Creating a ‘viral video’ to promote a brand/product/service is just NOT possible.
Creating a video that has a powerful emotional connect, delivers a strong brand message and top class in quality – is possible.
Whether it goes VIRAL or not; cannot be intrinsically controlled.
When does a video become a ‘viral’ video?
Well, there’s no standard text book definition as such – but its a de facto standard – that if a video receives 10,000 OR more visits (via pure organic means), its a viral video.
So, how does a video go viral?
This is extremely significant for digital marketers to understand. Let’s look at the latest videos that went absolutely viral in the past few months – CAN WE FIND A COMMON DENOMINATING FACTOR in these videos?
- Seductive Motion; 11.1 million views since May 24, 2012
- World’s Best Bartender ; 6.2 million views since May 26, 2012
- Best Job | P&G London 2012 Olympic Games Film; 4.8 million views since April 17, 2012
1) 2 videos above are from a well established brand – Samsung & P&G. Whereas one is an ‘individual contributor’ video.
2) All 3 have a hook (or ‘anchor’) which is used by the video in question for connecting with the emotional need of users; e.g. in ‘Seductive Motion’ its the sexuality of the girl that attracts the guys (sex), in ‘World’s Best Bartender’ its the amazing skill set of a common individual amongst us which provides the hook (awe) & in ‘Best Job’ its the love that we feel for the one we call ‘mother’ in our lives (love) which is the hook.
3) Besides the ‘hook’ whose main job is to emotionally connect with the users (viewers), the next component is the theme. Theme decides why the users stay glued and come back ‘again and again’ to view the clip. Hook is enough to receive viewership for the first few times, but not enough to gain the critical mass and set the ball rolling for the video (via social sharing). That is the core job of the ‘theme’. In the first video, the theme is ‘comedy’ (shock value), in the second video, the theme is ‘surprise’ (shock value), and in the third one, the theme is ‘relationship’ (shock value).
4) Script comes next – needs to have an immaculate script, actor/actresses and editing. Quality is a pre-requisite.
5) X-factor – this is the most important WOW factor to sustain the critical mass and keep the ball rolling. There are numerous examples of videos that had components 2, 3 & 4; yet didn’t become viral. The reason is – the X-factor which is the ‘compelling factor’ for an end-user to share it (via social sharing) was missing.
Mathematically put, a video, A, ought to become viral if -
Viral (A) = f ( Hook, Theme, Script, X-factor )
wherein, the function of 4 components when added together – Hook, Theme, Script and an X-factor has high probability of the video to go viral.
Does this necessarily mean – we can make videos on this premise and make it go viral all the time?
Well, as it so happens, NO, it isn’t possible.
All we can do is – study the latest viral videos from time to time, come up with a strong hook, accurate theme, a script which takes care of the message (brand/product/service) and has a Wow! (X-Factor) in the entire video as well. And hope, it goes viral soon