Dan Ackerman Greenberg , of the The Comotion Group posted an interesting guest blog on TechCrunch a while ago on how to make your video go viral. Although some of his recommendations are a little too nefarious for my tastes, I do plan to implement some of the more direct approaches into my promotion of the RedX expired listing and FSBO lead generation system for real estate agents.
Overall, Ackerman claims to be successful in turning a video viral in just a few days, and shoots for at least 50,000 downloads. His techniques are as follows:
“Content is NOT King”
- Make it short: 15-30 seconds is ideal; break down long stories into bite-sized clips
- Design for remixing: create a video that is simple enough to be remixed over and over again by others. Ex: “Dramatic Hamster”
- Don’t make an outright ad: if a video feels like an ad, viewers won’t share it unless it’s really amazing. Ex: Sony Bravia
- Make it shocking: give a viewer no choice but to investigate further. Ex: “UFO Haiti”
- Use attention-grabbing headlines: make the viewer say, “Holy xxxx, did that actually happen?!” Ex: “Stolen Nascar”
- Appeal to sex: if all else fails, hire the most attractive women available to be in the video. Ex: “Yoga 4 Dudes” "
Post the video with a title that will grab attention and periodically change it if you are not getting enough traction.
YouTube grabs the thumbnail from the middle of the video. Try to make the thumbnail contain a face, preferably a pretty female.
Commenting: Having a conversation with your circle
Make sure that all of your friends and colleagues are aware of the video and have a chance to comment, post. Ask them not to hold back on their opinions, a heated dialog creates attention.
Releasing all videos simultaneously
If you have a campaign, why make people wait to see the next installment?
I did not realize this, but YouTube uses the tags that you use to describe your video to populate the related content video block. If you have multiple videos, you can choose and obscure tag to make sure that all of your videos pop up when one is being viewed.
Metrics and Tracking
Dan recommended TubeMogul and VidMetrix both have the ability to submit your video to multiple online video networks with just one submission, and both have decent traffic tracking. TubeMogul seems to track with a couple more networks, but both are great tools.
Dan received a lot of negative feedback regarding his post, and has a much better description of his intention which he posted on his follow-up. Both the original post and the follow up are worth a read. Regardless, when the video marketing component of our RedX promotion comes online, I will be working to make the content viral.
TAGS: Redx, Dan Ackerman Greenberg, TechCrunch, Viral Video Marketing, Most Viewed YouTube, secrets of viral marketing, 20 million clicks, clandestine marketing