I decided to read the chapter about going viral as I feel this will be essential to our projects success. I have some experience with having a couple products go viral but interestingly enough the viral aspect of my products had very little to do with the product itself.
Being a videographer and future filmmaker, I follow many blogs and many of the pros. One of which is Philip Bloom whom I have had the privilege of meeting in person. Philip is a very successful filmmaker who travels around the world teaching classes and films. The thing is that his videos are good, but not so good as for him to be as popular as he is. What Philip has is a great personality and he gives away very important lessons on filmmaking. This combination has made him incredibly successful. It is not his final product that has leapt him into success; there are plenty of other indie filmmakers who have created higher quality work than Philip, but they don’t please the audience as much as Philip.
A couple years ago a friend of mine reached out and asked me to help her record her husbands (also my friend) homecoming after 7 months overseas. I told her “sure! Ill even one up you and edit a video for you”. I edited a short video (which was inspired by a wedding video I had watched from one of my favorite and very successful wedding videographers 4120 studios) and sent it to her to share with her family. To my complete surprise everyone really loved the video. ***this was right around the time that I figured out that telling a story in a video is very important*** My video was pretty good, but not viral good. My friend uploaded the video to her youtube account and labeled it “the best military homecoming video EVER! WARNING: this video will make you cry”. This video has over a million views now. The thing is that its not because I did a good job, or that I told a story, its because she labeled the video so darn well. She presented a challenge in her title “this video will make you cry” which led the viewer to a video that was not your average youtube wish-wash. She also dare say it’s the best homecoming video ever, even if its not, the viewer will now watch the video just to challenge her statement. This was brilliance on her behalf. The combination of the two blew this video up and the rest is history.
Recently I did a video for a paraplegic woman who is my friend. She wanted to do a video about her dog that has a very special talent; he pushes her in her wheelchair. She told me right off the bat that she wanted her video to go viral. Again the success of this video, which reached 20,000 views in a couple days, was not based on my abilities (though they helped). She had blown this thing up on every dog-related blog she could find. She went on all the trainers’ websites and blew this thing up and sent it to all her friends and tagged all their friends. The part where my skills came in was I delivered a good story that was connected at the end. Whether the viewer was initially annoyed at being tagged or not, once they watched the video it was heartfelt and again not the typical youtube wish-wash.
Having a great product is very important however it is not all that matters as illustrated above. Making something go viral is not just about luck, you can actually have an impact and create a buzz. If you put in the work and thought you also can have success and results.