HowTo Go Viral
We here at StudyPR.co.uk realise that ‘going viral’ is one of the most sought after marketing anomalies, with clients and companies demanding excellent exposure not just nationally but globally. With growing sites such as Youtube possessing 4 billion views on a daily basis, the opportunity is there for every future or existing PR practitioner to grasp. However, many people are of the opinion that posting a video on Youtube is enough to expose your message to a large audience and achieve your objectives, but that is further from the truth and it does not mean you will capture the attention of your intended audience.
In order to understand what viral is and how it works, you need to search for “My daughter has chosen the dark side” and then you caa understand the power of a simple idea going viral. “My Daughter Has Chosen the Dark Side” is a parody video series based on a homemade movie of a toddler girl sweeping a toy car off the table before breaking into a classic evil-like laughter. The video was uploaded via YouTube and Reddit on November 16th, 2011 by user ‘Stardestroyer65’, who shot the 8 second video of his daughter playing with a toy car. Click on the link below to watch:
Have you watched it? If so, what do you think? Why did it go viral? Was it funny or cute? Did it have a message? “The video immediately gained viral momentum on Reddit, reaching the front page within just hours of upload. Within two days, the YouTube video had over 1 million views” (1). The most important thing about this video, from a PR perspective, it was that it caught the attention of offline and online media. CBS News, ABC News, The Daily What, even Huffington Post all commented on this video and spread the video further into the world. It essentially created ‘third party endorsement’ , which is what you as PR are looking to get for your client or company.
To understand the concept of viral better, it is essential to search for ‘eHarmony video bio’. Is it fake or not? Created by a PR company to promote eHarmony? Most people say it is fake, but one thing is for sure, it caught the attention of a lot of people on Youtube and nationall press within the UK and USA. Check out the link here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mTTwcCVajAc
‘eHarmony Video Bio’ is a YouTube video featuring a woman who calls herself “Debbie” professing her extreme love for cats in what is supposedly a video profile for the dating site eHarmony. The video titled “eHarmony Video Bio” was uploaded by YouTuber hartmanncara on June 3rd, 2011. In it, a young, timid woman “Debbie” begins her monologue explaining that it is her first attempt at creating an online dating profile video. Less than a full minute into the video, “Debbie” suddenly hits a wall of emotions and becomes teary-eyed, professing how much she loves cats. The video has accrued over 23 million views.
Did it deliver the message? It sure created a platform for eHarmony to express their mesage to a large audience, but did that message get lost? It is very important to remember that the message is the key thing to any viral video.
After much rumours and arguably ‘bad’ publicity within newspapers, calling the video a ‘shambles’ and a ‘troll’ , eHarmony came up with an official response to combat those rumours that the video was ‘fabricated’ via, you guessed it, another video! Here is the link to eHarmony’s response: http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=sLZazN8QbYE
Whether or not this video was scripted or homemade and whether or not it created good or bad publicity, that is debatable. But it did go viral, created a lot of online debates as to its authenticity and got publicity within the newspapers. It also generated over 23 million views, and other millions of views with the ‘remixes’ and ‘spoofs’ created as a result of ‘eHarmony video bio’.
We here at StudyPR have come up with the perfect plan to help you go viral with your next video:
1. Do not think outside the box!
There is no need to be as creative as possible, most of the times, a simple idea is a successful idea.
2. Deliver “Sweet and Sour”
Sweet = Entertainment / Sour = Message. Entertainment side is only the tip of the iceberg, the tricky part is delivering your message so as not to seem you are delivering a message. This is why we have named it ‘sour’ and ‘sweet’.
3. Organise, Plan and Gather!
After the creation of your video, it is important that you plan a launch campaign. Organise a strategy, Plan a strategic step by step implementation of your video on each video site, press release, twitter mentions, facebook shares, etc. and then gather all the data so that you can improve on your delivery methods to your audiences.
4. Understand your audience!
You are targeting people and ‘influential people’. By that we do not necessarily mean influential bloggers with massive audiences, but the ‘key small group of people’ to whom your particular idea most resonates with. Bloggers are also an important part and any other person who possesses an audience to whom ‘it can preach’.
5. Platform, Time, Views!
You need a platform for your video to go viral and what better than Youtube? As mentioned earlier, you cannot just post and pray for your audience to engage with your video, but rather plan for it. There are around 10 categories which you can post under, so make sure you post under the category which will get you at least 150 thousand views. The logic behind is that 150k views = a position on the Youtube Viewed Leaderboard. From there, its a piece of cake!
6. Keep rolling!
Once your video has gone viral, make sure it stays that way! Engage with people continuously, create debates, keep posting the video around, keep enticing those ‘influential people’ we have been talking about and make sure your message is transmitted across to people.
Also do not forget these essential steps:
– Do not use crappy video
– Do not produce video which is too fast or too slow
– Do let other people see it first, so they can judge and comment and give you feedback on it
– Do make sure to grab viewers attention within the first 15 seconds of the video
– Do appeal to viewers emotions, tell a story, inspire your viewers
– Do distribute to multiple sources
– Do engage influencers
– Do enable sharing
One company that currently advertises their services as providing ‘viral success’ is http://goviral.com/. Check it out and let us know if you like their ideas, website and write to us! Also, for more viral videos and crazy ideas go to: http://www.smosh.com/smosh-pit/articles/top-20-viral-videos-2011.