The Straits Times One Digital
(Last updated on 24th Aug 2021)
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Is the Straits Times Subscription Worth It? 7 Free or Cheaper Digital News Alternatives
Singapore’s flagship newspaper the Straits Times seems to have a complicated relationship with its readers, alternately blowing hot and cold with its on-again, off-again ST Premium firewall.
If you’re not particular about where you get the news, you can usually get Singapore news from free sites like Channel News Asia or Mothership.
But what if you hit the firewall while trying to read Sumiko Tan’s latest think-piece about men in Singapore? Could you ever justify paying for a Straits Times subscription?
The Straits Times subscription vs newspapers around the world
The Straits Times isn’t the only newspaper that puts up a firewall and charges for access. In fact, paid digital news subscription is a common model adopted by news publishers around the world.
Here’s where The Straits Times’ digital subscription stands among popular global news subscriptions:
|News source||Digital subscription fee|
|The New York Times||US$4/month* ($5. 51) for 1 year, then US$8/month* ($11.03)|
|The Times||£5/month ($8.43)|
|The Telegraph||£8/month* ($13.49)|
|Wall Street Journal||US$9.99/month ($13.77)|
|Washington Post||US$10/month* ($13.79)|
|The Straits Times||$14.90/month|
|The Guardian||US$19.99/month ($27.55)|
|The Business Times||$32.90/month|
Surprisingly, not all publishers charge exorbitant rates for access to the news. You might be surprised that even hallowed publications like The New York Times charge quite affordable rates.
In fact, at least 5 big-name newspapers (The New York Times, The Times, The Telegraph, Wall Street Journal and Washington Post) have cheaper digital subscriptions than the Straits Times.
Let’s take a closer look at the Straits Times’ subscription plans + explore some news alternatives.
The Straits Times subscription plans (from $14.90/month)
|Straits Times subscription||Subscription fee|
|Basic Digital (2 devices)||$14.90/month|
|All Digital (4 devices)||$0.99/month for 3 months, then $29.90/month|
|All Digital + Print||$32.90 to $34.90/month (incl. delivery)|
Unlike some news sites which give you, say, 10 free articles to read each month, the Straits Times usually just straight-up locks their premium content behind a firewall.
The firewall looks like this:
Note that the $0.99/month offer is only for 3 months and it’s for the Straits Times’ All-Digital subscription, which is normally $29.90/month.
There is no contract, though, so you can cancel after those 3 months and opt for the cheaper $14.90/month Basic Digital subscription. The main difference between them is the number of devices with access to the ST app (2 for Basic, 4 for Digital).
If your household still reads print newspapers, the All Digital + Print bundle is worth considering as the same price as the All Digital plan, except with $3/4/5 a month (depending on your housing type) added on for delivery.
You can see all the Straits Times subscription plans here.
Other English-language SPH subscriptions (from $7/month)
In case you were wondering, here’s what SPH charges for their other English-language digital / print newspapers:
If you’re one of those people who must have print newspapers at home, The New Paper print subscription ($7/8/9 a month including delivery, depending on property type) isn’t too bad.
The New Paper is more trashy than ST and focuses more on sports and entertainment news. However, it still covers the more important national headlines so you will be more or less up to date. The digital version of TNP is available for free.
On the other end of the atas scale is the Business Times. Again, some of their content is behind a firewall, and you’ll have to pay for access. Both Digital only and Digital + Print subscriptions are very expensive, though, at well over $30/month.
Free Singapore news alternatives: Channel News Asia & Today
I’m willing to bet that whenever the Straits Times puts up a firewall for some news that’s of national importance, Channel News Asia immediately gets a spike in web traffic.
Owned by SPH’s sole rival, MediaCorp, CNA started out as a broadcast TV news channel, but its digital content is on par with that of the Straits Times.
In fact, CNA might be even better as many of their news articles are enriched with video content. The digital video-led CNA Insider “investigative journalism” series also tends to be quite riveting.
MediaCorp’s other news site is Today, which originally started as a free newspaper (remember when they had stacks of these at the MRT station?) and is now all-digital. It’s still free.
Despite being free, Today Online does have some pretty good journalists writing interesting content. Of note is The Big Read column, which has very meaty, in-depth articles about topics like education reform and climate change.
Side note: If you wish to supplement your “diet” with more regional news, a lot of national newspapers in Asia publish their content for free.
