How Viral Content Ties in with Data-driven Marketing

June, 19 2017

Social media has not only given marketers an easy way to connect with their fans, but also a fantastic chance to reach new audiences by creating viral content. However, going viral is easier said than done. Marketers needs to put themselves into minds of their audience and understand what makes people click and share content. Not to mention adding customer data to find how it corresponds with the inner workings of the mind.

Web psychologist and author, Natalie Nahai, spends a lot of her time researching these topics. She’s best selling author of Webs of Influence, founder of Humanise the web and member of the Social Media Week advisory board. After her celebrated speech at EME2016, she’s back for EME207 with a mission: To show marketers how to maximise social media with data-driven strategies.

Nathalie Nahai

Nathalie Nahai speaking at EME2016.

Hi, Nathalie! We’re very excited to have you back for EME2017, can you give us a short teaser about your topic?

Thank you, I’m really excited to be joining you again! So, this year I’ll be exploring the psychology behind social behaviour, and reveal the underlying principles, triggers and social dynamics that underpin how and why we share. From topical memes to viral videos, we’ll look at what it takes to make a customer click, and how you can use specific techniques to invite people to read, watch and share anything. We’ll also explore the psychological mechanics that make our social feeds so irresistible, and discuss how you can use these principles ethically in your business.

Most marketers aim to go viral, but far from everyone succeed. What’s the most common mistake marketers do when trying to create shareable content?

I think that the biggest misconception is the idea that you can ‘make a viral campaign’ in the first place. If you’re creative and strategic, you can establish the conditions for something to to be shared organically at an exponential rate by producing fantastic, compelling content optimised for a specific channel and intended target audience.

What’s your advice to marketers who wants to go viral?

To give yourself the best chance of success, you need to understand the psychological context of your audience, and based on their preferences and motivations, you need to be able to design platform-specific content that will provoke the desired emotional reaction in the people you’re trying to reach.

How can data help marketers better understand their audience’s psychological context?

In recent years, a growing body of research has explored how personality traits can both shape our online behaviours and, conversely, be extracted from the digital footprints we leave behind. From designing pro-social messages focussing on relational ties to engage those who score highly in agreeableness, to using messages that focus on novelty, excitement and exhilaration for the more open and extravert, there are many ways you can split test copy and images to both identify and target traits in your audience members.

Want to get the full story from Nathalie and other digital marketing influencers? Grab your ticket for EME2017!