Yesterday, I had the pleasure of attending two sessions at the Experiential Marketing Summit about viral videos. The first was done by the gentlemen behind this awesome video:
And the second, the post-lunch keynote, from YouTube’s own Kevin Allocca, whose TED Talk is here:
Now of course, both talks said the same thing – that you can’t predict what goes viral. If there were an exact formula to do it, then everyone would make a “viral” video, especially those with high budgets and something specific to advertise!
Kevin Allocca made a few hilarious examples of videos that you wouldn’t THINK would go viral, but did…
For example, take this idea: A music video in a language that only 1.14% of the world’s population speaks about an inside joke in a very specific neighborhood in Korea that has a horse-gallopy dance?
It became the #1 most-watched YouTube music video of all time, with (at the time of writing) almost TWO and a half BILLION views?
Can you guess it (without scrolling down)?
So that seemed unlikely, but was obviously a wild success. And for any other music lovers that want to shed a single tear about the fate of popular music, it was followed by “Baby” (Justin Bieber), “Dark Horse” (Katy Perry feat. Juicy J), and “Party Rock Anthem” by LMFAO (what ever happened to those dudes, anyway?). Sad!
Moving on… While we are on the topic of music, I was super entertained to hear that there are bizarre spikes in video viewership at certain times of the year/month.
Are you surprised that this song, which is apparently now 15 years old (where has the time gone?), sees a HUGE spike in play on April 30th every year?
Or that this one spikes on April 1st every year?*
How about this one, at the beginning of every month?
I was definitely amused, and am guessing that none of those artists expected any sort of viral activity when they created these songs and videos!
Obviously, neither of these presenters just said “We have no idea how or why things go viral, good luck!”
So what did they say?
Basically, you need to be authentic. If it is fake or forced, it will not be well-received, and no one will be inspired to share it.
Also, you need to try something new and be inventive. No one knows what is going to catch on next, but you surely won’t figure it out by doing the same thing that everyone else is doing already.
Be entertaining or helpful in some way. Make something people want to be a part of (Um, Ice Bucket Challenge, anyone?).
Think about what YOU’D share if you came across it, and if your video does that, it is more likely someone else would share it, too!
[Tweet “How to make a viral video, via @Mandelicious!”]
What did I learn moving forward with my videos? It’s time to release some control. I don’t need to have a perfect, blooper-free upload. The bloopers make me real, and that’s what people want to see!
While I am talking about my videos, I may as well throw in one shameless plug. If you haven’t checked out my YouTube page, please do…. Or you can watch them on my Facebook page (where they get many more views… ahhh analytics)! Either way, please “like” the page and subscribe (hey, I said “please!”)!
P.S. *Did you get Rickrolled? Let me know in the comments!
P.P.S. What is your favorite youtube video of all time?
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