STEPPS to viralityIs creating viral content vital to your brand?

Many marketers pray for virality, but it´s not just a matter of pot luck – and it´s certainly not something you can guarantee. However, there are certain things you can do to increase the chances of your content being shared and and going viral – this is obvious from the successful marketing campaigns of numerous brands circulating the Internet on a daily basis.

So how do you create viral content? According to a study by Jonah Berger I came across on Business 2 Community, the best strategy for creating viral content is the STEPPS system. Here´s how it goes:

Social currency — most often, Internet users share content that makes them feel good. Provide content that compliments your audience, and makes them feel like they have insights or knowledge in a specific area.

Triggers — content that is associated with certain reminders can increase sharing in a repeat cycle. For example, Rebecca Black´s song “Friday” gets shared every Friday because people like to think of the upcoming weekend.

Emotion — emotions are among the strongest drivers for the need to share. These include not just positive feelings like joy and excitement, but also anger, fear or disgust.

Proof — the more shared a piece of content is, the more likely it is to be shared further. People like to feel they are keeping their finger on the pulse of popularity.

Practical value — fun is great for virality, but value and usefulness are just as important.

Stories — a good story always makes it easier for people to engage. Make it compelling and keep them excited for what´s going to come next.

Has your brand´s content ever gone viral? Do you have any other tips you could add to this list?

Ben Hollom

February 14, 2014