of virality and qualities viral content should have.
Content that goes viral is the Holy Grail of marketers and virality is created by a number of factors that work together to appeal to a large portion of humanity.
Remember the video of the guy who stood at a busy intersection offering everyone free hugs? The Free Hugs campaign was started by Juan Mann on December 1, 2004, when he began giving out hugs in the Pitt Street Mall in central Sydney.
That little video not only notched up millions of YouTube views but also started a movement, known as the Free Hugs Campaign.
What exactly makes a simple, amateurish video like that go viral? And what are the qualities that define viral content – the holy grail for marketers who want to promote a brand or product on social media?
Although there are no guarantees for making your content go viral, I believe that, like the Free Hugs video, virality is created by a number of factors that work together to appeal to a large portion of humanity.
- 7 Traits of Virality & Qualities of Incredibly Viral Content
- Viral Marketing Course
- Content writing tips & tools
7 Traits of Virality & Qualities of Incredibly Viral Content
Virality is created by a number of factors that work together to appeal to a large portion of humanity. Here are 7 qualities that viral content should have.
#1. Has global appeal
Like the concept of free hugs, a viral creative must appeal to a large portion of humanity. It must transcend boundaries of race, creed, gender, income, and religion to appeal to humans at a very basic level.
#2. Triggers a primal human emotion
Content goes viral because it triggers a very primal emotion in human beings.
Love, compassion, laughter – these are all emotions that touch a primitive chord in us, making us want to share the content with other humans.
Fear also triggers a primal response, but people are less likely to share a message that triggers negative emotions than one that triggers positive feelings.
According to a study of Twitter users, good feelings are much more likely to propagate than negative ones through Twitter feeds.
#3. Is humorous/moving/entertaining/fun
Viral content has a number of emotional triggers that make people want to share it with others.
Content that elicits laughter; moves you to tears of joy; is inspiring or just plain fun and entertaining is content that gets shared.
Fun and entertainment, in particular, get a large number of shares and eyeballs. Just check out how many views those videos of cute cats doing silly things get online.
#4. Makes us believe in the goodness of human nature
We all want to believe that people are good at heart. That is why content that demonstrates a person’s compassion, heroism, or attempts to create peace between warring factions gets a whole lot of love.
We all want to look good in front of our friends and fans. Ever read one of those little Zen quotes or stories that seem to get so many shares?
People love to share them, not only because it makes them think, but also because it makes the sharer come across as wise and profound to his/her audience.
#6. Tells a story
Stories have been used for thousands of years to promote ideas and concepts. They have a very basic appeal and are engaging enough to make people want to read them in totality and share them with others.
One thing that both successful commercials and viral campaigns have in common is that they both convey a compelling story. To inspire and persuade your audience to act, you must master the art of telling a compelling story.
In this Storytelling Course, you’ll learn how to weave fascinating narratives out of data-driven facts and make sure your writing leaves a lasting impression.
Learn the techniques for creating mind-blowing content that captures and holds readers’ attention; create compelling tales around your data-driven content to increase sales, and use your imagination to craft compelling stories with strong emotional appeal.
#7. Plays on popular memes
If you’ve ever seen or created an image based on the “Grumpy Cat” meme (the cat who hates everything and everyone), you know what I mean.
Content that’s based on popular memes gets shared very quickly and widely because people immediately relate it to something else they have seen online.
Just make sure your brand message has some relevance to the meme you use, or it will backfire.
Now that you know the 7 qualities of incredibly viral content, put on your thinking cap and work on your own ideas to take your brand or business further than it has ever gone before.
Viral Marketing Course
Learn the 7 key secrets to being able to sell any product or service online with this in-depth Viral Marketing Course taught by a world-renowned expert.
Ensuring that a product or service sells well online is not pure luck. It’s about employing proven tactics, tools, and templates to make sure that your ad campaign stands the best chance of success.
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You’ll learn everything from positioning, demand, and content creation strategies to audience and competitor research and how to use these skills to make money as a professional freelancer.
- Position a product or service strategically to create market demand
- Create viral content that generates interest and leaves a lasting impression
- Earn genuine trust and connect authentically with your target audience
- Grow a huge customer base while letting your competition do all the hard work for you
- Consistently share content to build a powerful habit loop with your followers
Click here to sign up for this viral marketing course
Content writing tips & tools
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© 2013 – 2022, Priya Florence Shah. All rights reserved.
Priya Florence Shah is a bestselling author, an award-winning online publisher, and an online branding consultant. Download her free personal branding eBooks and check out Devi2Diva, her book on emotional self-care for women. In her spare time, Priya writes science-fiction novels and poetry and chills with her two-legged and four-legged kids.