Some good ones are South China Morning Post (HK and China news), the Times of India (India news) and the Asahi Shimbun (Japan news).
US news: WSJ, Washington Post, The New York Times subscriptions
Some of the most recognised news publishers are based in the US, including the world-famous New York Times and the Washington Post. These 2 newspapers have won the most number of Pulitzer Prizes in the world.
Surprisingly, the NYT, WaPo and the Wall Street Journal (another big name in US media) charge some of the lowest subscription fees:
If you’re looking for world news, it’s pretty hard to beat the New York Times for value — not only is it widely regarded as one of the best news sources in the world, its digital subscription is also the cheapest for Singaporean subscribers.
The NYT’s subscription fee, which is billed every 4 weeks, works out to about $6/month for the first year and $12/month subsequently.
The Washington Post subscription fee costs about $14/month after the introductory promo. It’s similar to the NYT but more serious — I personally prefer the NYT more for its lifestyle content.
If you’re looking for an alternative to the Business Times, the popular Wall Street Journal — which slants a lot more towards business/finance, as its name suggests — is very affordable, too, at about $14/month after the introductory promo runs out.
Note that all 3 digital subscriptions are cheaper than the cheapest ST Premium plan!
Just note that the Singapore- and Asia-specific news coverage is rather lacklustre, but that’s easily remedied with CNA and Today anyway.
UK news: The Times, The Telegraph, The Guardian subscriptions
The other big names in news publishing are based in the UK. You would probably have come across publishers like The Guardian and The Daily Telegraph if you keep up with Brexit or Premier League news.
Along with The Times, these are the most respected names in the UK news industry. And, like their US counterparts, their subscription fees aren’t too expensive either.
|The Times||Free for 1 month, then £5/month|
|The Telegraph||Free for 30 days, then £8/4 weeks|
|The Guardian||US$9.99/month for 3 months, then US$19.99/month|
Of the 3 Brit newspapers, The Times is the cheapest at about $9/month, but I personally feel that the content is a bit too UK-centric. Apart from football news, I’m not sure there’s very much relevant content in there for Singaporeans.
The Telegraph has a more balanced mix of serious news with lifestyle content (sports, movie reviews, royal family commentary) and it’s a still-reasonable $14/month.
The Guardian is probably the best known one of the 3. It’s one of the most liberal publications around and regularly pushes out shareable think-pieces about identity politics. At the same time, it’s also revered by soccer fans for its excellent football news coverage.
Actually, you can read the Guardian’s content for free, but ads on the site will keep pleading at you to subscribe to help fund journalism.
If you are moved enough to sign up, it costs US$9.99/month for 3 months before reverting to US$19.99/month or approx. $28/month — almost as expensive as ST Premium All-Digital or Business Times.
Special mention: The Economist subscription plans
An article about paid journalism wouldn’t be complete without mentioning The Economist, the popular UK-based weekly magazine on politics, economics and society around the world.
A subscription to The Economist is also often recommended for JC students who want to do better in GP.
It’s certainly a respectable publication with a lot of in-depth analysis, but it’s also really expensive. Here are The Economist’s subscription plans for the print and digital editions:
|The Economist subscription||Subscription fee|
|Digital only||S$69 for 12 weeks, then S$139/12 weeks (~$47/month)|
|Print only||S$69 for 12 weeks, then S$139/12 weeks (~$47/month)|
|Digital + Print||S$89 for 12 weeks, then S$179/12 weeks (~$50/month)|
The Economist also publishes content on its website, but you can only read 5 articles for free if you’re a non-subscriber.
While I’m sure that the content is nothing short of excellent, if you’re trying to improve your understanding of the world and brush up on critical thinking, it’s probably just as effective to opt for one of the more affordable international news subscriptions above.
Do you still subscribe to the news? Tell us what you subscribe to in the comments.
New Straits Times + Harian Metro ePaper 1-Year Subscription TNS-NST+HM(12MTHS)
The oldest newspaper in Malaysia traces its roots back to a weekly journal printed in 1845. Then the Straits Times, it has gone through several transformations most significantly, the name change to New Straits Times and downsize from a broadsheet to a compact version. Its strong conviction for a stable, progressive nation-building brings to its audience a rich editorial content that has garnered huge following of movers and shakers, and key decision makers, paving the way to a united and progressive Malaysia.
