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Viral Marketing Books

Updated: Feb 27, 2023

Influential marketing books

Viral marketing is how you can make an impact on your audience to get them talking and buying your offering. It's about creating that stand out message, the story they want to share or the recommendation they give to someone they regard highly.

So lets take a look at some of the books that can help you increase word of mouth, get that story heard and ultimately increase sales.

Contagious by Jonah Berger

Book: Contagious by Jonah Berger

Read this book to help with:

  • To understand why products, ideas and behaviours catch on!

  • If you are looking to get a message, product, offering out to people and want this to spread across your audience.

  • Getting your next marketing campaign heard!

What kind of book is Contagious?

Contagious is a book designed for marketers. It helps you to understand why content is shared and why some content is more popular than others and becomes contagious.

After completing his PhD and over a decade of research Berger believes he has found the answers to why videos go viral, why some products get more word of mouth than others and when negative publicity increases, versus decreases, sales.

After all of this research Berger has developed 6 key steps to understanding why content is contagious. These include social currency, triggers, emotion, public, practical value and stories.

Social currency is influencing others on what we are talking about. People want to look good, smart and knowledgeable to others so in our marketing we need to craft messages to help them with this goal.

Triggers is about reminding people to talk about your product or offering. Is there something in their environment that might trigger them to talk about your product? How can they keep you in mind ready for that conversation?

Emotion is all about getting people to feel something through your content. Whether that’s laughter, surprise or even anger people are more likely to pass on your message if they feel an emotion to it. When we care we share.

Public is all about people seeing your product being used and your idea being put in place. As the phrase goes ‘monkey see, monkey do’ if people are seen using your product others will follow and want to use it as well.

What is the practical value behind your product? People want to know how it can help them and what the benefits are to them. Berger discusses how this is the easiest of the 6 principles to apply as almost all products have something useful about them.

People won't just share the triggers or benefits of the product they share a story. Creating a story gives people a way to talk and share your product. It's about creating a story that will interest people and easy to remember and tell but also ensuring your product is well embedded.

Berger describes these 6 STEPPS as what creates contagious content. They are the ingredients to get people talking and sharing your story.

Quotes from the book

“Harnessing the power of word of mouth, online and offline, requires understanding why people talk and why some things get talked about and shared more than others. The psychology of sharing. The science of social transmission.”

“We need to design products and ideas that are frequently triggered by the environment and create new triggers by linking our products and ideas to prevalent cues in that environment. Top of mind leads to tip of tongue.”

“Trigger and cues lead people to talk, choose and use. Social currency gets people talking but triggers keep them talking.”

Contagious book review summary

A book designed for marketers and business owners to enable them to understand how to promote their offering and get it heard and shared by others. Understand how word of mouth and social transmission works and how to leverage this to make your offering a success.

Some posts may contain affiliate links that make me a tiny bit of money that helps to support the running of this website. But don't worry, this is at no additional cost to you.

I only ever promote and recommend the very best of the best and things that I have used/read myself.


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