How to Go Viral - Insights from 100 Million Facebook Videos


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Greetings everyone, my name is Julie Masters and welcome to another episode of Inside Influence. In which I delve into the minds of some of the world’s most fascinating influencers – or experts in influence - to get to the bottom of what it really takes to own your voice - and then amplify it to drive an industry, a conversation, a movement or a nation.

This episode is about one thing. Content.

All courtesy of my next guest - who has to be one of the biggest experts in digital influence out there. Or more specifically, an expert in what makes a piece of content – whether that’s a headline, a blog, a video, a social post or an article – actually get traction.

His name is Steve Rayson and he heads up a company called Buzz Sumo. For those of you that haven’t come across Buzz Sumo before – you should. It’s of one of the primary tools I use when figuring out how to help clients stand out and get cut through in their particular space.

To put it in a nut shell - Buzzsumo analyses millions of pieces of content - across all major digital platforms – in order to tell you what key topics, headlines, questions and trends are gaining the most traction - including who the key influencers are in that space.

To give you an example – they recently analysed 500 million Facebook posts, 100 million Facebook videos and 100 million articles - some of the largest Facebook research studies to date – to figure out what posting times, types, styles and structures got the most traction. That’s one hell of a lot of data – and one hell of a lot of insights. Some of which we dive into in this conversation.

Anyone that knows me – knows I can nerd out on stuff like this. However there is a reason…

If you are trying to stand out in your industry by creating compelling content – as I know many of you that I hear from are – then you know how much time and resources it can take. The biggest mistake I see people making is going out there blind – trying to imagine what people want to hear from you, what they will find engaging – or worse still just using your own tastes as a guide.

One of the biggest questions I get asked about digital influence and storytelling is this - what should I post about, where and when? The answer I always give is – I don’t know – but you should.

As content creators – in the world of earning and keeping attention. It is your job to find out. What are your audience interested in? What are they searching for? WHERE are they searching for it? How do they prefer to consume their content? What’s the key to getting them to share so you can hopefully go viral? Answer those questions first - and you’ll be miles ahead of the game as an industry influencer.

So… that’s why I stalked Steve from the other side of the planet to get him in the show. That’s also what we are going to be geeking out over today. Using the insane amounts of data he and his team have access to – in order to answer to some pretty big content questions. Including:

· What’s the most compelling structure for a blog headline, and are there any specific words that reliably get the most clicks?

· What are the absolute key things we need to know when creating compelling online video content?

· Are there hacks to using newer platforms like Facebook Live and Instagram Stories? A key for anyone just starting out – ignore the rest and go straight to this part

· Plus what’s the ONE thing that separates content that actually gets engagement - from content that just sits there and gathers dust.

If content is king, then consider this episode a guidebook from the King’s chief of strategy.

So grab a pen, paper, a napkin, your dog – I don’t mind – whatever will sit still long enough for you to get these tools down. So you can go out there tomorrow and develop a content strategy that is clear, streamlined, informed – and most importantly - effective.

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