The nation’s best selling newspaper was the first Bahasa Malaysia tabloid. Its growth was phenomenal, from a mere 106,000 readers in 1993 to more than three million last year. Whether it is the makcik in the kampung or young professionals in Klang Valley, our readers can’t get enough of Metro’s screaming headline and sensational stories.
Download the ePaper apps via Google Play Store/Apple App Store (NST Digital/BH Digital/HM ePaper)
Muat turun aplikasi ePaper melalui Google Play Store/Apple App Store (NST Digital/BH Digital/HM ePaper)
Access via web at:
Akses melalui web di:
a.New Straits Times – http://digital.nstp.com.my/nst/
b.Berita Harian – http://digital.nstp.com.my/bh/
c.Harian Metro – http://digital.nstp.com.my/hm/
Click “My Profile” (NST) or “Profil Saya” (BH/HM) – if you access via smartphone/iPad
Klik “My Profile” (NST) atau “Profil Saya” (BH/HM) – jika anda mengakses melalui telefon pintar/iPad
Click “login” – if you access via web
Klik “login” – jika anda mengakses melalui web
Insert the code by clicking “Insert The Discount Code” button.
Klik butang “Insert Discount Code” untuk masukkan kod
Click “Download” to start reading
Klik “Download” untuk mula membaca
For further information, please contact us at NSTP Hotline: 1300 22 6787 or visit https://subscription.nstp.com.my/
Untuk keterangan lanjut, sila hubungi kami di NSTP Hotline: 1300 22 6787 atau layari https://subscription.nstp.com.my
Is The Straits Times Premium Subscription Worth It?
In the face of declining physical newspaper sales and print advertising revenue, The Straits Times introduced the concept of “Premium” articles in February 2018. Under this new system, articles with the Premium tag can only be accessed by paying subscribers.
Before Premium, anyone could access any article for free, subject to a cap of 15 articles each month. Readers who tried to read more articles beyond the limit would bump into a paywall and be directed to sign up for a Straits Times digital subscription. As citizens of a Smart Nation, Singaporeans easily subverted this cap by using multiple web browsers or using their browser’s Incognito mode to increase the number of articles they could view.
The Premium system eliminated this loophole for good.
Given the widespread availability of free news from other sites like Channel NewsAsia and TODAYOnline, is the value proposition of reading the “best and most exclusive work by the ST newsroom” strong enough to make Singaporeans pay? Let’s take a look.
Read Also: How Monthly Subscription Plans Make You Pay More Than You Want To
What You Get With Premium
According to the Straits Times, Premium articles include exclusive stories, interviews, visuals, videos and opinion pieces. All other articles, including breaking news stories on developments in Singapore and the world remain free to access.
Since February, all articles published by senior editors including Han Fook Kwang, Chua Mui Hoong and Sumiko Tan have been classified as Premium articles. Most other Straits Times journalists seem to write a mix of both Premium and free stories.
Subscription Plans Available
There are three Straits Times Premium subscription plans available:
Basic Digital: $14.90/month
All-Digital + Print: $29.90/month + delivery charge of between $3 to $5
Both plans allow unlimited access to ST Premium articles and provide giveaways and exclusive invites through the ST Plus rewards programme. The additional benefits from going All-Digital versus sticking to Basic Digital include concurrent access on two more devices, access to the e-paper and seven-day archived editions.
The best way to getting your money’s worth is likely through actively participating in the ST Plus rewards programme, which previously handed out free movie tickets and cooking classes on a first-come-first-serve basis. This month, there are Father’s Day cookies for lucky SPH subscribers.
Additionally, there are attractive sign up gifts available for those willing to do long-term subscriptions. In April, the Straits Times announced that new subscribers to its All-Digital and All-Digital + Print Packages would receive the Google Home Mini (worth $79).
If you are not sure you want to commit, there is also an introductory offer of $0.99/month for the first three months for all digital family access to the Straits Times.
Multiple Ways To Evaluate ST Premium
Beyond just the subscription fee, you need to invest your time to catch up with Premium news articles. Like many people who underutilise their gym memberships, you need to consider if you have the time to read ST Premium articles regularly.
Before committing to a subscription, you can take full advantage of the free or discounted trials before committing to a long-term subscription. This way, you can find out how often you actually read the articles, and how much these articles add value to you. This will help you decide if the ST Premium subscription plan is worth paying for.
