7 Key Components of Viral Messages
In a world of 7.5 billion people, it takes real skill to not be ignored and forgotten.
In August 1991, there was exactly 1 website in the world. Now there are about 1,000,000,000 (and there are about 4.9 billion actual web pages).
If your business ideas (or personal ones) don’t captivate fast, they are lost in the “Attention Deficit Disorder” modern world.
My guess is that at any point in the last 10,000 years it’s been hard to grab attention and mindshare. And it’s not getting any easier.
Can you please use the data? Please!?!?
This is the most simple and most overlooked part of making a viral ANYTHING.
Look at the data. What is the data telling you?
It’s so weird. Here’s an example of what I’m talking about. Whenever I go to someone’s Instagram page, and I see a post that gets, let’s say…200 likes. And then I look at the 5 posts after that, and they’re getting…I don’t know, 100 likes, maybe not even that.
I always ask the question in my head:
Why aren’t they posting similar stuff to whatever they posted that got 200 likes?
Do more of what works! Your data is telling you what your audience likes. So why would you deviate from what’s already shown to work?
We are interested in stories about humans!!
Are you a human? Is that too simple of a question? Well, the answer is as simple as the question.
Jim Davies is a cognitive scientist who says you have to understand 6 things about the human brain to win friends and influence people:
There are two components here. One is that we like stories. Interestingly, he says women like fiction stories the most.
The second part is that we don’t want abstract stories. Your audience wants real life, anecdotes. Real human stories about things that happen to other real human beings.
A good old-fashioned story, yes really. Why? Because we want something relatable. Why do you think reality TV shows are so popular? Why are the Kardashian and Jenner clan so well-known? Think about it.
We pay particular attention to things we hope or fear are true
Reward and punishment.
Like Freud said in “Civilization and it’s Discontents”:
“What [does] the behavior of men themselves reveals as the
purpose and object of their lives, what they demand of life and wish to attain in it. The answer to this can hardly be in doubt: they seek happiness, they want to become happy and to remain so. There are two sides to this striving, a positive and a negative; it aims on the one hand at eliminating pain and discomfort, on the other at the experience of intense pleasures.”
As you seek to influence, be sure to modulate between the 2 prime incentives of the human mind.
We delight in finding patterns
This is why every good song, from Bach to the Beatles, has a chorus.
Something that repeats that your audience’s minds can latch on to. People want constancy and security.
They find this in patterns.
Think of every song you’ve ever liked. Chances are…it had a memorable chorus that you couldn’t get out of your head.
We are attracted to incongruity, apparent contradictions, novelty, and puzzles
The irony is that if the patterns we love become too predictable, we get bored. That’s why no adult really goes around singing ‘row, row, row your boat.”
It’s too simple.
You have to bring insight. We’re not 3 years old anymore. Funny I mention that because it’s been raining quite a bit here in Southern California, and my 3-year old repeats the rain rain go away song, like 24-7. I love the little guy, but the song on repeat…it gets a bit old!
People have to learn something from you that they never have heard before. Or at least never heard in quite the same way as you put it.
The nature of our bodies, the nature of our eyes, and other sense organs, affects what kinds of things draw us
We are material beings. YouTube, Snapchat, Instagram… These platforms are more powerful than radio because it uses 2 senses: the eyes and ears, while radio only uses one.
On August 1, 1981 MTV launched the first music video.
The record companies freaked out (and rightly so – the writing was on the wall way back then). Guess what the first music video was called? “Video Killed the Radio Star” by The Buggles.
Fast forward to now and guess what is the #1 thing people watch on YouTube?
Apparently nothing changes!
We have certain psychological traits, many of which are evolved, that make us like and dislike, believe and disbelieve
We humans are predictable. Once you tap into some inherent traits, persuasion is easy.
Go out and practice.
Tell a new story.
Perfect a good joke.
Try out for open mic at a comedy club.
Revisit your website or your business marketing and see what needs to be adjusted to match up better with these 6 rules so that you can compel, fascinate, and persuade everyone you meet.
Check out my new book “Words into Cash” here on Amazon!
My guide-to-blogging book was the #1 Best Seller on Amazon in the New Releases category for 4 weeks in a row! Enjoy, and I’d appreciate you leaving a review on Amazon letting me know what you thought about the book, because I read them! Cheers!