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How to engineer virality
BY BRENDAN KANE
Recently, while speaking at an event, I was asked whether virality on digital platforms is luck and if it could be engineered.
It can be engineered, I said.
This was also something I discussed during my recent Content Creation Coaching call for the One million Views Club. Naveen, my creative director, and I shared our insights about how virality is achieved. We also discussed content from Gary Vaynerchuk and Prince EA.
First, let me be clear: Finding a formula that drives virality takes time. Every person is different.
Gary and Prince EA are major influencers who have tried many different content versions to find what works best for them. You must do the same to be a success on digital platforms.
Here are two strategies that we have found to work fairly universally.
Successive creators have distinctive aspects to their content that connect with their audience. This is called “Trademark Feel”.
Prince EA’s trademark cadence is unique. Gary Vaynerchuk is famous for his trademark energy. Naveen used it when creating food content that had a distinctive look. This helps you keep your followers interested in your content, beyond the first piece that grabs their attention.
Most viral content has an unexpected angle, which gets people to notice it. This technique is called “misdirection” and it’s used by comedians for joke construction. Your audience will stay more engaged if you surprise them.
Gary Vaynerchuck, for example, was asked for his advice on life and replied, “That’s stupid question.” This was totally unexpected and made his audience eager to learn more.
The same strategy has been used by brands like Purple Mattress, Ax and Dollar Shave Club to create viral campaigns.
You can use it to your advantage with your content. Think about ways you can make your content unique and surprise your audience. You can then experiment to see what works. You might also find this post helpful about creating your hookpoint.
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