The Psychology Behind Virality

As a marketer, virality is the bullseye on the dartboard of results.
To most, virality is this mysterious, nebulous thing that might happen to your latest post while you’re sleeping. If you think this – you’re pretty much spot on.
Viral marketing is a powerful tool for business. It is something that every small business should strive for. It’s how organizations like Facebook and Lyft (among many others) quickly acquired new customers, so it’s incredibly an valuable thing to have.
With that said, there is a little bit of method behind the mystery. At Embryo Digital, we’re always striving to make content that can go viral, so let’s take a look, and see how you can improve your chances of going viral.

Sticky Content

Sticky content is content that sticks in the mind of the reader. Content that sticks usually follows the following six principles:

  1. Simplicity – The content’s core should be easy to grasp.
  2. Surprising – The content should grab the curiosity and grab attention.
  3. Concrete – The content should be a vivid painting in the reader’s mind.
  4. Credible – The content should be supported by evidence, if necessary.
  5. Emotional – The content should have a purpose and be relatable.
  6. Storytelling – The content should tell a story that inspires and provokes emotion.

Viral content is often just ‘sticky content’ in action.
In 2019, social media can be compared to a room full of people trying to shout over each other. Your content should slice through the clutter and stick in the user’s mind. If you follow the above six principles, your content should be able to do that successfully.
However, making viral content is hard, and still comes down to chance an awful lot of the time. Often, virality comes when you don’t even try. Even if you take all the advice we offer in this blog post religiously, you still might well not become the next big thing, however, there is no doubt that your content will stick in the minds and hearts of your consumers – which is the thing that truly matters.
Creating a marketing campaign that goes viral is challenging and hard work. You can create a viral social media campaign by following the viral-marketing ‘sticky’ principles, also practiced by some of the world’s best brands. The most important thing to remember though, is to create and use content that speaks to your target market on an emotional level through storytelling. Without doing this, any other principle you could think to apply is useless.
As a marketer, particularly in the digital sphere, you should also be using analytics tracking platforms to help understand and determine which content works and which content doesn’t, so you’re only putting out content that has great viral potential.
Finally, the only other thing we can say about viral marketing: good luck!Are you looking to increase your digital presence? With services including SEO, PPC, Content Marketing and Social Media, our specialists will ensure you see value-driven results. Give us a call today on 0161 327 2635 to find out more.


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