Looking for tips to create a buzz for your audience?

Elsewhere on the CodeFuel blog, we’ve covered future predictions for social media, building thought leadership, rules to improve social media sharing, building your social media following, and more.

But if you want to take your social media marketing to the next level, you have to learn what matters to your audience…and you need to know how to create a buzz.

Here are 5 advanced tips to do just that:

1. Create Viral Content

Easier said than done, right?

That depends. One of the biggest reasons that companies don’t create viral content is that they don’t try. There is a science behind viral content and studies have been done that show what makes some content go viral.

In short, there are a few ingredients that viral content share:

  • Most viral content is positive, though not all.
  • People share because their emotions are evoked, so viral content is more likely to evoke extreme emotions.
  • Content that is “practically useful” gets shared more often than other types of content.

Contrast this with much of the marketing we see today, which is politically correct and…even boring.

The first step to creating viral content is experimentation and exploration. Study what has worked for other companies, then start with your own tests.

2. Tell a Story…Their Story

Features and benefits are the stock ingredients for any sales pitch or marketing campaign. After all, people want to know why they should buy something from you.

But, often, a story can sell the job better.

Stories are more likely to be shared, go viral, and communicate value. Why? Because people can relate to them. Stories are more memorable, they evoke stronger emotions, and they are more convincing.

Brands focus on telling the “brand story.” But they frequently forget that customers only care about themselves, not your brand.

When you tell a story, weave your brand into the story subtly, but make the story about the customer. The best ads in the world tell stories about customers and make the brands the “background hero” of the day.


Keep it simple.

People don’t want to think. The more your marketing or advertising campaigns make them think, the less likely they are to go viral.

Simplicity is why…

  • Video content is shared more often. Video reduces cognitive load and presents information in a visual, easy-to-understand format.
  • Infographics are so popular. Infographics are easy to understand. Although they often convey complex data, people can read and understand the content in seconds.
  • Memes are shared so much. These simple images grab attention and are understood almost instantly.

When you look at the world’s most shared, most viral content, you’ll notice that the marketing content is simple.

Simplicity is another key to “share-ability” – if it can be grasped in a second or few, it’s more likely to spread on its own.

4. Get Users to Generate Content

Users who participate are vested.

User-generated content, whether it comes in the form of contests, games, or website content, can fuel fantastic campaigns. There are a few reasons why user-generated content is so powerful:

  • Since user-generated content is perceived as more authentic than brand-created content, people are more likely to believe the message.
  • And since users themselves create the content, they are more likely to promote the content and spread the word.
  • Also, users are more vested in content they themselves create, so it’s easier to build brand loyalty and trust.

The ALS Ice Bucket Challenge is a great example of viral content that makes use of user-generated content. A number of ingredients fueled this particular campaign – such as cause marketing and a simple hook – which was powered and generated almost exclusively by users.

5. Blend Art, Ads, and Content

Take your marketing and advertising to the next level with your content. The best ads blur the boundaries between art, film, story, and content.

Take Coca Cola’s Christmas campaign in Brazil. The company combined its real-world Christmas caravans with the storytelling mastery of a well-known journalist. The result was a campaign that took a short film to the streets of Brazil – and even to Google Cardboard – to tell a powerful, evocative story.

Compare this tactic to a mere 30-second spot that airs during your favorite television show. Many of these ads don’t include any of the secret ingredients mentioned here, such as simplicity and storytelling.

While many companies can’t afford such extravagant campaigns, that doesn’t mean you can’t push the boundaries of traditional advertising.

Playstation’s ad For the Players Since 1995 built a customer-centric story out of user-generated social media feedback. This 3-minute spot fell somewhere between a short film, a story, and an advertisement. The result: 3.7 million YouTube views and counting.


To really stand out and create a buzz for your audience, you need to do something different. The biggest brands in the world realize that customers should lie at the heart of this marketing content. So if you want to resonate with your audience, put them at the center of your campaigns.