Have you seen the latest trending viral YouTube video this Christmas season?
It’s a cute 96 second video against a 1 1/2 minute music track. Short, simple, cute. Perhaps people just want to watch anything other than Gangnam Style, but this is a sharable, watchable fun video in its own right.
Take a look:
You can easily see how this video has racked up 4.5 MILLION video views on YouTube, at least as of this post.
While viral videos can never be architected, there are a couple of things you can learn from this viral video and apply right now:
1) Timing. Just like the timing of PR and any newsjacking piece you are employing, timing of content publishing is important. This video tapped into the Christmastime season as well as the niche trend of families getting new puppies for the holidays. The lesson here? Take your intended message, subject or idea and try to tie it thematically with a current trend, news piece or movement. You’ll hopefully be able to harness the momentum others have already begun so that your video is not trying to depend on pick-up from scratch.
2) Short & Sweet Music Track. The mechanics of the actual video are quite simple. While there a couple of moments that are timed to the actual song, most of the video clips used in the montage are simple and almost random cuts that anyone (like you!) can put together. The key here is that they picked a short and sweet upbeat song to use as the backdrop of the video. By using a music track as the basis for creating the video, it becomes a much easier task to assemble clips to fill in the parts of the song — vs — building a script from scratch, and then trying to source background music to fit / match the storyline. The lesson here? Try planning a video project by using the music track as the constraint and see what happens.
3) Lots of different views. Did you notice all the different camera angles, and varied ways the puppy was shot by the camera? This video took one subject, one idea. And then shot tons of various video clips of the subject (the puppy!). This makes is relatively easy to shoot. Are you shooting a volunteer celebration video? Go out and shoot various scenes of your volunteers in action, high-fiving each other, working together, etc. The lesson here? Don’t make it super complicated and hard on yourself. Find simple approaches in producing your film.
4) Just Publish. If you look at Nanalew’s YouTube channel, this isn’t the only video produced and published this year. In fact, once you start watching the other videos in the account, you’ll see that there a bunch that are nothing close to 4.5-million-view-worthiness. The thing Nanalew understands is that the Internet rewards a bias for action when it comes to publishing content. Many coaching clients I have worked with continue to look at web content as single-event, milestone-like publishing. That’s what you did in the Gutenberg era. But in the Google era, you want to be able to publish a *stream* of content so that your audience on the web can help lift up the winners. That’s exactly what happend with PSY and his 1 Billion View Video. He’s been a Korean pop-star for a decade, pumping out song after song. It was the YouTube audience that decided to make Gangnam Style the king of web video. The lesson here? Stop planning on planning it out. Just start the project and drive it to completion so you can publish it. Remember you always have the option to take it down in the end. But please, just publish.
What else can you see working with Puppy’s First Christmas video that might be applicable to videos for your organization, cause or campaign?