Yesterday, I wrote about some research from the 1960's into the forces that drive word of mouth advertising. The article was focused primarily on what inspires people to talk about brands and products. Today, let's focus on how to make content go viral.

As I said yesterday:

...the #1 key for viral marketing success is to create products so exceptional, that people can't help but talk about them... it's not so much about the product as about the experience of using the product.

When it comes to content, that means that it's not just about generating great information. You also have to make the experience of consuming it remarkable.

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The #2 key [is] enhancing the stature of the user...

With brands and products, that can be done by making products that are a status symbol. Yesterday, I gave the example of Apple products.

But how can content enhance the status of your customers?

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The third (around 20%) is other-involvement. The speaker wants to reach out and help to express neighborliness, caring, and friendship.

Making your content useful, so that sharing it becomes an act of kindness, is a good beginning. But there's more to it than that.

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Reader Comment:
Nikole Fairview said:
I have always wondered if there were ways to actually make your content better suited to go viral. Of course, I always try to produce something that is quality and very useful to my audience. But, actually having something that goes viral, really vir...
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...humorous or informative messages were the least powerful of the four motivations that the study found.

Humor and information value may have been the least powerful of the four motives named. But they still made the list. And with content even more than with brands and products, the humor or the information value is the essence of what you're offering.

Just don't stick to humor or information value exclusively without mixing in a healthy dose of the other factors.