Who doesn’t know Sir Ken Robinson? He is a recognized leader in the development of creativity, an expert public speaker and the author of some life changing bestselling novels. Most of us got to know about him through his TED Talk (embedded below) he gave in 2004. It was incredible, wasn’t it? His insightful thoughts on creativity, why we should do things that resonate with our souls and lastly how the present generation has built industry where we are stigmatizing errors. It is undoubtedly one of the most informative video clips you will ever find on the internet, so if you haven’t seen it so far, have a look at it below.

What surprises me is why his videos aren’t as popular as Gangnam Style? Okay, so it is music, people love music. What about Harlem Shake then? Okay, I get it. But why the video of two cats talking has more number of views on YouTube than his chef-d’oeuvre?

Some content will go viral, you find something cool on some web page, you share it with your friends, they share that with their friends, and the chain keeps on building. Once the snowball has started rolling, it will continue rolling. But this isn’t restricted to just video content. It is happening with almost every form of data you find on the internet. Let me give you another example, the one that appeals more to me.


A while ago, TheVerge ran a long piece on “For Amusement Only: the life and death of the American arcade“, and then Huffington Post featured the same piece titled “The Life And Death Of The American Arcade” where they put a short snippet of TheVerge’s article and a link to the source as well. This is customary; almost every publishing website links each other sites to drive more traffic to their content. Everything went fine, except, HuffPo’s piece made the top search result when you googled “the life and death of the American arcade”.

Joshua Topolsky, the editor-in-chief of the The Verge wasn’t happy with this. In his opinion, HuffPo was stealing The Verge’s thunder. The technical explanation of why this all happened, why HuffPo’s mirrored piece managed to get more traffic is Search Engine Optimization. In short, SEO is using smart keywords that match with what others might be searching (trend), and if your analysis is right, you will gain Google “juice”. While Joshua’s point of view and Twitter rant may look a little stroppy, at the same point, it does make some sense. If you are running a website whose primary income comes from ad revenue, this matters, because when any website passes on your content they get some share in your advert profit.

Having good content is not enough

No matter how cool and informative your content is, the platform you are on, the algorithms you use, your approach to marketing and several other factors help determine whether or not your material will attract large traffic. This is where Metcalf’s Law kicks in. Metcalf’s law says that the number of possible cross links in a network grow as the square of the peer computer increases. For as long as your content is worth sharing, it holds good for content virility as well. Problogger’s infographic suggests the following mantra for content success.

  • The content must be undeniably hilarious, a comic relief if you will, helping you snitch a break off your busy schedule.
  • Make an appeal to its audience. Unless the viewer will find a connection to the content, it is very unlikely that they will ever praise it.
  • The content may have some social value inept in it – could be an embarrassing side of a cringe worthy moment, for a guilty pleasure.
  • The content should not offend anyone, and speak the opinion of mass. The content could be stimulating and even risky for that matter, but it should be something that one doesn’t feel bad sharing.

Hire the right people

What’s the secret behind the success of marketing of movie studio 20th Century Fox, network carrier Virgin Mobile and the soft drink producer Pepsi? The answer is Mekanism. Mekanism is a creative agency which takes care of your brand’s advertisement, brand entertainment, and several social media programs. They promise to make your content viral, and unlike majority of their competitors, they make it happen. Forbes reported a fascinating story of their success. Where even after getting the desirable success, they kept on striving for more.

Besides this, one also needs to be sharp with the timing of the content delivery, and must know their audiences. Categorizing the content is equally important. Tag a contest, fanfare a giveaway, put enough visual content. Kiri Blakeley from Forbes shares a very interesting story of how she managed to gain 100,000 viewers on one her post with some strange luck. She argues how a specific kind of domain can help you drive good share of audience. But, 100 friends won’t be able to get you to a rich place. Your content will always end up being viewed by the same people. Nothing is going to happen unless you gain some real attention.

There are a few things which are in your hand and for the rest you can only pray or seek help from others. There are numerous services that will do anything to make your product rise and shine. They will take care of the traffic, they will share your pieces or content on larger platform. That momentum, that rise is very necessary.

Also, it won’t be really licentious of me to put this idea in your head. Believe it or not, at the verse of the interwebs, fake followers are being bought and sold. You can have paid organic traffic, and before they know it, they will find themselves lost in the awesomeness of your products. People are creating fake deceptive brand value for their products. And, once your product has scored the full house, get out of that deceptive aura – dispense with the formalities.

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Manish is an Engineering graduate in Computer Science but spends more time in writing about technology. He has written for a number of Indian and international publications including BetaNews, BGR India, WinBeta, MakeTechEasier, MediaNama, and Digit magazine among others. When not writing, you would find him ranting about the state of digital journalism on Twitter.