Expose the BeamsHow to Brainstorm + Design the Best,Most Viral Content You’ve Ever Made           @katemorris
Exposed Beams?
Unsightly
Modern Beauty & Function
OKCUPIDhttp://blog.okcupid.com/index.php/dont-be-ugly-by-accident/
Content Ideas
Not Really Creating or      Outreach
Not Just INfographicsNews Article!    Video!
Funny Doesn’t Always Meet Goals
Viral is not AUTOMATIC
Create Great Content and Let it        Speak for You
Where do I start?A Whiteboard and a Dream
#1     Who are you talking to?•   Name        •   Problems•   Face        •   Favorite Restaurant•   Job         •   Hopes...
• Name: Shelly Tanner  Undisclosed               • Age: 38Client and Shelly           • Title: Director of                ...
Find real People
Pro TipGo too far. Get to the nitty gritty details and think aboutwhat your person does in their free time. The better you...
#2What’s the Point?
Goals• Traffic      • Likes• Sales        • +1• Links        • Combinatio• Mentions       n
Links                     Social                   http://mashable.com/2011/07/18/                   apple-design-infograp...
Specific Goals Make sure you knowwhat you want or what your client/executive         wants.
Example Goals• 20,000 Page Views • 20,401• 100 new inbound links • Actual is over 200 linking domains• 5% increase in SOV
Randomhttp://infographicworld.com/america-europe-view/
Prove a Pointhttp://thenextweb.com/
Sales /educationhttp://wikibon.org/
Pro Tip Try outreach beforehand for articles, get the blog’sowner to input on the content. It’ll get it posted faster     ...
1. Who are you talking to?1. What is the point of the content you   are creating?
#3: Brainstorming     Ready for Fun?
Start with a marker . . . Write everything down . . . Ask your friends and co-workers . . .       doodle . . .    No Tools...
“I tend to jot down everything I think of with noreal regard for structure, and then later on Ifilter it down to only the ...
Applied Example• Industrial Paper Products• Commercial Food Equipment• Printer Ink• Auto Sales/Parts• Software for Call Ce...
Window Washing• Heights       • Business   • Towers• Soap          • Sky        • Donald Trump• Ropes         • Birds     ...
Great Linkbait
Pro Tip Still lost? Like keyword research, check what yourcompetitors are doing, what others in similar spaces are doing, ...
“For inspiration I read the usual sources: Digg, Reddit, Mixx, andso forth. I also read a lot of online comic strips, “bes...
Visual.ly
coolinfographics.com
visualoop.tumblr.com
Not AlwaysCompetitive
Getting AheadWe are still in planning … don’t go nuts yet!
1. Who are you talking to?1. What is the point of the content you   are creating?2. Brainstorm any and ALL ideas and   ass...
Filtering
“I call it “brain farming.” First, pick a specific idea you want to workaround … Pick more nouns and connect them to that ...
Window Washing• Heights       • Business   • Towers• Soap          • Sky        • Donald Trump• Ropes         • Birds     ...
Saving Neo’s Phone: How to         Get to Window Washer’s Scaffolding@katemorris
Would Your Person Share it?
Make it Something they MUST           Sharehttp://www.break.com/index/this-is-what-detirmination-looks-like-2086438
Disgustinghttp://www.foodservicewarehouse.com/education/going-green/eating-insects-the-most-eco-friendly-meat.aspx
Funny
Relevanthttp://www.eternalhgh.com/HGH-Infographic-HGH-An-Anti-Anging-Miracle/index.html
Personalhttp://www.cartridgesave.co.uk/printeffect/
“For me, the best test of whether linkbait iseffective is if it genuinely entertains orintrigues me. If I’m not laughing a...
1. Who are you talking to?1. What is the point of the content you   are creating?2. Brainstorm any and ALL ideas and   ass...
Finding DataYou Have to Support the Idea, or Do You?
Best Data = Best Links
Student InternsNote: They are not there to be slave labor: pay them, teach them.
Internal Datahttp://blog.foursquare.com/2011/02/25/pre-oscars-fun-foursquare-at-the-movies/
Anonymize Data
OKCupid
MINThttp://www.mint.com/blog/trends/mint-data-shows-where-the-gas-money-goes/
Off The Wall Still NeedData; Evenif it’s made      up.               http://theoatmeal.com/comics/tyrannosaur_crack
Pro TipFind the Source. Don’t trust another      infographic or journalist.
Window Washing• Skyscraper window cleaners in NYC in 1934 made  $30 a week for 48 hours of work.  http://blog.modernmechan...
1. Who are you talking to?2. What is the point of the content you   are creating?3. Brainstorm any and ALL ideas and   ass...
Designing TipsRule #1: Trust the Designer/Writer!
