Break the Internet: How Cannabis Brands Can Use Viral Content to Boost Audience

Posted by Refined Bud on March 9, 2016 in blog

We’ve all been there. You’re in a meeting and your boss demands your next social media post “go viral.” Most social media professionals would push back because there is no surefire way to make something go viral. It’s mostly sheer luck, right timing, and an intelligent marketing and communications team. Refined Bud worked with our cannabis social media experts to come up with 4 tips to boost your chances of going viral on social media.

  1. Using Data as Visual Content

Incorporating a measurable figure that can bring perspective to facts and figures is a way that sparks a user’s interest. For example, when tweeting as an advocate for the legalization of cannabis nationwide, you should use the data of revenues from cannabis to show how that money is being used to fund social programs helping the community. Refined Bud created the graphic below to give emotional weight to the facts.

02_19_2016_Refined_Bud_Image_For_Smolter_Blog copy.jpg

Data may seem like useless numbers, facts, or boring scientific knowledge, but you can turn this into measurable content that helps people identify with your brand or product. Not only does measurable content bring perspective, but it educates your customers about an industry on the threshold of big business and a huge influx of cash. Further, interesting data that is new to the user and of interest increases the likelihood that a user will share your content.

  1. Delivery is KEY

Knowing your audience and getting the right content in front of them is a major key to marketing in any industry. Increasing your market share and expanding your audiences involves taking risks and creating new content that is relevant to the target audience and delivering it appropriately.  Delivering your message correctly is just as important as the message itself. You can write an interesting blog or create a fascinating figure, but if your audience doesn’t notice it, did it actually deliver?

For example, Pepsi Max wanted to increase their market share among young adults so they created a campaign relating the unbelievable taste (and zero calories) of incredible young adults who are stars on YouTube. They published a series of videos on a YouTube channel because the content was specific to that audience and it was an appropriate site to share extended videos. If these were published on Twitter, the campaign would not have succeeded, because Twitter is not compatible videos that are long and heavily produced.  

Not all audiences get along with your preferred delivery method and this tip can severely backfire (it’s one of the reasons cannabis companies are getting kicked off of facebook and Instagram) so we recommend using this tip with the coaching from our social media experts at Refined Bud. We’ll help to identify appropriate social media delivery channels for audiences without the risky behavior that gets your content reported.

  1. Staying on Trend with Types of Content

BuzzSumo recognized that in a recent study, infographics are the most popular type of content shared across multiple social media sites, although we’d have to disagree slightly. Just like content and hashtags, types of content also have trends. Books and newspapers were once widely popular for sharing information, and now new spreads through online news sites like VOX, Kindles, and push notifications sent directly to our iPhones.

For example, the best performing content on Facebook in February of 2016 are brief DIY videos.  They often use time-lapse technology to share a quick start to finish way of building, baking, cooking, or creating a project. Major brands like Food Network and Buzzfeed’s Tasty have become increasingly popular by using this type of content to share recipes and crafts.

At Refined Bud, we can create numerous types of content that are trending and appropriate to your brand, message, and audience.

  1. Degree of Emotional Connection

Sprout Social mentions that making an emotional connection with your audience is a major factor in viral content marketing. What the study does not explore is the degree of which emotional connection creates the urge to share content. Audiences can feel joy from a happy ending to a company’s viral campaign, but did they share it? The degree to which the audience feels connected is important because it determines if they feel obligated to share the content or scroll past it.

For example, a cannabis company creates a campaign to bring veterans cannabis for pain management. In testing the virality of the potential video, they found that viewers felt an emotional connection of sadness when they witnessed veterans struggling with illnesses after enduring injuries from war. It saddened the audience that veterans use of medications and therapy cannot cure much of the pain they face. But, did that emotional connection to veterans suffering produce a strong emotional urge to share the video? If not, how can the content be manipulated to create a greater emotional connection?  

Creating an emotional connection is important, but deciding on the degree of emotions you want your audience to endure is also important to consider. Choosing too little or too much emotional reaction is the difference between viral content being spurred because everyone is connecting empathetically to it or if they are connecting with the campaign because it is completely brutal or unwatchable. Finding the correct emotional balance will set your brand on the path to making viral history.

As you can see, to break the internet you need more than luck and good timing, but with the proper research and planning, you can ensure the potential for virality. By following the four tips above, your content will be more likely to achieve success with your audience and boost your chances of going viral. Contact the social media experts at Refined Bud to get increase your audience and for assistance in creating strategic viral content.

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