We have all seen them and clicked on them. Entire multi million dollar businesses have been built just to make viral stories. Companies like BuzzFeed, Viral Nova and plenty of others are cashing in on the power of social media. And do you know how they do it? They use a lot of data, a lot of analyzing and some psychological secrets. And guess what is the awesome part of that? Aside from reading extremely funny and catchy articles and lists, you can cash in on it.
In this list of informative tips from HBR they get into the details of how to do them yourself:
Viral content typically evokes high-arousal emotions, such as joy or fear. But new research suggests arousal is just one of the underlying drivers of viral content. High dominance, or a feeling of being in control, may be another key driver behind content that is widely shared.
New work from Jacopo Staiano of Sorbonne University and Marco Guerini of Trento Rise sheds light on the roles that valence, arousal, and dominance play in content that goes viral. The findings indicate that individual emotions may not determine virality — what really matters may be where the emotions fall within the Valence-Arousal-Dominance (VAD) model. This scale is frequently used in psychology to categorize emotions. Each individual emotion is a combination of three characteristics:
Valence is the positivity or negativity of an emotion. Happiness has a positive valence; fear has a negative valence.
Arousal ranges from excitement to relaxation. Anger is a high-arousal emotion; sadness is low-arousal.
Dominance ranges from submission to feeling in control. Fear is low-dominance; an emotion a person has more choice over, such as admiration, is high-dominance.
Who would have thought this science and psychology goes into making these? And if you learn these techniques and apply them to blog posts and social media, it can get traffic which can lead to a lot of sales or advertising revenue.
And to add to this list of viral content advice, here are some additional tips from socialtriggers.com to help bring in those bucks:
1. Positive content is more viral than negative content.
(Amazing, right? When you read the news, you’d think that negativity was a must, heh).
2. Content that evoked high arousal emotions—positive or negative—is more viral than content without emotion.
(What’s a high-arousal emotion? Think awe, anger, anxiety, or anything related to the fear of loss)
3. Practically useful content get’s shared.
(That makes sense, right? People like sharing practically useful content to help out their fans and friends)
And now that you have followed these steps, here is the next one that so few do that will give you that advantage:
How to Prepare Practically Useful Content
When you write an article, and finish the editing process, you’re not done. There’s one final step that you must take, and the funny thing is, almost no one does it.
What’s that step?
You must go through your content, figure out the next actions you want people to take, and finish your article with a section that tells people those next action steps.
It seems so simple, but it’s powerful.
Psychologists have long known that people are bad at applying broad concepts to their own lives. It’s why people know the 80/20 rule, but rarely implement it in their lives and business.
And that’s why this simple “next action” section is so great. You show your readers exactly how to use the content you gave them in their lives. And what happens? They use it… get results… and remember you for it.
Pretty cool, right?
It seems so obvious but giving readers the easy capability to click next and lead to other parts of the story makes additional pageviews. That is pure gravy and revenue if you have an advertising based business.
And here is the conclusion from social triggers terrific post:
The Bottom Line
Now that you’ve read this article, I want you to remember two things:
When you’re looking to get traffic for your business website, make sure you show people how to implement the advice you give them. Take the time to show them an example, and give them next action steps.
And finally, don’t just write content for the sake of writing content. Always target a high-arousal emotion so you know your content will get shared.
Trust me, it works.
Now I pass it to you. What do you think? How do you use these strategies in your business?
Oh, and don’t forget to share this on Twitter and Facebook and everyone else.
These tips should improve your content strategy a lot!