Making your content viral, that is making it spread like wildfire in the digital woods of the Internet, can be a hard nut to crack. After all, how can one predict if a particular image, video, article, audio file or an info graph will attract a great number of visitors, comments and shares?
Jonah Berger, an assistant professor of marketing at the Wharton School of Business, claims to be an expert in turning products and ideas to be viral on the Internet. Together with Katy Milkman he has written a research paper titled “What Makes Online Content Go Viral?” Their research focuses on important things to bear in mind in order to produce content that spreads quickly online. Among other things, the authors write about appealing to emotions, keeping your content positive and useful etc. Let’s see what else there is for the information to become insanely popular.
This week, the White House on cellphone unlocking, Samsung’s new phone watches you, YouTube takes on streaming music, Microsoft gets fined €561 million, ISP’s Six Strikes plan is in effect, the Skywalkers (& Solo) come back for Star Wars VII; and I, for one, welcome our new cinder block-hurling overlords.
Advertising agency Wieden+Kennedy created a monster with their recent campaign of ‘Old Spice Man’ commercials, featuring the irresistible appeal of former NFL wide receiver Isaiah Mustafa. These commercials may have made their debut on television, but they really reached the apex of their popularity on the internet, thanks to their viral spread across social networks and content aggregators such as Digg, Reddit, Twitter and Facebook.
Aware that internet word-of-mouth was their best distribution engine, and wishing to build off the momentum of the already popular ads, Wieden+Kennedy recently went hyper-personal by filming a series of responses to individual internet commenters, on YouTube, Twitter,Facebook and Reddit, again featuring Mustafa as the ‘Old Spice Man’.