How to Make a Video Go Viral

This is a live blog from SXSW Interactive 2013. Forgive any typos–fingers flying across the keyboard to share what I’m learning.

Bettina Hein, Pixability
Why marketers care about whether it’s video go viral? FREE awareness!!!
Let’s pull back the curtain on what are the juicy aspects of what’s in the content mix, outreach and engineering and paid ads—a mix that drives virality.
Viral videos that are essentially ads—up to 84% of views are typically driven by ads.
Nike’s Greatness video—only 40 % were free views—
VW Darth Vader video was part of an integrated marketing campaign that included
Super Bowl ad
Middle market brands can win with How-tos and good learning content.
Build Direct—steady lead flow over time.
Real virality is often smaller than you think.
Coke—500,000 views bc they chose NOT to buy ads around it and let it tumble-grow
Sharing—Find the relevance heartthrob of the community you want to reach.
Deliver the content that touches that passion or need and then the community will begin sharing.
Identify leaders and cultivate them early.
Seeding–Drive engagement by getting your videos seen by the right people.
This is moving more toward “pay for post” which explains why my blog gets hit up weekly by pay-to play content marketers.
IM views for $800 are claims that will be robot-driven and Google will panelize you.
Incentivized—passive watches that drive the numbers of views but aren’t the target you want to reach and convert.
Bring an engineer’s mindset to the mix
Look at traffic sources
Target links to lead your traffic
Clone your successes in future videos
Paying for views is nothing to be ashamed of—
See your YouTube channels as your
TruView to opt-in and out
Dermablend—virality can happen L’Oreal
12 million views
Visual concept
Know your audience
Share their passion
Seed authentically
Use ads in a very targeted way
Kevin Doonan, EVP Machinima—male-oriented video channel, 2.6 million viewers
Ingredients for virality:
1. Audience—very targeted- We reach young men on the bleeding edge of culture—yes, he used the word culture!
2.     Point of View—very cool, cutting edge content
3.     Partners
“Washing machine 25” 6.9 million views
Cardboard warfare
As views increased dwell time grew, too. The
Fan boy stuff very popular.
1. Social
2. Affiliates/network  to tumble through
3. PR/earned
If you have a piece of content that is meaningful to a network and offer it to a network to scale the audience
WIRED did a story on growth of Machinima
Mortal Kombat Legacy—built huge audience because believed
Look at your space and see what kind of content is already relevant to them and get your video picked up by that network.
Eduardo Tobon, Diner’s Club
His challenge: How To Get a Bunch of Bankers to Agree to Do Video?
Got Filmmakers Creating Videos for Brands
One statement tells a story-
Create great content and test it against material already out there, and put a soft-wrap around the popular videos and approach the creator and ask to “sponsor” the soft wrap.