It's the holy grail. Just this week a client asked me, “What makes a video go viral?
Everyone wants to know the shortcut to a super-popular video.
Heck, I want to know myself.
One company that probably has a better idea than most is Visible Measures, a company whose business it is to measure viral video. They have a case study or two that you can read to give you a more scientific view of how stuff goes viral.
I think that the key is to be remarkable, emotional, or very funny. You have to move people to say, “Wow, I have to share this with my friends.” Then you have to launch the video in such a way that is has a good chance of being seen. A popular blog is a great place for a video to take off, and don't forget links sent via e-mail.
A couple of years ago Dan Akerman wrote a compelling “how to launch a viral video” guide on TechCrunch that included some questionable practices, but he also peppered in some good ideas.
I picked three very different videos here, one is a commercial that is very funny and odd, which makes it fun; the second is a video put together by a patient at the Mayo Clinic that is both fun and heartwarming; and the third is a very lighthearted and funny video about how United destroyed one of its customer's guitars. What they all have in common is that they have that special mojo that sent them viral.
Let's hear from you, what do YOU think made these viral videos runaway hits?
Evian Rollerskating Babies – as of today, 5.9 million views
CAUGHT ON VIDEO
Mayo Clinic Couple, as of today, 4.1 million views
<=”<” allowscriptaccess=”always” allowfullscreen=”true” />
THE SPURNED CUSTOMER
United Breaks Guitars, as of today 3.2 million views