When I am in discussions with social media types, one thing that irks them at times is when a client “makes my video go viral”.
Making a YouTube video that will automatically become viral is about as easy me going on a date with Gossip Girl’s Blake Lively.
Not impossible, but highly improbable.
Viral videos are no different from a hit song, movie and TV show.
It is the people who decide what becomes popular not corporations.
I have seen some of them best produced, highly marketed videos get very little traffic, while a simple web cam video get millions of hits, simply because a person liked a video and then pass it along to their friends via Facebook, Twitter, email, etc. and then their friends repeat the process.
Cologne maker “Old Spice” is a good case study on the ups and downs of viral video success.
Last year videos by the Old Spice Guy character (played by Isaiah Mustafa) gained over 40 million views at its peak. The Old Spice Guy was a 2010 sensation with not only on video, but also TV commercials and parodies as well ( Sesame Street’s Grover).
But that was last year.
Since The Old Spice Guy’s return in 2011, the Social Times said, “ Isaiah Mustafa’s ‘I’m Back’ video only has 681,000 views since it hit the web nearly three weeks ago, during the his return a few weeks ago.”
This is not to say that Old Spice did anything wrong, but the main difference between viral videos and TV commercials is that while Geico’s Cavemen ads can go on for years, online users are loyal to a viral video(s), until another one catches their fancy.
However, this should not deter you to make videos. In fact you should make as many as possible.
Make cheap ones as well as highly produced ones. Make them 30 seconds to five minutes.
Producing videos consistently is your best chance in making a viral hit (quite often it’s the video you least expect that will gain the most attention).
Your video might not receive millions of views like the “Double Rainbow” video, but I would rather create a series of videos that will get me hundreds or thousands of views consistently than become a one hit video wonder like the Chocolate Rain, (the exception to this rule is someone like Antoine Dobson, who has parlayed his video into lucrative business ventures).
Even if you make a video that receives very little traffic, the experience you will gain from writing, producing and editing videos will be a great benefit for your future video efforts and could lead to jobs.
So go out, grab that Cannon or Flip Cam and start looking for your own “Double Rainbow”.
(*Have you ever had a video become a viral hit? Did you make two or more videos with heavy traffic? What type of camera did you use? Did you upload only on YouTube or other video sites?)