Based on the factors that have proved to foster virality, there are three main strategy recommendations:
Design your content to provoke an emotional reaction. Arousing a sense of amusement, surprise, anger, solidarity or affection is likely to foster sharing among the audience. However, to make it effective, you should consider the following points:
- Support the story with visual content, either photos or videos. Good visual content communicates much faster and is more engaging than written.
- Make it entertaining by presenting your story in a humorous or original way. Make it stand out with an original plot or a more engaging tone or language.
- Make the content personal by showing the faces of the people working in the organization. This helps by creating emotional connection and humanizing the stories.
Create content that provides real value. As aforementioned, stories may address some of the audience’s needs, challenges or aspirations, providing know how and inspiration for their personal lives. You may create and enhance the value provided by:
- Inspirational stories work like case studies showing how others overcame a specific challenge or difficult situation, that are at least partially applicable to other people’s cases.
- Stories related to other destinations with similar mission purpose provide a sense of authenticity to the audience and may eventually lead to cross-marketing alliances.
- Invite thought leaders in the issues related to the audience concerns to write stories or participate in a story creation with the added value of reputable advice and know-how.
Embed features that facilitate virality. Incorporating interactive features in the content is likely to foster more engagement, and engagement is the first step towards virality. There are many possible ways to do so:
- Incorporate social sharing tools throughout the site so that readers need only to click once to share it with their connections.
- Encourage people to make comments so as to spur discussion among the story. Ask questions at the end of the content to provoke people into giving their opinions.
- Create contents calling for participation and interactivity, like contests, sweepstakes, polls, etc. They are great engagement drivers and are also likely to go viral.
Finally, there are some common mistakes you should avoid if you want to boost engagement and virality: being offensive, asking for likes, talking about yourself and being too obscure.
Do you envision other strategies to make stories go viral?