What makes a YouTube video go Viral?

Youtube Viral Video

We should all be familiar with the concept of Viral Marketing, but what is it that really makes a video go viral?

There is no unique formula for what is needed for your content to go viral online, but there are tons of theories about it. I have chosen to present YouTube Trend Manager Kevin Allocca’s findings on what it takes for a YouTube video to go viral.

Kevin is listing 3 main characteristics that a YouTube video requires to become an online phenomenon.

1.       Tastemakers

For a YouTube video to go viral tastemakers or opinion leaders are a key element. What Kevins research shows is that the boom in traffic to YouTube videos comes just as opinion leaders, usually with a large following base, starts to share the content. This attracts the follower’s attention and the reach of people is suddenly unbelievable.

2.       Community Participation

Kevin highlights another key element: Participation of the community. A successful viral video has a tendency of allowing for interaction and participation. The video might inspire people to replicate it or build on top of it, and again the reach of people is suddenly unbelievable.

3.       Unexpectedness

Last and final element is the absolute uniqueness or unexpectedness of the video. Only videos that present something new, or present something better than previous videos, will experience the audience’s willingness to share and interact. Unexpected presentations of usually uninteresting material is usually the key to a successful viral YouTube video.

Here is an example of a viral video with more than 42 million views on YouTube. The video is of a guy named Matt that is dancing, and he is not in particular good at it. Why should you want to see it? Because it got some unexpected; it involves the community and inspires, and it has probably at some point been shared by tastemakers for it to reach its massive audience.

If you want to see Kevin Allocca’s  full keynote from Ted Talks on the matter of Viral YouTube video. Watch the clip here. In the end it is the audience that defines the popularity!

Ask the What if Question?

Sunshine Coast Innovation Centre

Innovation starts when people ask the What if Question? Today I attend a great lecture in connection with the 10 year anniversary for the Sunshine Coast Innovation Centre. The lecturer was Steve Huff, form managing director of Typefi, an automated publishing too used by companies such as Apple, Lonely Planet and Telstra.

Steve Huff was sharing his entrepreneurial experience, which he did really well. In 1999, just after the IT bobble busted, he founded Typefi, after asking the question; What if we could automate book publishing and save the publishers money by shortening the editing process from several days to today’s just 3 minutes. The entire lecture was framed by this question of: What if? Because as Steve said, that is the main question entrepreneurs ask themselves.

Steve shared a great story of an episode with an online conference call with Apple in Cupertino, where they experienced constant fall outs. The Apple employees became pretty frustrated about the situation and Steve Huff and his team had to admit that they did not have broadband.

Even though Steve’s story was pretty amazing, he underlined that being an entrepreneur is a hard job and he also had a few stories to about sleepless nights, extreme frustration and fear. But as he stated, if you are passionate about what you do, you don’t want to take a break from it.

Today Steve has asked himself the question: What if we could supply refugee camps in Africa with lightning and by that minimize the risk of assault and rape of women and children? With this question has Steve set out to create jobs in a whole new industry of lightning under the name of Doble.

The anniversary also gave the opportunity to say hello to Gideon Shalwick, an online video marketing entrepreneur specialized in turning online videos into cash. I had the pleasure of sitting in on a guest lecture held by Gideon just a week earlier on Campus. It was a great lecture, and I was happy to be presented with the opportunity to have a little chat about Gideon’s book publishing history.

All over a regular Thursday turned into an extraordinary Thursday. Now I am about to ask myself the What if Question? And so should you?

Have you heard about Everplaces?

Everplaces

Everplaces is a web based bookmarking service, created to make it convenient for everyday users to save and share unique places they like, to be rediscovered on a later entry. Everplaces is still very young, and is still in Beta, which is very common for technology businesses.

So what is Everplaces and what can it be used for?

Well, Everplaces is as simple as it sound just very good a bookmarking your places. So when you go out for dinner somewhere new, and you have an enjoyable time, you will be able to save the location, an image and a short description, for you to find it later. This can be applied to all sorts of categories that you might find interesting and it is all operated via your Iphone, or you can go online on your labtop and access the service online.  Furthermore, Everplaces allows you to share those places with friend and followers on Facebook and Twitter. It is as simple as that, So Far!

So why is Everplaces different?

I’m not so sure that Everplaces really is that unique, as a lot of different services out there allow you to save or bookmark stuff. However, Everplaces approach might be just be what separates them from the crowd. What Everplaces have done is to aim at the later adopters of the geo location service and make the product very simple for everyday people to use.

Everplaces have in a short time become very good at bookmarking, and is now moving on to bigger adventures. Everplaces is extending the service to now include the opportunity for exploring the places of ones friends. This is a necessary strategic move for Everplaces to become a real service and not just a cool feature, mainly centred on an App.

Near future for Everplaces!

No one should ever try to predict the future. However, looking at the challenges Everplaces is facing, a very interesting future is ahead of them. I’m not to say whether or not the service will be a success or a failure, but for me it is very clear that for the service to evolve, the development of its “Explore” feature is very important. Everplaces must look into how to utilize all these bookmarks and make them beneficial for the user, in relation to exploring new areas.

Without knowing, I could hope that Everplaces over time will make it possible to pick up the bookmarks of friends, and via GPS location be able to tell me what the people I trust liked in just that place. Still without knowing, I could imagine that this is what Tine Thygesen and the rest of the team at Everplaces is working on.

I’m on Everplaces…

I have been playing around with Everplaces online service and if you want to take a look yourself, visit my Everplaces profile here.

You can sign up and start adding your favourite places, so you won’t ever forget them.