Il contenuto è più “virale” se provoca delle emozioni

Il contenuto è più “virale” se provoca delle emozioni

Il livello di emozione che caratterizza il modo in cui è stato scritto un contenuto (o un argomento) influisce sulla sua diffusione “virale”, cioè incoraggia gli individui a trasferire un messaggio ad altri, favorendo la circolazione e la diffusione spontanea e propagando in maniera esponenziale quel messaggio.

A questo importante risultato sono giunti due professori della Wharton School (USA, Pennsylvania), Jonah Berger e Katherine L. Milkman, che hanno condotto un recente studio su “the most emailed articles” del New York Times per un periodo di tre mesi.

Il loro obiettivo era quello di capire quale genere di contenuto ha più probabilità di essere condiviso tra le persone, cioè qual è la “viralità” del contenuto (come viene definita da Berger e Milkman).

Scrivono Berger e Milkman:

Sharing online content is an integral part of modern life. People forward newspaper articles to their friends, pass YouTube videos to their relatives, and send restaurant review to their neighbors. Indeed, 59% of individuals say they frequently share online content with others, and someone tweets a link to a New York Times story once every four seconds. Such social transmission also has an important impact on both consumers and brands. Decades of research suggest that impersonal communication affects attitudes and decisions making … and recent work has demonstrated the casual impact of word-of-mouth on product adoption and sales …

But while it is clear that social transmission is both frequent and important, less is known about why certain pieces of online content are more viral than others.

Some stories about customer service experiences spread throughout the blogsphere while others are never shared. Some newspaper articles earn a position on their website’s “most emailed list” while others languish.

In genere si ritiene che le persone condividano dei contenuti perché vengono ritenuti utili, importati, interessanti. La ricerca ha però dimostrato che anche il grado di emozione che il contenuto provoca gioca un ruolo importante nella sua diffusione “virale”.  

Un contento positivo, ottimistico viene diffuso più facilmente di uno negativo, pessimistico. Ma un ruolo probabilmente maggiore, nella diffusione del contenuto, è data dall’intensità dell’emozione provocata dal contenuto. In particolare:

The relationship between emotion and social transmission is more complex than valence alone, and is driven in part by activation. Content that evokes either positive (awe) or negative (anger or anxiety) emotions characterized by activation (i.e., high arousal) is more viral.

Content that evokes deactivating emotion (sadness) is less viral.


Positive and negative emotions characterized by activation (i.e., awe, anxiety, and anger) are positively linked to virality, while emotions characterized by deactivation (i.e., sadness) are negatively linked to virality.


Fonte: The Situationist

La ricerca è stata poi estesa per verificarne la validità generale. E’ stato dimostrato che i risultati hanno una validità che va oltre gli articoli di giornale. In particolare:

When marketing content evoked more of specific emotions characterized by activation (i.e., amusement or anger) it was more likely to be shared, but when it which evoked specific emotion characterized by deactivation (i.e., sadness) it was actually less likely to be shared.

The fact that these effects are mediated by activation further underscores the driving role of activation in social transmission. 

Implicazioni per il marketing

Quali sono quindi le implicazioni per chi lavora nel marketing?

Berger e Milkman sottolineano:

More generally, our findings shed light on how to design successful viral marketing campaigns and craft contagious content. While marketers often produce content that paints their product in a positive light, our results suggest that content will be more likely to be shared if it evokes specific emotions characterized by activation.

Come è stato evidenziato da Jesse Noyes di Eloqua:

Paying attention to the specific emotions content illicit could drive decisions on what how articles are written, where advertisements are placed, how lead nurturing campaigns are crafted, even the design of marketing collateral [l’evidenziazione in grassetto è mia].

Quindi, invece di scrivere dei contenuti freddi, molto tecnici, è consigliabile costruire dei contenuti che, in qualche modo, riescano a coinvolgere i sentimenti e l’emotività di chi li legge.

Non è semplice. Per questo motivo di solito si consiglia di rivolgersi a qualche esperto nella scrittura dei testi, in modo da renderli più coinvolgenti.

Chas Cooper consiglia d’ispirarsi alle tecniche utilizzate dai più grandi storyteller:

Want prospects to get past the subject line of your e-mails or read past the hook in the first part of your first sentence? Want that elevator pitch to lead to a meeting by the time you step off the elevator?

Surprise your audience with something that makes sense to them, but then adds an unexpected twist. Then leave them wanting to find out more.

Storytellers use cliffhangers to keep an audience hanging on to every words. Will the hero hanging from the cliff climb to safety? Or will he plummet a thousand feet to his doom? Stay tuned for the next chapter, episode, blog post, white paper to find out.

B2b marketers can use cliffhangers to keep the prospects wanting to keep consuming content until our full message has been delivered. Or we can use cliffhangers to drive self selection. Want to know more? Register for the webinar. Sign up for that free trial. Subscribe to that newsletter.

E ancora:

At the heart of every story is dramatic tension. Without a conflict or problem to be solved, there is no story. Storytellers create dramatic tension out of battles between good and devil, relationships conflicts between characters, or seemingly insurmountable obstacles on the road to an important goal. The reader keeps reading the story because they want to find out how the dramatic tension will be resolved.

Marketers can find sources of dramatic tension in the conflicts between their customers and the problems their customers face. How will Bob the IT Guy build that system in just 3 months? Can Bob the builder do it? Yes, he can! He faces many obstacles along the way, but Bob finds a way to wield the marketer’s products to overcome every obstacles.

For dramatic tension to work, you have to prove that the caracters are worth caring about and the problem they face is serious. This is where marketers can tell stories about characters their market will identify with, characters who attack problems that are on the top of their prospects’ priority list.

Volete saperne di più su come dovrebbero essere scritti i contenuti per “coltivare” i lead durante una campagna di lead nurturing?

Stay tuned for the next blog post!


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