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Going Viral: The Science Behind Creating Shareable Content

A woman sitting on a couch and looking at her phone

The Internet has revolutionized the way we share and consume information. From memes to viral videos, the world has become obsessed with content that can capture our attention and imagination.

However, what makes some content go viral, while others fall flat? The answer is not as simple as you might think. Creating shareable content is both an art and a science, requiring a careful balance of creativity and strategy. It's about understanding what resonates with people on an emotional level, while also being able to tap into current trends and events.

So, whether you're a marketer looking to increase brand awareness or simply a content creator hoping to make a splash, understanding the science behind creating shareable content is essential.

In this article, we'll explore the key factors that contribute to the virality of content, including emotional resonance, uniqueness, timing, and storytelling. By the end of this article, you'll have a better understanding of what it takes to create content that captures the attention of millions and spreads like wildfire across the internet. So, let’s get started!

Create Content That Gets People's Hearts Racing

A woman on the street gasping at her phone

Think about the last time you saw a post or video that made you laugh, cry, or feel outraged. Chances are, you immediately wanted to share it with your friends and family. That's because content that elicits strong emotions is more likely to be shared by viewers. Emotional arousal is a crucial element in creating shareable content. Content that elicits a strong emotional response, whether positive or negative, is more likely to be shared than content that evokes no emotion at all.

Positive emotions such as joy, amusement, and inspiration are particularly effective at driving sharing behavior. People want to spread positivity and share things that make them feel good. Laughter is a particularly powerful emotion when it comes to creating viral content. Think about some of the most popular viral videos you’ve seen - many of them are likely funny videos that made you laugh until your cheeks hurt.

On the other hand, negative emotions like anger can also be effective at driving sharing behavior. When people are angry, they want to take action and make their voices heard. This can lead to the sharing of articles and posts that relate to the issue at hand. However, it’s important to note that anger is a double-edged sword - while it can be a powerful motivator for sharing, it can also be divisive and lead to backlash.

While negative emotions like sadness can also lead to sharing behavior, they are generally less effective at driving virality than positive or negative emotions. This is because people tend to shy away from sharing content that makes them feel sad or depressed.

Ultimately, the key to creating shareable content is to evoke a strong emotional response in your readers. Whether it’s joy, anger, or awe, the more powerful the emotional response, the more likely people are to share your content. So, when creating content, think about how you can tap into the emotions of your audience and create content that resonates with them on a deep level. By doing so, you’ll increase your chances of creating viral content that spreads like wildfire across the internet.

Think Out Of The Box

When it comes to creating shareable content, thinking outside the box is essential. The Internet is a crowded and competitive space, with billions of pieces of content vying for attention. To stand out in such an environment, you need to be innovative and offer something that people haven't seen before.

One way to do this is to take a fresh approach to a familiar topic. For example, if you're writing about a popular trend or event, try to offer a unique perspective or angle that hasn't been explored before. This could involve conducting original research or presenting data in a new and interesting way. Alternatively, you could try to inject humor or wit into your content, making it more engaging and memorable.

Another way to create unique content is to focus on a niche topic that hasn't been covered extensively. By catering to a specific audience or interest group, you can stand out from the competition and attract a dedicated following of fans. For example, if you're a food blogger, you could specialize in a particular cuisine or cooking style, or focus on a specific dietary restriction like veganism or gluten-free.

In addition to offering a fresh perspective, your content should also be visually appealing and easy to consume. People are more likely to share content that is visually engaging, with eye-catching images or videos that add value to the text. In addition, content that is easy to read and understand will be more likely to resonate with readers and inspire them to share it with others.

One important aspect of creating shareable content is to pay attention to trending topics and hashtags on social media. By aligning your content with popular hashtags or current events, you can tap into existing conversations and reach a wider audience. However, it's important to be authentic and genuine in your approach, rather than simply jumping on a bandwagon for the sake of gaining visibility.

Finally, it's important to experiment and try new things when it comes to creating shareable content. Not every piece of content will be a viral hit, but by testing out different formats, topics, and styles, you can learn what works best for your audience and refine your approach over time. This could involve trying out new social media platforms, experimenting with different content formats like video or podcasts, or collaborating with other creators or influencers in your niche.

