Craft compelling content that’s highly contagious
Today I am excited to share with you a simple 6 step process that Jonah Berger ( Professor and Best Selling Author) recommends for creating contagious content. Mr. Berger focuses on the psychology behind why people share, and gives us advice on how we can create compelling content through the use of emotional intelligence. This quick summary will help you understand how / why people make choices, and how to increase the likelihood of your content getting noticed and share. The internet changes, the medium changes, and technology changes, but people stay the same. Find out how to make your audience tick and have them spread your content like wildfire with this 6 STEPPS formula.
1.) Social Currency: Make People Look Good
The first part is social currency and it is all about making people look good. When you present your content in a way that makes people feel like insiders, like they are getting top secret information, that makes them feel important. If you make your audience feel smart, or like they have access to something exclusive, they are much more likely to share your content and spread it to their social circles. People usually tend to know a lot of people like themselves, so whenever you have a unique piece of content that is humorous, interesting, or informative, people will share it and it will have a ripple effect. There is a scarcity factor to social currency, so the first person to share this “top-notch” content with their tribe, is often seen as an authority or industry leader. I would recommend that you use visuals such as videos, infographics, and explainer videos, and other image based content. It’s very important to make people feel smart, and imply that sharing that particular piece of information can make them look even better to their peers, family or other people in their social circles. For this step to be more effective it needs to reach people who are already influential and big connectors.
2.) Triggers : Make it very easy to remember
Triggers are external stimulus in your environment that remind you about something else. For example during October there’s a lot of pink Cancer ribbons on the Internet, TV, and other mainstream media. There’s a lot of athletes and different political figures and celebrities that endorse this cause. By now it is likely that you have linked these pink ribbons to mean that it is breast cancer awareness month. Triggers are creative ways that you can associate your offer to everyday life. Find an existing pattern to attach your product, service, or message to, and use this as an anchor to keep your brand top of mind. What could be the trigger that fires off the awareness and makes them remember who you are and why you are there? When it comes to triggers it’s all about timing. Timing is a huge factor in this part of the process because when the trigger happens you want the most people sharing your content, and creating more social currency. Creating patterns that fit in your target markets routine is a good way to led triggers do the work for you. For example if you know a majority of your audience drinks coffee, you can choose a morning related trigger that gets fired off after they are done drinking their coffee. If you are going after stay-at home moms, maybe your trigger can be set around 4 pm, after they pick up the kids from school. Use your prospects daily pains, and daily routines as a way to tie in with your marketing.
3.) Emotions : Call To Passion
Seek to understand the underlying emotions behind why people purchase your product or service. Use this emotional intelligence to craft your message, and brainstorm different ways that people can be aroused or inspired to take action and place an order. Work backwards and find the underlying root emotions that your audience is seeking to get closer to, or away from. The most important element of this step is to push their “hot button” or something they are truly passionate about. Seek to activate their emotions, whether positive or negative and give them an action to take, so that they can do something about it . . Mr. Berger states that awe is one of the most powerful emotions that we feel. Not surprisingly, awe is also the most likely emotion that will inspire us to take action. Try to find a way to awe people with surprise, amazement, or some of welcome distraction. This will put them in a less defensive state, and you are more likely to get more shares and a better response to your campaign. The one thing to keep in mind here is that if your content does not create any type of emotion it is not likely at all that it’s going to be shared. For example, I was recently at a conference and a woman shared a story about how her emotional intelligence helped her get a free flight across the US. She shared on Facebook how frustrated she was with her insurance company for not covering a necessary expense for her plane flight. Without even asking, two days later her friends and family raised enough money to cover that flight for her. They all could identify with being frustrated with their insurance company and were compelled to help. I give this example because it goes to show that negative emotions can be used effectively to create urgency or inspire people to take action. Truth is nobody is particularly excited about paying their insurance premium, and more than likely they experienced pain or frustration in the past, and this woman’s story touched them in a particularly soft spot. Liked the process so far? Stay tuned for part II