Why do people share content

Content Marketing Psychology: What motivates people to share content

"Can you create a viral YouTube video, a viral Facebook campaign, a viral Twitter action for us?" This is the kind of question that we keep hearing in marketing. Understandable: a viral brand hit can be worth its weight in gold. The problem: We only have limited influence on the distribution of content. For a while we believed in Malcolm Gladwell's thesis and considered the influencers in the market to be guarantors of viral success. Hits like the Dove videos - you can find the latest patch clip below - have taught us otherwise: Broad, social dispersion is not done by a small group of VIPs, but by willing masses. But what causes these masses to forward content? Jonah Berger answers this question in his book "Contagious: Why Things Catch On”Followed up. The marketing professor at the eminent Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania found out that viral successes are by no means lucky. Rather, they followed a scientifically verifiable pattern that illustrates six human motivations for forwarding content. Those who know these motivations and align their messages accordingly will celebrate viral success.
Berger calls these motivations STEPPS and lists them as follows:

  1. Social Currency: People forward content that increases their own prestige, such as insider tips that reveal their insider knowledge.
  2. Triggers: They share content when activated, for example via a marketing campaign or current events.
  3. Emotion: They share content that affects them, amuses them, annoys them, touches them.
  4. Public: They follow the herd effect and pass on what others pass on.
  5. Practical Value: They pass on practical, valuable content - content that they think others could use as well.
  6. Stories: You share engaging content, stories, gripping, interesting stories.

The motivators above make sense, and marketers should keep them in mind when planning and measuring their next marketing action. “Companies focus far too much on technology and too little on psychology,” explains Berger. It is not primarily about chasing marketing successes on social media such as Facebook, Twitter and YouTube. Technologies are quickly becoming obsolete, and word of mouth is only a small part of it online. Rather, companies should learn to understand what actually motivates people, and especially their target groups, to forward content in the virtual and real world.

From the marketing metropolis New York:
Yvette Schwerdt

Author: y.schwerdt

Yvette Schwerdt is an expert in international marketing with a focus on Germany / America. She heads MADE-to-MARKET, New York. The agency supports companies from German-speaking countries with their US market presence and American companies doing business in Germany. In her articles, columns and lectures, Yvette Schwerdt gives a lecture on interesting, instructive marketing news. View all posts by y.schwerdt

Author y.schwerdtPosted on Categories USA MarketingTags Content Marketing, Dove Patch, Social Media Marketing, Viral Marketing, viral Video, Viral Marketing, YouTube Marketing