I was asked how a video is made to go viral and if it is possible to truly cause “Viral” to happen with any video. I gave the following answer:
“That is what we do, but to “any” video, no. There are many limits and challenges that factor into a video going viral.” Said Dr. Thomas R. Reich who developed The Deep Rich Data System which incorporates Twitter, Pinterest, videos, blogs and other factors.
Here are some examples of viral videos we have promoted successfully:
Barter Rewards (George Bush Sells Barter) on YouTube called “21st Century Trade Exchange.”
This video was great, but had only 311 views in 4 months when started promoting it 2 months ago. Look it up now it has 448,772 views as of this date.
Example 2 for Sony/Red; Jimmie Van Zant had only 2200 views on his new video “Unfinished Life” (He is part of the Lynyrd Skynard Family) I started promoting it last month and as of today it has 613,045 views, as well as an alternative posting that received over 140,000 views from the search hits it got because of the promo on the main Sony/Red posting, totaling almost 800,000 views on the same video.
Going Viral is not possible without some added views, this is simply part of the process of going viral, but it also requires national linked press releases, full social media support, and the video must be good, watchable and “hooky”. I am always interested in seeing what video project looks like before I even consider taking them on for
promotion. We aren’t talking about production value or high dollar videos, but length, look and
the fun factor.
If you check my LinkedIn background, you will see I am a very savvy old school promoter, 67
gold and Platinum Records from the old days, combined with top social media and internet experience today, I love to promote and that is the difference we have here.
That said, never put preconditions on viral video promotion, just as in record charting some tricks must be used, but as you can see the Van Zant video, it is monetized and “bot” views will not work in those postings. Also remember if more than 5-7% of views on a video are “bot” or click through views, YouTube suspends the video and drops the views from the total.
I do not know of any viral video that has 100% established fans or target market members viewing the content. This is part of the nature of “Viral Videos”, driving far more traffic to a video than would normally go to that video. If promoted correctly, the process results in picking up new fans of the video, or even the product it is promoting, who would not have seen the video and what it represents otherwise. This process is not unlike a paid ad on TV or Radio getting it into the “stream” of hip videos to watch, is the trick to viral.
The content must grab the attention of the viewer to keep them longer than 10 or 15 seconds. This is the nature of YouTube, expect that viewers have short attention spans. That said, have the message front weighted in the video, and make it as short as possible, minimum of 30 seconds to a maximum 90 seconds for a business video, music should be no longer than 3 min, if you expect a shot at a viral video.
The Jimmie Van Zant video presented different challenges and promotional pluses. The video
is from a known artist, it is a great song and the video itself is appealing. “Unfinished Life” had a bit of controversy which always helps (all news is good news in promotions), naturally we created the controversy, and that controversy started the attention and its path towards a viral video. When fans old and new clicked on “Unfinished Life” they stayed on it in large numbers. Many did not stay long, but this is the way it is with any music video. People (viewers) click on winners, the higher the traffic the higher in the search results and the higher the click rate of viewers looking for something new, but you will never see 100% full views ever in my experience!
The George Bush Parody for Barter Rewards was a different animal all together. Viral for corporate pieces is much harder, it was a 32 second advertisement for Barter services after all, but this video was different. It had the #1 Bush Impersonator John C Morgan featured in the video and he is not only spot on, but has the support of the Bush family, as well as many key politicians in general. He did such a good job on this one, you think it is George W. Bush! The Video is legitimately high quality and well written; the subtle jokes are so well placed you have to watch 3 or 4 times to really take it all in. After seeing it you want to show it to everyone in the office, Democrats
think it is funny in a bad way, Republicans in a good way, and Jeb Bush actually commented he loved it! This was a Viral Video in the truest sense of the word, it was an unexpected big hit, and was an unpaid advertisement in today’s pay per click world!
Here you have seen two examples of the kinds of videos that can go viral, but the trick is to bring the right video together with the right promoter, only than the
alchemy of “Viral Video” can happen.
“Is it an automatic thing to promote a viral video, “absolutely not, it takes an IT factor as well, we had the Bush Library dedication for Barter Rewords and the Van Zant tour for “Unfinished Life” to boost the interest”
Interest + Hook + short and tight + savvy promotion +fun + established network + a bit of stimulus + a little luck = Viral
I Love to discuss promotions of any kind, let me know what you are doing in your viral video promotions and send some videos to view, I love good video, weather I promote them or not!