The Craft of Contagious Content

Last updated on June 13th, 2023

Natasha Hoke
Natasha Hoke

Having a guide to follow when creating content is great, but what about when you want it to become viral? This is a six part series of short videos that outline Jonah Berger’s book ‘Contagious’, which talks about what kind of content goes viral and why.


## 1. Social currency

The things we say and the things we share reflect on us. Things are remarkable because they deviate from the expected. Status — social currency is better if other people can see it.

2. Triggers

Environmental reminders, songs, the smell of food, triggers drive word of mouth. Eg. Rebecca Black’s Friday was partly successful due to search terms and triggers.

3. Emotion

“When we care, we share.”

The more emotions we feel towards something, we are more likely to share. Excitement or positivity is more likely to be passed on. However, negativity is also shared because they are both arousal emotions.

4. Public

We have to see something to imitate; the more public something is, the easier it is to imitate. Behavioural residue, e.g. Movember.

5. Practical value

Useful information, people want to be useful to others, and by sharing content that holds practical value, they are fulfilling that.

6. Stories

People you know are more believable than adverts. Stories are better for sharing as they can be broken down into smaller bits of information.


Natasha Hoke
Natasha Hoke

Natasha Hoke was Upscope's head of marketing.