Let’s start off funny. The following are NOT the 5 steps to viral video results:
- Sit around drinking and talking about funny video ideas.
- List a bunch of successful viral videos and come up with knock-off ideas to copy them.
- Call every funny video idea “viral” before it’s even created and before someone has ever seen it and before anyone has ever passed it to anyone.
- Let your clients disapprove all your good ideas and then run with the lame ones.
- Create videos without thinking about distribution because OF COURSE it’s going to go viral after just the first person views it.
You get the point.
I recently interviewed a couple of people for my Social Media Expert Interview series – Scott Stratten of UnMarketing fame and Carrie Wilkerson, The Barefoot Executive – who gave me a new perspective on viral video creation.
Why You Shouldn’t Try To Be Funny
The upshot is: funny videos are the hardest to get to go viral. Sense of humor is very personal. And it doesn’t matter if 100,000 people see your skateboarding dog catch fire and faceplant if you don’t get anything out of all those video views. Unless you’re just trying to have fun. But if you care about results, keep reading.
There’s a simpler way. And you can tie it to a conversion event you want to get.
A More Effective Viral Video Style
Just create what I call the “Emotional Slideshow” (because there was no name for it and that’s all I could think of on the spot) type of viral video.
These are nothing new, but they work like gangbusters.
The Time Movie has received 1.4MM views despite being very simply and cheezier than Fabio movie backed by a Yanni soundtrack. Scott admits to being sick of it. But his goal was to get motivational speaking gigs and launch his speaking career without years of painful free gigs- and it worked.
The Boss Movie helped Carrie Wilkerson build a list of 24,000 work-at-home women to market to in just 9 months.
The Crappy Day Movie just debuted and is my first attempt at one of these Emotional Slideshow movies. But it has its own Facebook page and I hear those are really hard to start and very, very expensive.
The Five Steps to Creating An “Emotional Slideshow” Viral Video
- Know your audience
- List their three biggest problems and three biggest obstacles (you’ll have 6 points)
- List their three biggest dreams (not goals), then three examples each of life with those dreams fulfilled (you’ll have 9 points)
- Create a line of negative and positive affirmations for each of those 15 points above
- Find an emotionally evocative image for each point, and music for the entire slideshow, and create the movie
You can have more points, but you want each image and sentence to last about 7 seconds, and the full movie to be 3-4 minutes.
Then, of course, watch it on several occasions and have other people proof it, especially if they’re your target audience.
Make sure you have some social media monitoring going on, to check on the virility and reputation of your video. If you watched The Boss Movie, you’ll notice Carrie brings up an opt-in page after the movie for a pdf about the 7 Things Your Boss Doesn’t Want You To Know. This is a bribe that goes straight to the audience’s core problem- the limitations of employment. When conceiving your bribe, make sure you start with titles and think like a copywriter before you create the content you’re going to give away.