Am I Viral Yet? How About Now? Now?

Promoting your business with a viral video can sound like free money. Simply make a clever or funny or shocking video, then release it and let the money start rolling in, right? As ridiculous as that sounds, it seems to be the “strategy” many employ with web video.”First, let’s define who makes a viral video. You don’t. I don’t. People who claim they do – don’t. Viewers on the internet do. That seems obvious, but it’s an important mental shift to make. It’s not the creation that makes a video viral, it’s the reaction.

While you have some influence over the reaction, it is not entirely in your hands.There are three things you can do to encourage your video to not just “go viral,” but to actually net a tangible result;1. Start with great content2. Create an effective Call to Action3. Work the social media networkAs the Creative Director for GoodSide Studio, a video production company in Seattle, I can speak with authority on content and have a few words to offer about Call to Action. I’ll leave the third step to a follow up article by Leif Hansen of Spark Social Media.Imagine it’s your first day at a new school.

You don’t get to decide if you’re going to be popular or not. The other kids do . . . or don’t. Do you really want to be popular? Of course you do! But what kind of popular, and at what cost? You can try to be popular with everyone by emulating the cool kids and trying to please absolutely everyone. But let’s get real, that never works, and even if it did, you’d wind up with a bunch of shallow connections because you’re not presenting your true self. To make meaningful connections, you have to show true yourself and visit your main purpose. Turns out your Mom was right.

A lot of viral techniques involve trickery and deception. Don’t use them if your intent is to do anything other than “get a million views, Dude.”I don’t agree with some of the points and deceptive techniques in this video, but it will add to your understanding of what can be done.Here’s an example I love. All fun, all the time!These are great, fun videos that never once mention the quality of the product. They always seem kooky and fun, never self-serving, yet they show their product doing amazing things! Within a week of release, the first “Will it Blend” video had over 6 million hits

Here’s an article about its makers:

You want to do more than simply “get a million views, Dude,” so in addition to creating content that will present your product, cause or idea in a positive light, it’s very effective to include a call to action.

Here’s an example of doing it well:

These videos are funny beyond funny, and very well produced – even well acted, but that’s not why I love them. I love them because they have an honest to goodness Call to Action. Bless them. In order to watch more videos you have to sign up with your email address. This requirement actually prevents the videos from going truly viral. T