by Shashi Bellamkonda, Network Solutions and Georgetown University
Today I became the 359,713,166th person to watch the video PSY - GANGNAM STYLE. This video is a single by Korean pop singer PSY and PSY's Wikipedia page is very interesting. I learnt about the Ganganam video from my network connections on Twitter and Facebook and actually from the parodies that were created and the celebrities that were parodied- Google's Executive Chairman Eric Schmidt, Mitt Romney & Obama Gangnam Style parody videos and even one in Klingon that has over 3M views on YouTube.
How many times have communicators and media producers have had conversations hopefully only in corridors from top executives who may suggest that a video taken from a phone could go viral at very low cost. A viral video succeeds because of a well executed strategy and involves planning and an outreach to nurture it's success.
In discussions with my students of my New Media Platforms class at Georgetown, I always talk about the FACT principle:
F= Fun : Use humor and the power to make people smile and they will help you spread it.
A=Attention: You can interchange this with differentiation, the early days of YouTube videos and cats were differentiating, we had only seen humans posting on their webcams before so cats and babies became popular.
C=Community/Collaboration: Make the video easy to share and also hopefully you have already built a community through your presence in communities and conversations and this will help you with your success. You have to be strategic in the people you want to put the video in front of. Usually in most viral videos people have heard about it before they searched for it.
T=Technology: Imagine without YouTube how difficult it would have been to have videos online. Videos have to be well produced unless they are candid camera or a surreptitious video and in any case as communications professionals we are not in the business of making surreptitious videos. While you can take videos with your phone and use it as content they definitely serve the purpose of video blogging.
I have had the chance to be part of a team to work on a viral video campaign called Go Granny that has over 100k views and an earlier instance was this video "Create a Website" video for Network Solutions (A Web.com service). From our experience we put together this slide presentation on a Strategy for a Viral Video that you may find useful.
So as you watch the viral spread of the Gangnam style videos. What is your viral video strategy?