India: The Giant Awakens

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What it takes to go viral
By Dalia Dakkak, staffer. 29 September, 2016
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What is the magic viral content formula every publisher, brand or otherwise, wants to know? The Dubs Dalia Dakkak has the answer.

According to The New Yorker, content needs three components to go viral: ethics, emotion and logic. The study explored the question in detail and revealed two features that predictably determine an article’s success: the positivity of the message and the excitement it generates for the reader.

But is that really enough? The message might be positive and exciting, but the article also needs to stand out in other ways. It needs to present accurate data in a different and interesting ways. Good content needs to be engaging and provide value for the reader – that’s what makes it stand out from the madding crowd.

In any case, whatever you do, you can’t really write an article and expect it to go viral simply by ticking all the boxes. It’s not an exact science. But one thing is for certain: based on the ‘if you build it, they will come’ model, if you don’t build it, they will never come!

Whatever you do, you can’t really write an article and expect it to go viral simply by ticking all the boxes

Aberdeen Asset Management gladly took on the challenge this year. Aberdeen has been publishing articles daily on its online magazine, Thinking aloud, since February 2015. However, this August, the editorial team took their strategy one step further and published its first ever long-form article: India: The Giant Awakens, about how the subcontinent is on track to becoming the world’s third largest economy by 2030. It’s an easy-read, bursting with colour, large high-resolution images, arresting pull-quotes, animated charts and informative videos. The article also has a sticky bar on the left that makes it easy for the user to share the article at any moment.

The story is divided into chapters, each covering a different aspect of India’s astounding economic growth, ranging from its historical evolution dating back 2,000 years, to current Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s sweeping reforms, and insightful thoughts for the country’s future. The chapter titles are always present at the top of the page, allowing the reader to move seamlessly from one to another. Most importantly, the page is responsive, which makes the article easy to read on mobile – or any device.

Did the article go viral? It certainly did. It’s had tens of thousands of unique visitors and a great volume of social media engagement. It all started with one share on Facebook, and it just caught fire!

[Full disclosure - Aberdeen Asset Management is a client of The Dubs]

Moreover, the article was republished by Quartz, The Economic Times and The Financial Express, which further expanded the article’s visibility and reach.

The real testament to the quality of this article is how well it resonated with the Indian readers, generating positive responses such as:

“An interesting article on the changing face of Indian #economics!”
“An article not to be missed!”
“A nice read worth savouring.”
“Very incisive and positive story about our great country. A must read for every Indian.”

Did Aberdeen know the article would go viral? It’s doubtful, but they certainly added all the right ingredients.

Case Study: Aberdeen Thinking Aloud - A Global Content Marketing Strategy

Related Article: How Aberdeen Wins With Owned And Paid Content

Related Article: Aberdeen Asset Management - Zero To Hero Content Journey

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Born in Paris and raised in Beirut, Dalia began her latest journey in our London office after spending two years studying PR and Comms at NYU in NYC. When she's not off train-hopping from city to city. She enjoys reading books and, like most of The Dubs, is an unrepentant Netflix binge-watcher. She says it's all in the name of research and development - and we believe her.