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To Reach Prolific Content Sharers, Lay Off the Humor
Editor’s note: Dan Zarrella has put together a viral content sharing report and below is a small part of the report focusing on content types and online content sharing.
When most people think of viral content, one of the first things they think of is humor, silly Youtube videos, hilarious cartoons and toungue-in-cheek articles, but as I discovered with my viral content sharing report, the most savvy and prolific viral sharers prefer spreading news more than humor.
When I looked at the profile segments I constructed out of the survey data, I noticed a pattern among those respondents who frequently used new and geeky social web technologies, like Twitter and Digg: they prefer sharing funny content less than their less-social-media-savvy counterparts. The same pattern appears for frequent users of less bleeding-edge technologies (like blogs and Facebook), but it is far less accute.
Not only did I observe this preference when the respondents were sharing content individually with their friends, but also when they’re sharing in one-to-many ways (broadcast sharing, like submitting to Digg, Tweeting or blogging):
One possible reason for this may be that savvy social media users have become desensitized to all the “funny” attempts at viral content and have much higher funny-enough-to-share thresholds.
When I looked at those users who shared content more frequently or with more people than the average respondent I noticed the same trend:
Even if your ultimate target market is not early-adopter geeks, as a viral marketer it still pays off to focus on the types of content these highly prolific users prefer to share, as they’re the ones who are more likely to spread your content and when they do they can spread it much further. When you’re developing your next piece of hopefully-viral content, keep this in mind and instead of reaching for the trusty humor hook, try something timely or useful (like a how-to).
This is a small part of the large data presented in the full report I did on the results of my survey, if you want to know more, be sure to read the rest of my viral content sharing report.