A study by Sharpe Partners, an interactive marketing agency, revealed that over 89% of adult Internet users in America share content with others via e-mail, instant message or through social media. This is excellent news for those companies who use self-propelling word-of-mouth techniques to sell their products or services.
The study generated some interesting results regarding the type of content that is most often forwarded, as well. The most popular content is humorous material.
The second most popular category is news, followed by healthcare and medical information, religious and spiritual material, games, business and personal finance information and sports/hobbies, in that order. So it is easy to see that humor is the best content for your viral e-mail or social media campaign.
Cartoons, jokes and funny video clips are among the things that can be added to an e-mail or a tweet to insure that it will go viral. People will want to pass along something that makes them laugh.
They are a lot more likely to hit the forward button and send your email or tweet to their friends and relatives if it is an “advertainment” rather than an advertisement.
Years ago, about 35 million people got an e-mail containing a picture taken at Disneyland. It took a minute to see it but there was Donald Duck lying prone in front of the famous Cinderella Castle. The title of the picture was “Bird Flu has hit Disneyland”. It was a viral e-mail advertising effort Disneyland used to make light of what’s serious… And it worked!
I estimate well over 35 million people who own a computer, tablet or smart phone have seen that picture and thus the advertisement for Disneyland. The bird flu epidemic is newsworthy and has the potential to attract an enormous amount of attention to any brand that might, for whatever reason, associate itself with it.
Remember that people are much more likely to share a joke or a funny picture than anything else so you would be well advised to include humor in your forthcoming e-mail and social media campaigns.