Contagious: Why Things Catch On

It takes more than luck, risqué words or imagery, a cat or a hilarious punch-line to create memorable, viral content. Jonah Berger knows this. He should, having studied the most popular “forwarded” stories from the New York Times’ website during a recent six-month period, analyzed hundreds of word-of-mouth marketing campaigns and immersed himself in all the word-of-mouth data from KellerFay Group, which tracks and studies word-of-mouth marketing.

Berger says one of the best things about word-of-mouth marketing is that it’s available to anyone—and it basically is free. It doesn’t involve a seven-digit media spend, guesswork or formulating the perfect headline or slogan. Many forward-thinking apartment community marketers use word of mouth by encouraging residents to speak highly of their experiences at the community via social media or when talking to friends. Berger suggests how actual marketing campaigns can be built or
harnessed through word of mouth.

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