Conversation Mining – The Key To Viral Content

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Can you make content go viral? It’s a question that marketers have been asking for the past ten years or more. Because, let’s face it, if there was a way to engineer that kind of reach, our jobs would be much, much easier.

The thing is, the virtue of viral content is that it is organic in nature. As we’ve seen from grumpy cat, the dress and the double rainbow video (to name but a few of this generation’s internet phenomena), the success of this kind of content is mostly unintentional, and it’s that magical accidental quality which makes it so self-amplifying.

For that reason, it can be very tricky and even risky for a brand to try and force intense circulation, as it goes against the very essence of what viral is. Even so much as attaching the word ‘viral’ to a campaign or a blog post is an immediate turn-off for users.

So if that’s truly the case, how is it that some brands and companies are able to continually orchestrate viral reach, get people talking and compel viewers to share their content?

Through much analysis, marketers have determined that having an emotional trigger within your content is the key to firing up your audience. Making them feel something powerful; be it happiness, sadness, rage or gratitude, creates a potent connection between the viewer and the content which can make it spread wildfire.

However, having had a touch of viral success, I have discovered an additional strategy that, when implemented in conjunction with an emotional pull, can be extremely effective in encouraging engagement. That technique is called Conversation Mining.

What is Conversation Mining?

Conversation Mining is what, I believe, led me to create five viral blog posts in a row, reaching millions of people, which is quite a feat for a locally run Irish parcel company. It’s a technique I have been refining and with each tweak and improvement, each new blog post is driving higher levels of increased traffic to our website overnight.

Conversation Mining is the action of visiting other popular blogs, websites and forums within your industry, and digging through the comments sections. Not entirely ground-breaking, is it? But it works.

This is because, comments sections are filled with pure market research gold. This is where your audience go to express their true feelings, emotions and opinions. It’s user generated content that gives an insight into the mind of your audience and provides you with information that analytics simply can’t uncover.

By mining conversations, you will observe the topics and subjects that your audience are talking about and the articles which are stirring the most engagement. I like to take note of these observations – screenshot them and document them and then look back for inspiration next time I’m writing a blog post.

How does Conversation Mining work?

If social media has taught us anything, it’s that people love to talk about themselves. Pictures of your lunch, your pets, your home, selfies, couple photos etc are all evidence of this.

So by Conversation Mining, you are feeding your audience’s observations back to them within your content. And you are giving them the opportunity to share something about themselves by sharing your post.

In addition, and possibly most importantly, Conversation Mining allows you to pay close attention to and mimic the language and tone that your audience uses. The more relatable and ‘one of them’ you can make yourself, the more engaged your audience will be and the more likely they will be to share your content.

Why is Conversation Mining important?

When it comes to content marketing of any kind, your audience are the key players. They are your publishers and their choice of whether or not to share your content, dictates if it will go viral.

For that reason, what you write and they way you write needs to be 100% relatable to them. As these are their personal social profiles, the content they share on these platforms has to be something that they want to express to others and tell the world.

Online brand-customer relationships are exactly the same as they are in real life; they’re based on listening to the customer’s needs and serving them. If your content can perform this act, and stir emotion within your audience, you have a very powerful tool at your disposal.

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