Conventional wisdom has it that B2B content is workman-like: stolid, dependable, and certainly not as sexy as its B2C counterpart.

Looking at some of the most viral content from the past year, it's decidedly consumer-facing: Grumpy Cat. Miley Cyrus "twerking" at the MTV Video Awards. Ylvis' "What Does the Fox Say" video.

So is it possible to make our B2B content twerk, not just work?

Some B2B companies have managed to adapt viral memes in their marketing campaigns, but it can be difficult to understand exactly what "viral" means in B2B marketing. Furthermore, it's tempting to associate virality with frivolity.

Look a bit deeper and it's clear that viral content can translate into low-cost leads. Every person who reads, watches, or downloads your content may be a qualified lead at some point.

Viral content also allows us to influence others with tremendous effectiveness thanks to the inherent social proof embedded in sharing behavior.

Despite conventional wisdom, orchestrating virality is possible, to an extent. B2B marketers must first understand the answers to three very important questions:

  1. How do we create material that encourages widespread and inexpensive distribution?
  2. What does going viral with B2B content look like?
  3. How do we "twerk" that content so it can achieve its full viral potential?

The STEPPS framework created by Wharton school professor Jonah Berger, author of the best-selling book Contagious, outlines the six key elements that drive people to share. They include social currency, emotion, being "public," and providing others with information they can use.

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image of Mark Organ

Mark Organ is the founder and CEO of Influitive, helping companies mobilize their advocates to produce increases in referral leads, references, and social media participation. He also co-founded Eloqua Corporation in 1999.

LinkedIn: Mark Organ