The Science Behind Viral ContentSeptember 4th, 2013 by johnhaydon
If you want to create “viral content,” you should watch videos like this one which has almost 20,000 views.
The truth about this video–and most viral content–is that no one knows why it goes viral, even though the common ingredients of viral content are well documented!
The Science Behind Viral Content
Scientific research on what makes content go viral has found that:
- – Length matters. Longer articles tend to be shared far more often than short ones
- – Emotions matter. You share content that makes you feel anxiety, awe, and anger way more than you share content that makes you feel sad.
- – Controversy matters. Blogs posts written about controversial topics get twice as many comments.
- – Being useful matters. Content that is interesting or has immediate utility gets shared more.
- – Humor matters. Humor is the single most common element of most viral ads. So shut up and be funny!
Viral Content Checklist
There’s also this amazing “viral checklist” from Carson Ward that you should post in your cubical:
- – Did you sufficiently cover the topic? Is it long enough?
- – Does the content inspire a high-energy emotion?
- – Did your tone convey emotion?
- – Is it useful?
- – Is it interesting?
- – Is it surprising?
- – Does the author have credibility?
- – If it’s supposed to be funny, is it actually funny? Are you sure your friends aren’t just being nice?
The fact that the answers to these questions are largely subjective complicates matters that much more! You see, human beings are infinitely complex and dynamic. The infinite part is the beautiful problem.
The Secret Behind Viral Content
The secret is that everyone is just as confused as you are. And yes, the experts are confused too (even though many won’t admit it).
What do you think?