Interesting Infographics: Going Viral Part 1

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Even though I do not advocate spike marketing, the concept of viral content continues to be intriguing to B2B marketers. Beyond the fact that some well known viral campaigns do not result in the expected ROI, there are many articles and speculation about how to strategically create content that will “go viral”. I found this infographic interesting because it not only provides us with a foundation of what it means when content has “gone viral” but it also includes the different types of viral content, why people share it and many other tips.

The first thing that comes to mind when thinking of viral content is videos. Before we look at the infographic in more detail, here are a few B2B viral videos. Have you or would you share these videos with your colleagues, clients and friends?

Corning…A Day of Glass

Cisco – The Future of Shopping

Understanding Viral Content Marketing [Infographic]

In the infographic, ProBlogger states that we first need to understand “Metcalf’s Law” which is used to calculate the value of a network. In layman’s terms, this means the more interconnections there are between people and the more pathways there are to share makes sharing information easier, quicker and widely spread. Viral marketing attempts to get this value to go above and beyond cost. We need to calculate at which point will we reach a critical mass such that the extent of the reach surpasses the cost of creating the content in the first place.

I appreciate that ProBlogger is very clear that not all content can go viral. Two elements are required for content to go viral:

  1. The content must be worthy of being shared; and
  2. The content must be shared widely enough to reap the benefits of the networks they are shared on.

There are basically four types of viral content:

  • articles and blog posts
  • interactive content (example quizzes and games)
  • Video and audio content (such as the videos embedded above)
  • Infographics

Most B2B marketers have likely created articles and blog posts in the hopes that a specific post will “go viral”. So why is some content shared widely while many more are not? Here are a few of the reasons:

  • the content is hilarious
  • it is incredible or unbelievable
  • it is deeply emotional
  • it agrees with our worldview
  • it makes us stop and think
  • it isn’t covered by mainstream media
  • it will make someone smile
  • it is provocative (but it must be such that it can be openly shared)

Please refer to the excellent Venn diagram below that well illustrates how the content you create should interact in terms of function and form. The Infographic ends with “The Secret Sauce” which to me, can be misleading. Do we really have “The Secret Sauce” to viral marketing? No. Will any of these tips guarantee your content will go viral? No. It all comes back to the substance of your content and whether people consider it worthy of sharing. However, I agree that the following should be considered as a starting point:

  1. Sharing on Digg, Reddit, Stumpleupon, Delicious and other popular social bookmarking sites
  2. An influential person sharing your content on Twitter
  3. A blogger of authority mentions your content
  4. Leverage relationships with “social media power users” across multi-channels

Below is the full infographic – enjoy!

Viral content marketing infographic

Republished with author's permission from original post.

Louis Foong
Louis Foong is the founder and CEO of The ALEA Group Inc., one of North America's most innovative B2B demand generation specialists. With more than three decades of experience in the field, Louis is a thought leader on trends, best practices and issues concerning marketing and lead generation. Louis' astute sense of marketing and sales along with a clear vision of the evolving lead generation landscape has proved beneficial to numerous organizations, both small and large.

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