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    A Formula for Creating Viral Content

    As content marketers, we are tasked with an extremely complex objective: to create content that resonates with audiences, spurs action, and often can spread virally.
    In order to continue improving our craft, we spend a lot of time looking at what really works and are always striving to develop processes and learning that builds from these lessons. One of our biggest goals is to iterate on our content until we feel it has met the criteria for true stickiness and potential virality. What follows are the main components of this process ó a formula for creating successful viral content. Here it is:

    I know it lookís intimidating, but donít worry ó it really isnít too complicated. Stay with me.
    Push enough buttons

    Start with the assumption that every single person in your target audience is a potential sharer and that they all want to share content, they just donít know it yet. Push the right buttons for enough people, and voila, virality.
    So what are these buttons?
    Theory of planned behavior

    In 1985, Icek Ajzen, currently a professor of psychology at the University of Massachusetts, developed a theoretical framework and model for explaining and predicting human behavior. Since its inception, the Theory of Planned Behavior has become one of the most widely used models for explaining human behavior and has been comprehensively validated in a wide range of behavioral scenarios. Now weíll apply it to the sharing of online content.
    TPB posits that all of us make rational decisions about whether to engage or not engage in a behavior. It proposes that the rationale for making these decisions relies on a number of discrete variables, and ultimately, if you can understand each of these variables, you can better predict behavior.
    Elements of the theory:
    TPB can be broken up into four primary segments:

    1. Attitude toward behavior (AB)
    2. Subjective norms (SN)
    3. Perceived behavioral control (PBC)
    4. Behavioral Intention (BI)

    Using these segments, we can simplify the formula I gave at the beginning of this article.
    Now letís define the terms to explore the meaning of this equation. To help put things into context, weíll use the Chipotle Scarecrow campaign as an example along with all of these segments.

    Read more:

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