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We’re Goin' Viral! Not So Fast.
By: Lyle Smith
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I hear clients talk about it all the time. In fact, I wish I had a nickel for every time I heard someone say, “hey, let’s make a viral video!” As if that would be some savior of a digital marketing strategy for them.
 
The naked truth is, sure, you’re making a video. But virality is more or less totally out of your control in this way.
What makes content go viral? There are only really three types of content that co viral:
 
  • Funny
  • Touching
  • Angry
If it’s funny, it has to be very funny. It can be irreverent, but not really offensive. If it’s offensive, it has to be extremely funny. Like, you can’t make the rent, but the landlady is pounding on the door kind of funny. Remember this one? >> http://www.funnyordie.com/videos/74/the-landlord-from-will-ferrell-and-adam-ghost-panther-mckay
 
If it’s touching, you just need to tap into the emotional facility of a mass audience of diverse personalities for a ridiculously wide range of cultural, religious, socioeconomic and moral backgrounds. Simple. Pass the tissues >> https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=h1gJVzG4h4k
 
And angry. Angry can go viral, but angry, for obvious reasons, has no particular brand value unless you’re Lewis Black
 
But what makes your funny or touching video go viral?
 
Remember Yosemity62? The crying double rainbow guy? 
 
His video went viral and hit more than two million views in just a few days. Amazing, right?
 
But did you now that his video was posted almost three years earlier? And no one was watching it.
 
The one thing that made it go viral was someone on the staff at Jimmy Kimmel’s late-night show spotted it and tweeted a link to his four million Twitter followers.  Today, it’s at 44 million views and counting.
 
And that is how things go viral. Someone with a deep following - called an “influencer” or a “key influencer,” tweets, or posts to Facebook and all a big portion of the fan base shares it. And so on. And so on.
 
Really great videos can organically get a few hundred or even a few thousand views. But for something to go really, truly viral, it needs to be embraced, liked and shared by your key influencers.
 
And that’s the simple truth behind virality.
 


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About the Author
Lyle Smith is owner of Nymble Content Marketing , a creative and digital marketing consulting firm dedicated to implementing the most effective strategies for their clients. www.nymblecontent.com
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