So your friend would be Bender if he were in the Breakfast Club according to BuzzFeed. How about that? And people are clicking all over that stuff and sharing liberally. Someone somewhere is getting your feed’s attention and it wasn’t you. You know why? Apparently that stuff is fun. Not for me, per se, but for the gaggle of people I know on Facebook it must be the most fun thing in the world. And guess what, people like fun. At first, I thought this was all about the fun, but then I realized, it is exactly the type of fun people like. They like fun that is all about them.
So, if you can make your content fun and totally focused on the id and ego of the reader…#win. But what if your brand isn’t inherently fun? There are a ton of products and services in the world that are not at all fun, no matter what. What if you’re a bank or a cable company or other utility? No offense banks and cable companies, but it is the rare individual who views your products and services as “fun”. Yes, cable companies provide entertainment, and banks can help you buy something fun like a motorcycle, but they are merely the conduits to fun. They aren’t the backbone of fun.
And who says you have to be fun to be successful? I mean, obviously, it helps. People want to laugh and be entertained. But the truth is a lot of energy is focused on creating fun even when there isn’t much in to bank on for a brand. And to this I say, look at the example above and note there are two reasons these quizzes work and have long legs. It is fun AND all about the reader. So, if you can’t exactly locate the fun in your brand… [BROKEN RECORD ALERT] focus on the reader.
Unless of course your content is already super engaging and successful; if that’s you, feel free to read something else at this time. If this isn’t you and you are wishing that more people engaged with your content, forget about fun for now and see how you can put your reader in the center of the content. Because what’s really working about the BuzzFeed quiz is that people like it when it’s all about them and they can share these little nuggets about themselves with their friends. And to get it working, we need to be making it all about them, and a little bit about us.
Point is, fun isn’t the only way to go viral. You can get traction by putting the reader right in the middle of your content. Help them along in their journey. Inspire them. Create awe.
Do a quick audit
Go back and look at your last 10 pieces of content, could be a combination of Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn updates. If you have a blog, look at the last 5 or so posts look at what you wrote. Is if about your brand? The reader? How can the reader get more out of your brand? What’s the mix? Then look at the ones that were solely about you. Were these the majority of the posts? If so, take a look and see if you can take any of the content you posted and make it about the reader? I am not saying that all your content should put the reader in the center; I am saying that a good chunk of it should.
Enough about you, let’s talk about me.
If we want our content to be shared with others (and I suspect that if you are reading this post, you really do want this) then we need to find ways to put the reader at the center of the content. How can we make our content all about them? That is the $1,000,000 question. And often times, the reader doesn’t know until they see it. So we must test different types of content. Find new ways to make the content all about them. Satisfy their needs to be first. And if you can be fun at the same time, good Lord, do that. But put the reader first and see what happens.