Read Also: Singapore Gym Membership Cheatsheet (2018 Edition)
Comparison with Other International News Sites
Despite the perks mentioned, ST Premium might face an uphill task in getting more subscribers because it charges more compared to other internationally-renowned newspapers for digital access.
The venerable New York Times (NYT) has won 125 Pulitzer Prizes and has a global network of journalists and photographers. It charges US$2 (S$2.67) per week of basic digital access (50% less for the first month). This gives you unlimited access to all New York Times articles online, including digital replicas of every issue dating back to 1851.
Given the average month is around 4.5 weeks, a month of online subscription to the NYT costs $2.67 x 4.5 = $12.02, which is cheaper than the Straits Times.
The Washington Post charges US$6 ($8.01) for every four weeks for its basic digital package (US$1 for the first month), and offers unlimited access to Washington Post articles and applications.
Over in the United Kingdom, The Times is one of the most authoritative British newspapers with 233 years of history. They charge £5 ($8.96) per month for a digital subscription to its international edition (£1 per month for first three months).
It should be noted that these international publications cover world news, while The Straits Times offers local stories and perspectives. It is up to you to decide if you’re better served with a (cheaper) subscription to one of the international publications plus free-to-view websites like Channel NewsAsia and TODAYOnline, or a ST Premium subscription.
Comparison with Other Online Services:
Another way of measuring value is to compare what you’ll get with ST Premium versus other types of online content like Spotify and Netflix.
A Spotify Premium costs $9.90/month for unlimited music streaming without ads. The Standard Netflix Plan, which allows unlimited high definition streaming on two devices concurrently, costs $13.98/month. At $14.90/month or more, does your ST Premium subscription get used as much as your a Netflix or Spotify plan?
Perhaps the calculation for ST Premium would be very different if you’re a student, where you can see it as a source of information and insights that would be a good complement to your educational materials. Students can use it to deepen their knowledge of current affairs and help them in English and General Paper examinations.
Read Also: Which Of These Popular Subscription Services Do You Really Need?
Depending on who you are, and how much you value the unique content provided by ST Premium, your answer to whether the subscription is worth the money will be different.
As The Straits Times continues to try and attract more subscribers, we can expect that they will work harder to offer compelling content that Singaporeans cannot do without.
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ST Premium Christmas Offer Is $0.99/Mth; Netizens Say Past 3 Months Also Same Promo
Straits Times Premium Subscription Ads Hit A Paywall With Netizens
When national newspaper The Straits Times (ST) decided to bite the bullet and implement a paywall for ‘premium content’ by experienced journalists, netizens weren’t having it.
Now that Singaporeans have lived about 10 months with the impenetrable paywall, it seems like ST has been voraciously trying to convince us that it’s time to get a subscription.
Through loads of ongoing ads on Facebook and Instagram.
You may recognise this festive version, with just one constant — a $0.99/month promo that’s been ongoing for the past 3 months at least.
Deal or no deal
Unfortunately, netizens were savage AF about the promo.
Some aptly pointed out that it wasn’t a new one, nor was it truly a “limited time” promotion. Netizens claim similar promos have been running since October this year.
Others thought ST was “really desperate”. They felt that by not subscribing, cost savings would be even more substantial.
Finally, this netizen felt that it was hard for ST to sustain readership with live updates on Facebook.
There was also the matter of “censorship” in state media to consider, said another.
Monetising intellectual property
To be fair, some commentators have pointed out that without monetising their online publication, it would be hard to sustain ST in the long-run.
Hate Against ST Premium Not Justified, Says This Redditor
Given that the bulk of their parent company’s profit ironically didn’t come from their print or online journalism arms, they may just be on to something.
Although SPH seems to be doing a better job at running their retail and property assets for profit. Intellectual property, as it stands is something that ST is trying to protect.
SPH Reports Higher Q3 Profits But Makes More Money Through Property
What else do you think ST can do to ensure their survival, besides investing in property turn a profit?
Do you think ST’s paywall is a success or a strategy that has unfortunately backfired?
Featured image from The Straits Times on Facebook.
The Straits Times Undergoes Redesign, Offers Free Stories
If you’re a regular reader of The Straits Times, you’d have noticed that the newspaper delivered to your house — or the website, if you prefer getting your daily news fix online — came with a different look. This redesign was made to celebrate The Straits Times’ 170th birthday.
