Contagious Content is a mast to go viral online. In the next post a SlideShare presentation of Brian Sullivan (@BrianKSullivan) is combined with the insight of Jonah Berger, author of the book: Six Principles to Make Your New Initiatives Contagious. Besides I have one of my previous post Coca cola content marketing: linked & liquid in mind. Based on these insight I will give my view on contagious content for travel.

At first travel. Travel stories are inspiring. If friends tells their travel stories supported with pictures and movies (and you like it), it is an inspiration to define your next trip or holiday. One-to-one it works contagious, but how to make it contagious, make it go viral…

Contagious – Why things catch on:

1. Social Currency

  • Making people feel like smart insiders when they use your product or become involved in an initiative is important to moving new ideas. People enjoy telling others what they know and sharing a good thing through conversations, blogs, tweets or Facebook. Berger describes this word of mouth as social currency. The Magnet hospital designation is an example of an initiative that has achieved strong social currency in nursing. Source: Johan Berger
  • People care about how they look to others. They want to seem smart, cool and in-the-know: So be sure to find the inner-remarkability (Will it blend?) and make people feel like insiders (Please Don’t tell)
  • Sharable information to make us feel good in our circle (Source: Brian Sullivan).




Social Currency for travel:
Your trips are what you are and also how people look at you. The nicer your present your trip, the more share-worthy it is (Wendy Clark from Coca Cola calls it #BeShareWorthy).

2. Triggers

  • Triggers are stimuli that help prompt people to think about your product or initiative. Berger offers a number of interesting ways that triggers can work. In elections as an example, people are less likely to vote against legislation that will decrease funding to schools if they are voting in a school. One especially effective trigger in public health was the use of the Marlboro Cowboy telling another rider that he had emphysema. This ad was so effective that many people admitted that when they see a Marlboro ad, they think about the cowboy with the emphysema. Source: Johan Berger
  • Top-of-mind means tip-of-tongue. So consider the context (Rebecca Black) and your habitat so that people are frequently triggered to think about your product or idea.
  • Sights sounds and stimuli that reminds us to share (Source: Brian Sullivan).

Triggers for travel:
Showing travel pictures with famous places and tell the story around. Famous places can be the trigger.

3. Emotion

  • If we care about something, we will share it. Crafting messages that will capture people’s emotion is important. The emotion may be a sense of awe or a recognition that something could be very useful to someone else such as an article on personal finance or a health issue. Susan Boyle’s You-tube performance from Britain’s Got Talent is one of the most watched videos in the world today. The audience connected with her story. Berger recommends that when crafting your message. Source: Johan Berger
  • focus on feelings and not just on the information
  • When we care, we share. Emotional content often goes viral. (united Breaks, Susan Boyle). So focus on feelings rather then function. And kindle fire using arousal emotions.
  • When we care, we share. Arousal leads people to take action.
  • Emotions are contagious
  • Seven most viral emotions:
    1. Awe (combination of surprise and fear)
    2. Anger
    3. Anxiety
    4. Fear
    5. Joy
    6. Lust
    7. Surprise
  • – Create a Call-to-passion (Source: Brian Sullivan)

Emotion for travel:
The travel story is about emotions. Most emotions will be Joy and Surprise. Maybe there is a way to add Awe in the travel story.

4. Public

  • An initiative or idea is much more likely to be contagious if it can be made public and is readily observable to others. People are more likely to seek services when it seems to be publicly in demand. Observability has a huge impact on whether products or ideas catch on. Wrist bands to promote causes are popular for this reason. The I Voted stickers make a private act much more public and encourages others to vote. Source: Johan Berger
  • Built to show, built to grow. The more public something is, the more likely people will imitate it. Design products and initiatives that advertise themselves (red button shoes) and create some visual behavioral residue (Livestrong bracelets)
  • Content is build to show and grow in a public way
  • Behavior residue: Social deposits of our own personality
  • Approver, Commenter, Reporter, Broadcaster, Believer, Fan (Source: Brian Sullivan)

Public for travel:
Here is a challenge. Who may be interesting, besides your friends in your travel stories. The challenge is to make the story in a way a certain niche audience maybe interested in it. An example can be hidden treasuries you found during your holiday.

5. Practical Value

  • People enjoy helping others so if we can demonstrate that a product, idea or initiative has practical value – they are more likely to pass it on. I recently had a friend tell a large audience about a wonderful experience he had in medical office where there was a clear focus on not wasting his time as a patient. Everyone was intrigued about the seamless care he described as he went from one diagnostic test to another. Source: Johan Berger
  • News you can use. Useful things get shared. So highlight incredible value (Rule of 100) and package knowledge and expertise so that people can easily pass it on (Corn shucking video)
  • News people can use or something with a concrete value
  • People helping people (Source: Brian Sullivan)

Practical value for travel:
Some people have lack of time, other people have lack of money. In both cases you want to have the highest value from your holiday. Finding the places where you can spend the limited time or limited budget you have.

6. Stories

  • The last principle discussed by Berger is the need to wrap your idea or initiative around a broader narrative through telling a story. The highly respected journal Health Affairs recently added a section to their journal called narrative matters. The goal here is to highlight the need for health reform by telling the stories of how fragmented care is in our current system. These stories are quite compelling and make the point for public policy makers in a way that no list of facts ever could.
  • Information travels under what seems like idle chatter. Stories are vessels. So build a Trojan horse. A narrative or story that people want to tell (Jared from subway) which carries you idea along for the ride. Source: Johan Berger
  • Everyone loves a good story. You love to hear tell, and share stories.
  • Stories are more trustworthy then ads
  • Stories are more trustworthy then facts (Source: Brian Sullivan)

Stories for travel
Travel stories, stories and stories in pictures, video and text. That is where it is all about.

But it is still the question, how to make travel content viral?

Interview with Jonah Berger

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