Today the grand slam in advertising, PR, and digital com (let’s just call it all strategic communications – communication with a purpose) is content that spreads, goes viral and generates a lot of earned, free media.
So how does it happen? Can you create content that spreads
Let’s start with the core question, “Why do we share, post, tweet, retweet, pin, vlog, Instagram and every other manner of digitally sharing with friends, colleagues and peers?”
It’s not what the content says as much as it’s what the content says about us.
It says we’re in the know. Smart. Have the inside track. Ahead of the curve. Cool, Hip, Funny, Fashionable. We knew what color the dress was. Our sharable content shapes how others see us.
That’s the core idea driving why some ideas stay, stick, tip and others wither and fade away.
Malcolm Gladwell ignited the concept in The Tipping Point – that singular, simple moment when an idea, trend, or social behavior crosses a threshold, tips, and spreads like wildfire. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YFbkVL1X9M8
Chip and Dan Heath followed up with Made to Stick – why some ideas survive and others die. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Bs9NbxJHV-w
And now Jonah Berger pulls it together with Contagious – why things catch on. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HfSs_hOAkzY
When you look at all three books you see a pattern, a few common characteristics which can help transform your communication – boost your idea’s chance of virality and put it on the fast track. Content worth sharing because it gives you, the sender, resender or writer social currency.
In other words, “How cool am I because I sent you this?”
Let’s take a look at how you can craft your content.
Is the content simple and concrete? Can the idea be expressed in a single sentence? Is it visually memorable? Can it be explained in human actions so that are easily understood and can be shared with consistent meaning?
“You’re not you when you’re hungry. Snickers satisfies.”
Is the content a story? Stories stick. We have an innate need for narrative. We share stories, not pie charts.
Is the content remarkable and unexpected? Let’s combine story and unexpected. Did you hear the story about the blender that turned an iPad into dust? https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lAl28d6tbko Is the story message relevant to the product, candidate or cause? Is Blend Tec a powerful blender?
Post by: Frank Blossom, affiliate professor