We’ve all heard how important it is for aspiring authors and authors to utilize videos on websites, in blogs and in information products. And we’ve heard about videos going viral, which is what we all dream about accomplishing. While we can’t guarantee that will happen when we create and post a video to YouTube, for those of us reticent to even get started in the realm of YouTube video production, knowing what to do to make a popular video makes stepping in front of the camera seem a bit more worthwhile.
That’s why today I’ve asked my frequent guest blogger Drew Gerber, CEO of www.PublicityResults.com and creator of www.PitchRate.com, back to tell us how to create viral videos. Of course, first you have to know how to make a video… Once you’ve mastered that technology, though, Drew’s tips will help you create a successful video.
Online Book Marketing—Injected with a Virus!
By L. Drew Gerber
What on Earth did we do before YouTube? How did we watch missed episodes of our favorite TV shows, learn how to get six pack abs in three minutes, or check out the new Old Spice commercial everyone’s raving about – at the click of a button?
Before YouTube’s launch in 2005, there were limited options for regular people like you and me to publish videos online. Now, YouTube and other free sites like Vimeo and MetaCafe have turned video sharing into one of the most popular and important parts of Internet culture—and online marketing.
According to a recent report, in 2010, we’ve watched more than 700 billion YouTube videos, and uploaded more than 13 million hours worth of video. And of course a handful of those were shared, Facebooked and re-tweeted into viral video stardom.
So how do you know what makes a video go viral? Ask the experts, of course!
I recently chatted with Barbara Jones, Editorial Director, and Katherine Tasheff, Executive Director of Digital Media and Marketing at Hyperion and VOICE Books about a fun new video about hot flashes, hormones, and menopause.
“It was truly a group effort over a few conference calls and brainstorms. Though without Jack Dolgen’s [Shmirshky Universal‘s Chief Operating Officer] sense of humor we wouldn’t have made it there,” says Katherine Tasheff.
“It’s based on real women’s experiences with perimenopause and menopause, which are so extreme as to border—and sometimes fall into—the funny,” says Barbara Jones.
This team knows what it’s talking about, as evidenced by the runaway success of Kelly Corrigan’s Transcending. The video was a reading of an essay that was bound into the paperback of Kelly’s memoir The Middle Place. “We released on a Monday early in December and by the next weekend we were over 100,000 views,” Katherine says.
Ultimately, the Transcending video has produced nearly 5 million hits, and 28 weeks on the New York Times bestseller list. And it’s still being watched!
According to Katherine’s team, there are three things every video should have if you want it to go viral:
- Connection—humorous (The Annoying Orange), touching (Transcending), or surprising (Susan Boyle).
- Visceral—We’re all really, REALLY busy. Unless we’re moved on a gut level, we won’t forward anything.
So there you have it. Simple, right?
P.S. According to the YouTube Trends blog, here’s the official 2010 YouTube Top 10 most watched list, as of November. The videos on this list got more than 250 million views collectively. Enjoy!
About the Author
L. Drew Gerber is CEO of www.PublicityResults.com and creator of www.PitchRate.com, a free media connection service for journalists, experts, and publicists. Sign up now for free publicity advice including a free online marketing course. Gerber’s business practices and staffing innovations have been revered by PR Week, Good Morning America and the Christian Science Monitor. His companies handle international PR campaigns and his staff develops online press kits for authors, speakers and companies with Online PressKit 24/7, a technology he developed (www.PressKit247.com). Contact L. Drew Gerber at: AskDrew@PublicityResults.com or call him at 828-749-3548.