Why Practical Content is 'Contagious'

In the book Contagious, Jonah Berger explains why certain brands and ideas become well-known and others don't. Discover why practical content can be newsworthy.

| Presscloud editorial

In the book Contagious, Jonah Berger explains why certain brands and ideas become well-known, while others do not. Discover why practical content can be newsworthy.

Why is some content Contagious?

In this New York Times bestseller, six reasons are mentioned for why certain things spread like a virus – making them contagious, or so-called 'Contagious'. These are:

- Social currency (We like to gain status by talking about cool or new things. Think of the iPhone.)

- Triggers (If something is top of mind, it's more likely to be on the tip of the tongue. A NASA mission to Mars led, oddly enough, to increased sales of the chocolate bar of the same name.)

- Emotion (By tapping into emotions, even negative ones, stories gain more value.)

- Public (Monkey see, monkey do. Is a product or brand visible? Why do you think the apple logo on a MacBook is always prominently visible to others?)

- Practical Value (We like to help others. Useful, bite-sized information is often shared.)

- Stories (We don't just share information, we also love to share stories. Make sure your brand is part of such a story.)

Practical content helps

The idea that practical information gets shared may seem self-evident. It's tangible that sharing relevant information is a nice way to help others. But what makes information valuable? Information that saves money, such as discounts. The question is whether it seems like a good deal, that is: what percentage the discount is. A reduction from 650 to 640 euros is less exciting than a discount from 35 to 25 euros. It's all about the ratio, in short.

But it's not just about money. Useful information also represents practical value. Enabling people to complete challenges faster, better, or more easily is also a recipe for 'contagious' content. The most forwarded content in The New York Times newsletter are about health and education, as well as recipes and interesting restaurants. Why? Because they contain practical information. This content scores because it:

- Is presented in a straightforward manner (rarely do you see 20 tips; more often it’s less than seven);

- Is specific. Content that fits a specific target group (lovers of water polo or exotic restaurants) is shared with that group. Media outlets also focus on such a specific group. Quote: “content that is obviously relevant to a narrow audience may actually be more viral.”

In other words: make news that you can use.

Three examples of practical content that scores

1: FYNCH with HR tips

FYNCH provides training in personal development. By sharing a number of tips in this area, it can profile itself as an expert in this field. This makes the message relevant for HR trade journals and highlights the organization to the target group. This led to several publications, including at Business Amsterdam.

Six tips for organizations wanting to get more from their professionals

Ensuring professionals perform better and stay longer with your company is more urgent than ever in the current job market. This is stated by the founder of FYNCH, Edwin Hansma, an expert in behavioral change within organizations. He provides six tips for employers and (HR) managers on how to allow employees to excel even in times of technological changes.

2: Bureau Mirck with PR tips for startups

When I began my career as a freelance PR consultant, I wanted to ensure that I would be easily found. Anyone looking for 'PR' and 'startups' had to find me. That's why I wrote a blog for FrankWatching where I shared four tips for PR for startups.

PR: 4 tips to successfully launch your startup

You have a functioning platform, website, or app. Through advertisements on social media, you generate the first traffic and you notice your idea is catching on. But you want more app downloads or visitors. What now? Free publicity (PR) is the way to make your company known to the general public – and these tips will help you with that.

3: Momice on events

Momice developed registration software that makes life easier for event professionals. To come into the picture with this target group, Momice shares tips on how to organize successful PR events. This led to publicity on, among others, MarketingTribune.nl. Below you will find the start of the press release.

How do you get journalists to your PR event?

Events are a proven means to generate PR for a brand or organization. But it is increasingly difficult to organize a successful PR event these days. For example, how do you ensure that the press comes to your event? Rutger Bremer of Momice has practical tips.

I asked, among others, Hans van der Beek, a Parool journalist from the famous column Schuim, what motivates him to come to an event. Merlin Melles, founder of Founders Carbon Network (fCN), the 'network queen of the Netherlands', also shares tips.

Need more tips?

Try searching Google News for 'tips for'. Or click onthis link. So you can find even more inspiration for this form of content.

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