Simple
Powerful
Unique
Interesting
1. Who are you talking to?2. What is the point of the content you   are creating?3. Brainstorm any and ALL ideas and   ass...
Now go BackNo really … go back to the start …
1. Who are you talking to?2. What is the point of the content you   are creating?3. Brainstorm any and ALL ideas and   ass...
• Name: Shelly Tanner  Undisclosed               • Age: 38Client and Shelly           • Title: Director of                ...
Goals• Traffic      • Likes• Sales        • +1• Links        • Combinatio• Mentions       n
1. Who are you talking to?2. What is the point of the content you   are creating?3. Brainstorm any and ALL ideas and   ass...
Thank You      @katemorriskate.morris@distilled.net
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Brainstorming and Designing Viral Content

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Expose the Beams: How to Brainstorm and Design the Best, Most Viral Content You've Ever Made is the presentation Kate Morris gave at MozCon 2011.

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Brainstorming and Designing Viral Content

  1. 1. Expose the BeamsHow to Brainstorm + Design the Best,Most Viral Content You’ve Ever Made @katemorris
  2. 2. Exposed Beams?
  3. 3. Unsightly
  4. 4. Modern Beauty & Function
  5. 5. OKCUPIDhttp://blog.okcupid.com/index.php/dont-be-ugly-by-accident/
  6. 6. Content Ideas
  7. 7. Not Really Creating or Outreach
  8. 8. Not Just INfographicsNews Article! Video!
  9. 9. Funny Doesn’t Always Meet Goals
  10. 10. Viral is not AUTOMATIC
  11. 11. Create Great Content and Let it Speak for You
  12. 12. Where do I start?A Whiteboard and a Dream
  13. 13. #1 Who are you talking to?• Name • Problems• Face • Favorite Restaurant• Job • Hopes• Salary • Dreams
  14. 14. • Name: Shelly Tanner Undisclosed • Age: 38Client and Shelly • Title: Director of Marketing • Company: Small Spa Chain • She’s Overworked • Just Wants Help! PS: Shelly isn’t real. This lady is probably not named Shelly.
  15. 15. Find real People
  16. 16. Pro TipGo too far. Get to the nitty gritty details and think aboutwhat your person does in their free time. The better youunderstand them, the better focused the content will be.
  17. 17. #2What’s the Point?
  18. 18. Goals• Traffic • Likes• Sales • +1• Links • Combinatio• Mentions n
  19. 19. Links Social http://mashable.com/2011/07/18/ apple-design-infographic/ Goals will change the direction of your content
  20. 20. Specific Goals Make sure you knowwhat you want or what your client/executive wants.
  21. 21. Example Goals• 20,000 Page Views • 20,401• 100 new inbound links • Actual is over 200 linking domains• 5% increase in SOV
  22. 22. Randomhttp://infographicworld.com/america-europe-view/
  23. 23. Prove a Pointhttp://thenextweb.com/
  24. 24. Sales /educationhttp://wikibon.org/
  25. 25. Pro Tip Try outreach beforehand for articles, get the blog’sowner to input on the content. It’ll get it posted faster and give you a better shot at a great link!
  26. 26. 1. Who are you talking to?1. What is the point of the content you are creating?
  27. 27. #3: Brainstorming Ready for Fun?
  28. 28. Start with a marker . . . Write everything down . . . Ask your friends and co-workers . . . doodle . . . No Tools – Brain and Whiteboard
  29. 29. “I tend to jot down everything I think of with noreal regard for structure, and then later on Ifilter it down to only the good stuff.” Matthew “Oatmeal” Inman http://theoatmeal.com/comics/smartphone
  30. 30. Applied Example• Industrial Paper Products• Commercial Food Equipment• Printer Ink• Auto Sales/Parts• Software for Call Center Tracking• Window Washing• Milk Farmer• Exercise/Training/Nutrition• Manufacturing
  31. 31. Window Washing• Heights • Business • Towers• Soap • Sky • Donald Trump• Ropes • Birds • Dust• Matrix • Windex • Cracks• Scaffolding • Water • Sills• Falling • Summer • New York• Deaths (sorry) • Sun • Lunch
  32. 32. Great Linkbait
  33. 33. Pro Tip Still lost? Like keyword research, check what yourcompetitors are doing, what others in similar spaces are doing, and play off their ideas. NO COPYING!
  34. 34. “For inspiration I read the usual sources: Digg, Reddit, Mixx, andso forth. I also read a lot of online comic strips, “best of” Craigslistposts, and I spend a lot of time using StumbleUpon.”- Matt Inman
  35. 35. Visual.ly
  36. 36. coolinfographics.com
  37. 37. visualoop.tumblr.com
  38. 38. Not AlwaysCompetitive
  39. 39. Getting AheadWe are still in planning … don’t go nuts yet!