The redesigned paper now has a brand-new layout, and uses a number of new typefaces. According to Coconuts Singapore, headlines, subheads and body text will be presented in Selane, a serif font. Other aspects of the paper, such as bylines, fact boxes, tag-on bylines, will use Curator, a sans serif font.
Additionally, the revamped Straits Times will include a number of new sections of content, like “What’s Next” and “Why It Matters”. These will be printed on the second page of the daily paper, and are said to be helpful summaries for readers who are short on time.
To celebrate this milestone, the daily is offering readers — specifically those who are not already digital subscribers — 50 free stories this month. Those who sign up for an account now, however, will get free unlimited access to stories until August 9, National Day.
While the redesign was carried out to mark the broadsheet’s 170th anniversary, it’s not difficult to see how these changes to the paper are also a move towards making news stories more accessible and digestible for readers. With social media sites like Twitter becoming a platform that readers are turning to for a quick glance-through of the daily news, it only makes sense for sections like “What’s Next” to be incorporated into the redesign of The Straits Times.
And despite The Straits Times seeing an all-time high circulation of 410,000 last year (including digital subscriptions), it’s evident that print versions of the news are no longer as in-demand as they use to be. In an interview in March 2014, Patrick Daniel, editor-in-chief of SPH’s English and Malay Newspapers Division, said, “Digital growth has more than offset our print circulation decline,” he said. “Our multi-platform readership is now growing.”
So while the demand for news itself has not declined, it seems readers are calling for newer, fresher ways of consuming information — and The Straits Times appears to be responding to that call with this revamp.
The first issue of The Straits Times on July 15, 1845. 170th anniversary ? my favourite newspaper @STcom pic.twitter.com/WHRADEszct
— Malar Arumugam (@ThilamalarMalar) May 3, 2015
In celebration of both the paper’s anniversary and SG50, The Straits times will be curating an exhibition at the ArtScience Museum come 17 July. The exhibit, “Singapore STories: Then, Now, Tomorrow”, will highlight some of Singapore’s milestones through a collection of headlines and images from the paper since it was launched in 1845.
The exhibit will run till 4 October, and will be free for all to attend.
COVID-19: Plastic dividers could aid virus: study
Although plastic barriers at restaurants prevent the spread of COVID-19 through coughs and sneezes, they might help it spread through aerosols, the study said Plastic dividers at indoor dining venues limit air circulation, which could aid the spread of COVID-19, a study by researchers in Taiwan, Israel and the US showed.
The study, published on Friday in the journal Science, said that respiratory pathogens such as COVID-19 can spread through small aerosols, which can float and travel in airflows and be trapped by plastic dividers designed to block droplet spray from coughs and sneezes.
Droplets or touch alone cannot account for the transmission of SARS-CoV-2 at superspreader events, which are instead likely a result of the movement of the virus in small aerosols, the study’s abstract said.
Unlike droplets, aerosols can stay afloat for hours and move up to 1m to 2m, which is farther than guidelines for social distancing mandate, National Sun Yat-sen University said in a statement yesterday, citing the study’s first author, National Sun Yat-sen University associate professor Wang Chia-chen (王家蓁).
Small aerosols of about 5 micrometers could be inhaled through the nasal cavity and into the upper respiratory system before infecting the bronchi or alveoli in the lungs, Wang said.
COVID-19 test kits, which mainly rely on sampling the nasal cavity, cannot detect the virus in the early stages of infection in the lungs, she said.
While aerosols can carry the virus over long distances, the density of virus-bearing aerosols in the air also increases with proximity to an infected person, which means that aerosols become more infectious at close range, she said.
Most social distancing protocols were designed to counter a virus that spreads through droplets and contact, not aerosols, which helps to explain COVID-19’s persistence, she added.
The study called for measures that mitigate aerosol transmission, such as ultraviolet light disinfection, air filtration and improved ventilation, the study’s abstract said.
Plastic dividers installed in many dining venues and public facilities block droplets, but also reduce air circulation,
90,000 Facebook Pulls People into a Vicious Cycle of Depression – Research | Research | News
People with signs of depression spend more time on social media than users without anxiety symptoms. This leads to an aggravation of their condition
Users who spend a lot of time on Facebook are subject to higher
the risk of developing depression. This is stated in the study of Nanyansky
University of Technology, the results of which are provided by the Singapore
The Straits Times.
