Doesn’t it amuse you how a horse-like dance became so viral that it garnered more than a billion hits on Youtube? That’s because whether we want to admit it or not — most people are bandwagon-hitchers who follow what the crowd is doing at one point or another. With that being said, certain ideas and products have the ability to become instantly popular, thanks to the powerful force of “word-of-mouth” and that is what you want to achieve for your content — to go viral.
Viral content marketing is a technique wherein contents, videos, etc. are written with the goal to be “passed on” or “shared” in order to create a potential growth in the company’s visibility through content.
Jonah Berger wrote a book that studied the idea of contagiousness and explores what companies can do to bottle it; it’s called “Why Things Catch On.” Based on his research, he came up with the STEPPS principle on how things go viral together with tips on how to achieve them. In this article, we will simplify this process and I will teach you on how to apply this to content marketing.
By social currency, Berger stated that people tend to talk about things that make themselves look good rather than the opposite. Take Starbucks as an example—a lot of people take pictures of their order in and post it on social media sites just because “hanging out” in Starbucks makes them look “rich” or “in the crowd.”
Tip: If you are a travel agent for the Philippines, take photos of the tourist spots in the country so that people will have a preview of what they should be looking forward to when they visit.
Oftentimes, a lot of people readily talk about ideas that are “top of mind” and “tip of the tongue,” meaning, you have to know what topics are trending for your target customers and create a content that will be more useful for them.
Tip: During summer time, the first thing that pops in your mind is the beach! Therefore, as a travel agent, create contents that are related to the beach or about summer.
Ease for Emotion
People often share contents that they care about! So listen to what your target audience is talking about before you start with your content. Furthermore, make them feel “something” when they are reading your article. Make sure to mention something that relates to what’s happening to them.
Tip: If you are going to write about the tourist spots in the Philippines, make your audience feel the excitement that these places will evoke—watching sunrise along Manila Bay, feeling the cool breeze in Tagaytay when they wake up in the morning or the warmth of the people…and the beaches.
Much like the Gangnam style craze, people tend to mimic what they see others doing. Gearing contents toward a popular cause or hot topic that is globally recognize by a group of average people can skyrocket a content’s virality.
Tip: Produce content that people want to mimic (hello, parody videos!); but make sure to add a little spice to it!
People tend to share useful information to others. The more trivial, in most cases, the more viral it gets. That’s why trivial fan pages in Facebook have more than 100,000 Likes because people tend to be interested about minor information or content. So the more information a content shares, the more it becomes viral.
Tips: Don’t only add humor and emotions in your content, add facts as well. Historical background on the tourist spots in the Philippines would be a good idea to add in your travel content.
It is a no-brainer that people love to read stories. Most contents that are shared are usually wrapped up in a story or narrative. Therefore, it is a good idea to insert realistic situations in your article.
Tip: Tell a story, don’t sell directly! Although that may be hard, you should make it a point to think about your readers first by creating something educational and fun to read. Don’t prance around the Internet stating why your travel agency is the best among the rest.
Keeping the STEPPS principle in mind will help you go viral for as long as your content is relevant at the eyes of your readers. If you are able to do this, you might just be lucky enough to be able to achieve the “Gangnam style” result for your business through your content.