  40. 40. 1. Who are you talking to?1. What is the point of the content you are creating?2. Brainstorm any and ALL ideas and associations.
  41. 41. Filtering
  42. 42. “I call it “brain farming.” First, pick a specific idea you want to workaround … Pick more nouns and connect them to that idea: bunkbeds + raptor. Think about it really hard, then go do something else.A few days later while you’re showering, gardening, shaving,exercising, or whatever, the idea will pop into your head and you’llhave it.” Matthew Inman http://theoatmeal.com/comics/minor_differences2
  43. 43. Window Washing• Heights • Business • Towers• Soap • Sky • Donald Trump• Ropes • Birds • Dust• Matrix • Windex • Cracks• Scaffolding • Water • Sills• Falling • Summer • New York• Deaths (sorry) • Sun • Lunch
  44. 44. Saving Neo’s Phone: How to Get to Window Washer’s Scaffolding@katemorris
  45. 45. Would Your Person Share it?
  46. 46. Make it Something they MUST Sharehttp://www.break.com/index/this-is-what-detirmination-looks-like-2086438
  47. 47. Disgustinghttp://www.foodservicewarehouse.com/education/going-green/eating-insects-the-most-eco-friendly-meat.aspx
  48. 48. Funny
  49. 49. Relevanthttp://www.eternalhgh.com/HGH-Infographic-HGH-An-Anti-Anging-Miracle/index.html
  50. 50. Personalhttp://www.cartridgesave.co.uk/printeffect/
  51. 51. “For me, the best test of whether linkbait iseffective is if it genuinely entertains orintrigues me. If I’m not laughing at my ownjoke I bag it.” Matthew “Oatmeal” Inman http://theoatmeal.com/comics/smartphone
  52. 52. 1. Who are you talking to?1. What is the point of the content you are creating?2. Brainstorm any and ALL ideas and associations.3. Filter to the really interesting things.
  53. 53. Finding DataYou Have to Support the Idea, or Do You?
  54. 54. Best Data = Best Links
  55. 55. Student InternsNote: They are not there to be slave labor: pay them, teach them.
  56. 56. Internal Datahttp://blog.foursquare.com/2011/02/25/pre-oscars-fun-foursquare-at-the-movies/
  57. 57. Anonymize Data
  58. 58. OKCupid
  59. 59. MINThttp://www.mint.com/blog/trends/mint-data-shows-where-the-gas-money-goes/
  60. 60. Off The Wall Still NeedData; Evenif it’s made up. http://theoatmeal.com/comics/tyrannosaur_crack
  61. 61. Pro TipFind the Source. Don’t trust another infographic or journalist.
  62. 62. Window Washing• Skyscraper window cleaners in NYC in 1934 made $30 a week for 48 hours of work. http://blog.modernmechanix.com/2006/05/20/how-a-skyscraper- window-washer-faces-death/• The most dangerous item for a window washer is a ladder via the IWCA Training Manual.• Window Cleaner Jan Demczur used a squeegee to free himself and 5 others from an elevator shaft on 9/11. http://www.nytimes.com/2002/09/11/us/jan-demczur-he-is-alive-and- what-s-left-of-his-squeegee-is-in-the-smithsonian.html
  63. 63. 1. Who are you talking to?2. What is the point of the content you are creating?3. Brainstorm any and ALL ideas and associations.4. Filter to the really interesting things.5. Support the idea(s) with data.
  64. 64. Designing TipsRule #1: Trust the Designer/Writer!
  65. 65. Simple
  66. 66. Powerful
  67. 67. Unique
  68. 68. Interesting
  69. 69. 1. Who are you talking to?2. What is the point of the content you are creating?3. Brainstorm any and ALL ideas and associations.4. Filter to the really interesting things.5. Support the idea(s) with data.6. Trust your designer and keep it simple and straightforward.
  70. 70. Now go BackNo really … go back to the start …
  71. 71. 1. Who are you talking to?2. What is the point of the content you are creating?3. Brainstorm any and ALL ideas and associations.4. Filter to the really interesting things.5. Support the idea(s) with data.6. Trust your designer and keep it simple and straightforward.7. …
  72. 72. • Name: Shelly Tanner Undisclosed • Age: 38Client and Shelly • Title: Director of Marketing • Company: Small Spa Chain • She’s Overworked • Just Wants Help! PS: Shelly isn’t real. This lady is probably not named Shelly.
  73. 73. Goals• Traffic • Likes• Sales • +1• Links • Combinatio• Mentions n
  74. 74. 1. Who are you talking to?2. What is the point of the content you are creating?3. Brainstorm any and ALL ideas and associations.4. Filter to the really interesting things.5. Support the idea(s) with data.6. Trust your designer and keep it simple and straightforward.7. Compare the idea(s) to goals and target.
  75. 75. Thank You @katemorriskate.morris@distilled.net
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