People with signs of depression caused by using the platform spend in
social networks even longer than other users. It makes them worse
state and drags into the “vicious circle of depression.”
The mechanism that provokes the development of mental illness is already
known – the more people use Facebook, the more envy they feel about
living standards and achievements of other users.
“The theory of social rank says that we participate in a social comparison,
which is inevitable, because this is how we understand our own social
identity.But this comparison process can lead to the fact that we
feel overwhelmed when we see that someone has more resources than
us, ”says Professor Edson C. Tandoc Jr.
Singapore-wide online survey started in 2016 with 1240
people between the ages of 18 and 64. In the few years it took
its completion, the participants dropped out for a number of reasons, and the study
got only 355 responses. Respondents aged 18 to 65 every day
spent an average of two and a half hours on Facebook.
This work draws parallels with a similar study by
among 736 college students in the United States, which was written by a professor
Tandokom. Then the experts came to the conclusion that passive visits to Facebook –
reading posts and viewing photos – affects the psyche in almost the same
degree, as the active use of the social network.
The age and education of the respondents also had an insignificant effect on their
susceptibility to depressive conditions.
Russia is increasing the supply of weapons and equipment to African countries – Rossiyskaya Gazeta
A Rosoboronexport delegation will take part in the Shield Africa 2021 International Security and Defense Exhibition, which will be held on June 8-10 at the Police Academy in the city of Abidjan, which is considered the main economic and the cultural center of the African state of Côte d’Ivoire. This was reported by the press service of Rosoboronexport.
“Russia is successfully continuing to develop military-technical cooperation with the countries of Sub-Saharan Africa, which received a powerful impetus during the Russia-Africa forum in 2019.In 2020 and early 2021 alone, we signed contract documents in this region worth more than $ 1.7 billion and brought the number of countries in Central, Western and South Africa to 17 in the company’s order book, ”said Alexander Mikheev, CEO of Rosoboronexport. “Today we are promoting helicopter technology, air defense systems, naval products, armored vehicles, equipment for law enforcement agencies, security for airports and critical facilities, small arms, including special weapons, into the region.”
In the process of participating in Shield Africa 2021, the Rosoboronexport delegation will hold meetings and negotiations with representatives of the security agencies of the African continent, and will also hold presentations of Russian-made products promoted by the company for all types of armed forces, including police and special units.
In addition to the Rosoboronexport delegation, Russia will be represented by the Military Industrial Company, which organizes an exposition with full-scale models of the VPK-233316 Tiger vehicles in the Raid configuration, VPK-39473 Strela and VPK-Ural vehicles.These vehicles will be shown for the first time at a show in Africa. During Shield Africa 2021, Rosoboronexport is ready to hold detailed consultations and negotiations on the supply of this equipment.
In addition to military equipment, Rosoboronexport intends to promote civilian products as well. Here is what Alexander Mikheev said about this: “We also intend to inform our partners that we have significantly expanded our functionality and are actively developing the supply of Russian civilian products.On civil issues, Rosoboronexport, which has a high reputation in the government and business circles of African countries, acts as a “single window”, a guarantor of cleanliness and reliability of transactions for both manufacturers in Russia and foreign customers. “
In order to promote civil For companies that do not have experience in independent foreign trade, Rosoboronexport has created a special unit whose main function is to organize the supply of non-military products.Among the main directions are automobiles, sea / river vessels, medicine, civil and service weapons, technological equipment, metallurgical and chemical products.
As reported, Rosoboronexport has already implemented several contracts for the supply of modern fire engines, civilian helicopter equipment, and security systems to various countries of the world.
What makes viral content different and how to create it
What should be viral content
Viral content is “contagious” because it appeals to human emotions.Therefore, the viral content should be:
BuzzSumo found that users enjoy sharing content that thrills (25%), makes laugh (17%), entertains (15%), causes joy (14%), and anger (6%) and sadness (1%) …
- Practical. Users love to share useful content (especially newsletters and lists) with others, feeling altruistic. For 84%, this is also an opportunity to highlight topics that they care about.
Viral content should be in a language understandable to the target audience. Also, the use of statistics, numbers, calculations and quotes makes it trustworthy and more convenient to understand, and dividing the text into semantic blocks helps its perception.
- Powerful. Using strong catchy words in your headline and introduction will help increase your chances of creating viral content. At the same time, frank clickbait is not welcome.
