Gangnam Lessons: 5 Simple Steps for Your Ad to Go ‘Viral’
Gangnam Style has become the first YouTube video in history to reach 2 billion views. What does that mean for your ad or freshly produced webisode for that new product?
It means that it's possible — even in marketing circles — to reach that level of buzz simply by harnessing the power of a set of tips. Your video has the potential to go wide. Maybe not 2 billion views wide, but wide enough so that you actually extract value (e.g., customers, new users, web traffic) from the video that you spent your marketing dollars on.
My company helped spread the Kobe versus Messi ad (at 137 million views), so over the years it's learned that most ads fall flat online. However, it's also observed five steps that make it much more likely that your video will spread the way that you want it to. How? It all boils down to this:
1. Analyze views. Show your video to a smaller sample of viewers and optimize it using analytic tools such as a heat map of mouse movements and clicks. This can be done by using your own internal database of best customers or just your fans on Twitter and Facebook.
2. Have a strategic ad release. Pick a date and time to release your ad when you'll need less views to reach the top of YouTube leaderboards (e.g., when other brands in your industry aren't releasing theirs). This may take some degree of research, but it's worth it.
3. Quickly collect those views first. Before a video can be shared to a larger audience, a core group needs to see it first. Reach out to tastemakers (i.e., bloggers and influential Twitter users) and give them an exclusive preview to get initial views.