Whether you’re a private video junkie or a company trying to get your brand out there, having your content go viral is a marketer’s dream. The fantasy is always the same, you put out a video and it’s picked up by the biggest thought leaders and influencers in your market. They tweet or share it on Facebook and Google+ with their millions of followers and it catches like wildfire and you instantly become the new Gangnam Style or Harlem Shake phenomenon. The server crashes, you get exposure on every single one of the hottest sites and you live happily ever after.
It’s time to wake up and stop with the fairy tale, fast track dreams of success. Let’s take a closer look at PSY, the Korean King of Pop and producer of Gangnam style. Do you really think a Korean pop star ever dreamed that his video would reach two billion (!!!) views?
Let me ask you another question, if you were the CEO of a company and I brought you a music video in Korean, would you ever let me run it and hope for it to go viral?
Personally, I can’t stand the song and I think the choreography is absolutely ridiculous, but my opinion or whether you agree or disagree with me is totally irrelevant, PSY’s viral success is undisputed. Videos like Gangnam style and Harlem Shake are flukes and although neither predicted or expected the virality they gained, there can certainly teach us a thing or two about viral content.
1. ADMIT IT, YOU HAVE NO CLUE
The first and perhaps the most frustrating lesson videos like Gangnam Style and Harlem Shake prove is: You just never know.
You can put up the most meaningful video and it gets absolutely no attention and then comes along a music video of people randomly jumping around and before you know it every office across the globe has their own rendition of the Harlem Shake. PSY and Harlem Shake producers had no clue how far their videos were going to go, in fact, if I had to guess, they didn’t care! Which brings me to my second point.
2. BE YOURSELF
When PSY was videoing Gangnam Style, he was not trying to be viral, he was simply doing what he does best and his charisma, rhythm and the trotting conquered the world.
“How Do I Become The Next PSY?”
If this question even slightly went through your mind, you’re still not getting it. You cannot be the next Gangnam Style. The reason PSY was successful was because he was PSY. He did not attempt to to be like Shakira or Justin Timberlake, he was unique, one of a kind and he sang in Korean for God’s sake.
You want your content to go viral? Stop trying to create viral content and start offering real value.
No, seriously, stop it!
If you are confusing virality with the number of Facebook Likes or Twitter followers you have yet to understand the power of the web. If likes and followers are what you want, I can introduce you to a friend I met on Fiverr who can get you hundreds of thousands of Likes in under two weeks. If, however, you are looking to develop and create sharable content, that’s a whole different ball game.
Popular videos and content are not about how much exposure your video gets, it’s about how many people decided to pass your content on. Trying to forcefully create and push viral content is like trying too hard to be the popular guy or gal at the party. You usually end up waking up in the morning with a huge headache and while everyone saw you, you remain totally irrelevant and worse, you’re annoying!
3. What’s In It For Them
The last and perhaps most important factor in creating viral content is value. Whether your goal is to offer important information or trigger an emotional response, your content must be both interesting and valuable to the viewers. When I say valuable, I am not talking about life altering, but I am talking about something that will catch the viewer’s eye and the heart and trigger enough of an interest that they want all their friends to share the same experience. Whether it makes them laugh, cry or gain new information, your content should make a difference in your viewer’s eyes.
This video has been trending on Vodio over the past week, what in your opinion was the secret to their success?