- Reliable. People prefer to share credible content. Links to expert opinions will make it more authoritative. According to research conducted by the New York Times, 73% of respondents repost to study the information more thoroughly later. 85% share content when they want to know what other users think about it, while 94% think about the usefulness of the information.
How to create viral content
Engage target audience in content creation
The clearer the target audience’s avatar, the more chances to create relevant content and choose a suitable promotion channel.A New York Times study found that 69% of users share information to feel part of the latest news.
Case: Straight from Compton hit record box office gross in part due to its viral marketing campaign. Using the Straight Outta meme generator, the audience could participate in the campaign and share information about the film on social media.
Buzzsumo’s study of virality in over 100 million messages has shown the importance of visual effects.Content containing one or more images gets almost twice as many shares on Twitter and Facebook as videos and how-to articles.
Turn on emotions
Emotions will help you create a strong message for your audience. According to Buffer, content that might surprise people is more likely to go viral. For example, the video “Charlie Bite My Finger Again”, scored 879 million views and more than two million likes.
Give a reason to share
If it touches pain points and solves the problems of target audience, then this increases the chances of virality (73% of users use repost as an opportunity to communicate with like-minded people).
Make it easy to share
The goal is to make it as easy as possible for users to share content. At the same time, the publication repost buttons should not overlap the post text (in mobile versions of sites, for example).
Make the user reputation increase
According to the New York Times, 68% of users share content to convey to others a better idea of themselves and their interests.
Case: LinkedIn grew members for the platform by sending emails to select users (5% of most viewed profiles) who shared their status on other networks.
Write bright headlines
Inform the target audience in the title that they will receive. According to research, 61% of top headlines contain a number, of which only 8% start with it. The most popular number is 10, followed by 23: it is four times less popular. The headlines with the highest engagement rate are 12-18 words long.
Repost from an influencer can significantly increase the reach and viral potential of your content.Complementing his work or drawing his attention to yourself, you can build relationships and attract him to collaboration.
Interesting case: Elon Max’s response to an invitation to participate in a forum for representatives of small and medium-sized businesses in Krasnodar.
Do something unexpected
One of the reasons the Old Spice campaign (case study below) worked so well is because it was unexpected.
The methodical promotion of a variety of content (on different days and times, on different platforms and among different target audiences) increases the chances of success.The number of social media reposts after publication is reduced by an average of 97% within three days. Promote old content regularly.
Choose the optimal volume
According to Buzzsumo, posts with a volume of 3,000 to 10,000 words are shared the most, and content shorter than a thousand words is the least. An ideal viral video is between 30 and 60 seconds long.
Place at the correct time
Content relevant to current events will interest the target audience more.The right day and time also help make it go viral. For example, big holidays. The best time to post on Instagram is from 9:00 am to 11:00 am. According to Buzzsumo, the best day to post is Tuesday.
Use search engine analytics
For example, Google.com/trends displays trending viral content. If your content comes in contact with viral, then the search engine will show it for free.
Use viral marketing tools
For example, LinkTrackr tracks where links are located, what works and how many clicks and reposts it gets.Similar tools include Tumblr, OpenLinkProfiler, and TrendSpottr.
Most Successful Cases That May Inspire Viral Content
Old Spice and The Man Your Man Could Smell Like.
Using incredible humor and totally unexpected atmosphere, Old Spice and “The Man Your Man Could Smell Like” were able to receive over 58 million views.
- Blue and Black Dress from Roman Originals. As a result, it turned out to be blue and black, although many users were sure that it was a white and yellow dress.As a result of the unfolding controversy, the outfit became the topic of 4.4 million tweets in 24 hours and 10 million tweets in a week. The original article on BuzzFeed received over 37 million views in two weeks. The company also released a white and yellow version for charity purposes. Dunkin Donuts’ superb marketing team jumped at the idea to create their version of the viral photo.
- Gangnam Style Music Video by Korean artist Psy. This is a great example of visual content that has become iconic.The video now has 3.9 billion views and 20 million likes. It’s a kind of “social currency”: people share and talk about things that make them feel cool or boost their self-esteem.
- Instagram record holder. In an attempt to break Kylie Jenner’s world record for likes (18 million), a photo of an ordinary egg got 54 million likes.
Over the years, the concept of viral marketing has grown from a buzzword to a sought-after strategy for success. As companies find it increasingly difficult to differentiate their brand in the sea of online content, virality may be the solution to the competition.