Keith Quesenberry

#219: Can Story Structure Make Your Content Viral?

#219: Can Story Structure Make Your Content Viral?

As a brand communicator, there are few things sweeter than creating content that goes viral with your target audience. But this is the unicorn of content distribution – a difficult feat for even the most seasoned marketers, one that most will never achieve. Therefore, in this episode, you will learn how to utilize the 5-act story structure as a formula to place the odds of a viral success in your favor.

There are very few professionals that know more about this topic than my guest today, Keith Quesenberry. Keith, along with his co-researcher Michael Coolsen, recently published a two-year study on what makes content go viral. The study Drama Goes Viral: Effect of Story Development on Shares and Views of Online Advertising Videos revealed that it takes much more than luck and marketing experience to win big on the interweb.

Not surprisingly, the study found that content containing story almost always ranked higher than that without. However, it uncovered that some narrative structures trend better than others.

On average, our 4 and 5 act videos gained more than 4 times the shares of zero to 3 act videos. ~Keith Quesenberry

This makes sense considering Greek and Shakespearean dramas followed this longer plot, also referred to as Freytag’s Pyramid, because it guarantees enchantment. And while the 5-act story structure alone dramatically increases your chances of going viral, ROI is maximized when you incorporate targeted messaging.

The goal is to be an intentional storyteller, and that means you use the 5-act story structure to craft the right message to the right audience. ~Keith Quesenberry

Discussed in this Episode

  • The ROI of storytelling
  • What intentional storytelling actually looks like and the results it has
  • Why you should think about content over time when structuring your 5-act story
  • The importance of listening to and understanding your audience first before crafting your story

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