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How To Create Shareable Content

“Make it go viral.”

Every social media professional probably cringes whenever they hear this phrase from their not-so-socially savvy client or boss. Although we can’t always guarantee or predict which piece of marketing content will go viral, we can follow a framework that will make it shareable and interesting.

Justin Watkins, founder of Native Digital, presented his ideas for making content sharable at a recent SMCKC breakfast. It’s a balance between science and art. The science aspect is the data side of marketing – the analytics and strategic planning. It helps us find out who our audience is and where they are spending their time. The art is the creative side of marketing – the intuition and emotion that grabs your audience’s attention.

How do marketers find the balance that will make their content stand out and possibly go viral? Watkins shared Native Digital’s Content Creation Checklist:

  1. Does it open strong?
  2. Is it digestible? (People only open the homeruns. Just show them the highlights instead of the whole game.)
  3. What emotion does it bring out?
  4. Does this help our audience? Does it speak to their needs?
  5. Do people feel cool or like insiders talking about it?
  6. Is it part of a broader narrative among our audience?
  7. How can I make it more public? How will people show they’ve seen it or interact with it?
  8. Does it support the brand position of… or distract away from it? (If you don’t know your brand position, figure that out first.)
  9. How is it different than competitor messaging? Is it too similar? Can we become known for this? What can we product that our competitor never will?
  10. What can we do wrong? What best practice can we break to make it unexpected?

Wrong is real; that’s why it works in marketing and advertising. But a little bit of wrong can go a long way. Don’t make things messy. A little wrong will still make things unexpected.

So what do we mean by wrong? Watkins shared several examples of how Native Digital flipped the script to make their content stand out from the rest. For instance, they created a campaign for Duvel involving one of those popular Break Out Rooms – you know, the ones where you and a group of friends or coworkers are locked in a room and given clues with the goal of breaking out of the room? Native Digital instead decided to have people break into a room where they were rewarded with Duvel.

For another alcohol client, Native Digital created a promotional video. Instead of showing outtakes at the end of the video, they started the video with outtakes. This immediately surprised viewers with humor.

So try out Content Creation Checklist and see if you can make your next piece of content go viral…

(but let’s keep in mind the 90%/10% rule)

All images from Native Digital’s slide deck.

Why do I work at AWG? “I work with an amazing team that values creativity and innovation. I enjoy tackling new opportunities and challenges each day that, of course, always involve food!” -Cara

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