Elements of a ‘viral’ content

‘Viral’ content is the holy grail of content marketing.

Although several studies on viral content have been published, there just isn’t a sure win formula.

However, don’t despair. Because, it seems that such content share 1 common element.

But before we get into it, we have to take a closer look at:

Why do people share stories?

According to the New York Times’ study on “the Psychology of Sharing“, people share content to:

  • entertain their friends
  • add value to their friends
  • define themselves 
  • interact and stay connected with others
  • show their support for a cause

In a nutshell, your content will do well if it makes people feel good about themselves.

So, how can you best position your content to go viral?

All viral content have this element:

Let the reader feel good about themselves.

Understand this – hard sell is dead, leave it in the 80’s.

Nobody’s going to share your egoist content, unless there’s something in it for them.

So, when creating content, ask yourself:

  • What problem(s) does my content solve for my target audience?
  • Does my content bring them closer to the solution?
  • Does my content help connect my audience to my story?
  • Will my audience feel good about sharing my content?

Once you’ve got the meat of your content, consider these content types:

  • Informative content like ‘how-to’ guides, case studies and checklists are great for beginners.
  • Entertainment content like competitions work great for connecting with your audience.
  • Discounts or promotions are great for people who like to share offers with their friends.

Lastly, remember to incorporate your brand’s key message when creating your content!