by Bryan Boettger, Chief Creative Officer
Increasingly, businesses and corporations are seeking to create viral videos. However, true viral videos are not typically “created,” rather they “happen.” So, in order to better “create” a viral video, we sought to better understand how these videos in fact “happened.” The outcome was The Buddy Group’s Viral Barometer, a tool to help gauge a video’s viral potential. In this post, we break down the Viral Barometer’s methodology so you can better understand and use the tool.
(You might wish to visit the Viral Barometer at ViralBarometer.com before continuing.)
In order to reverse engineer viral videos, we first needed a set of viral videos to analyze. Searching online for Top Online Videos and Top Viral Videos lists, two rose to the top as both comprehensive and somewhat objective in their selection process:
• Mashable’s Top YouTube Videos All Time — May 25, 2009
• Videogum’s Top Videos 2009 — Dec. 25, 2009
These two lists provided a total of 39 videos from which to gain insights. After (re)watching, analyzing, breaking down and comparing the 39 videos, a combination of 10 traits emerged as indicators for a video’s viral potential. These 10 traits fuel the calculations for the Viral Barometer.
BEFORE YOU START
There are four important facts that are imperative for properly using the Viral Barometer.
1) Accurate assessments require divesting yourself from the video.
It takes a personal investment of passion and energy to make a compelling video, but it takes a personal divestment to properly assess the video. Think of it like home movies of your kids — you find them so amazing you can watch for hours, but an honest assessment tells you your neighbors are likely to gnaw a limb off to escape more than 15 minutes.
2) Like a true virus, viral videos need good hosts to spread.
You might have the funniest, most unique video in the world. But, if it only sits on your own blog and you don’t actively share the video, get others to share the video and put it on sites where people can discover it… (more…)