Timing Is Very Crucial

Clock that shows that it's 2:12

In addition to emotional resonance, uniqueness, and visual appeal, timing is a crucial factor in creating shareable content. To maximize your chances of going viral, you need to be aware of what's going on in the world and be ready to capitalize on current events or trends. This means paying close attention to what people are talking about on social media, in the news, and in your industry.

When it comes to timing, there are two key strategies to consider: jumping on a trend or creating your own. If there is a popular trend or topic that is dominating social media or the news cycle, you can try to find a way to tie your content into that conversation. For example, if there is a new meme or hashtag that is taking off, you could create a piece of content that incorporates that trend into your message or brand.

However, it's important to be authentic and genuine in your approach. Trying to force your content into a trend or conversation that doesn't fit will likely come across as insincere or opportunistic, and could even damage your reputation. Instead, look for natural connections between your content and the trend, and use it as an opportunity to offer a unique perspective or add value to the conversation.

Alternatively, you can create your own trend or conversation by being proactive and creating content around a specific topic or theme. This could involve launching a new hashtag or campaign, hosting a social media challenge or contest, or creating a series of related posts or videos that build momentum over time.

Timing is also important when it comes to the frequency and timing of your content. Posting too often or at the wrong times can result in your content being lost in the noise or overlooked by your audience. On the other hand, posting too infrequently can make it difficult to build momentum and keep your audience engaged.

To find the right balance, you need to experiment with different posting schedules and monitor the engagement levels of your content. This will help you identify the best times to post, the optimal frequency for your audience, and the types of content that are most likely to generate shares and engagement.

Narrate A Story

A woman smiling at looking at her phone

The power of storytelling is undeniable when it comes to creating shareable content. Stories have been a part of human communication for thousands of years and are deeply ingrained in our culture and psychology. When we hear a good story, our brains release oxytocin, a hormone that promotes empathy, trust, and social bonding. This is why stories have such a powerful impact on us and why they are so effective at capturing our attention and inspiring us to take action.

When creating shareable content, it's important to think about how you can use storytelling to connect with your audience and make them care about what you're saying. This could involve using anecdotes, case studies, or personal stories to illustrate your message or highlight the impact of your product or service. You could also use storytelling to create a sense of urgency or to inspire action, by sharing stories of people who have been affected by a particular issue or by highlighting the benefits of taking a specific action.

To make your stories more engaging and shareable, it's important to focus on the elements of storytelling that resonate with your audience. This includes things like character development, conflict, resolution, and emotional impact. By creating stories that are relatable, inspiring, and emotionally resonant, you can build a deeper connection with your audience and increase the chances of your content going viral.

It's also important to think about the format of your storytelling. Video content, for example, is an incredibly powerful medium for storytelling, as it allows you to use visuals, music, and other sensory elements to create a more immersive and emotional experience for your audience. Similarly, interactive content, such as quizzes, polls, and surveys, can be a great way to engage your audience and create a sense of participation and ownership in the story.

Storytelling is a critical element of creating shareable content. By using stories to connect with your audience and make them care about what you're saying, you can increase the chances of your content going viral and inspire action and engagement. To make your stories more engaging and effective, focus on the elements of storytelling that resonate with your audience, and experiment with different formats and mediums to find what works best for your brand and message.

Final Words

In today's world of fast-paced social media, creating shareable content has become a vital part of our digital culture. However, there's no magic formula for creating viral content that will guarantee millions of views and shares. But by understanding the key factors that contribute to shareability, such as emotional resonance, uniqueness, timing, visuals, and storytelling, you can increase your chances of creating content that resonates with people and motivates them to share it with others.

At the end of the day, the most important thing is to create content that truly reflects your brand's values and mission. Your content should be engaging, informative, and valuable to your target audience. Whether it goes viral or not, it's important to focus on building relationships with your audience and creating content that adds value to their lives. So, keep experimenting, learning, and adapting your content strategy as needed, and remember that the most successful content creators are those who stay true to their brand and audience.


Well, aren’t we glad you asked! We at DigiCom are obsessive data-driven marketers pulling from multi-disciplinary strategies to unlock scale. We buy media across all platforms and placements and provide creative solutions alongside content creation, and conversion rate optimizations. We pride ourselves on your successes and will stop at nothing to help you grow.


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