The false “Future Day” meme, beyond just providing an opportunity to rib your gullible friends, provides a unique and fascinating case study for those of us that care about what gets shared online and why. The meme itself contains a perfect storm of shareable elements that are worth digging into, but well beyond that, it gives us what almost nothing else on the internet can, a very clean baseline on why something goes viral. It's exactly the same thing, posted through the same channels, every single day for several years, but it receives incredibly varying results, some days getting less than ten shares and likes, while gaining thousands on many other days, and topping out at nearly four hundred thousand on its best day. I’ve crunched the numbers for every day for two years to find out why.
Think about it. When you look at viral videos, or Twitter trends, or even just the most-shared news items that get passed around on any given day, the one thing they have in common is that they make people FEEL something – and that's the secret sauce that social marketers need to add to their recipes.
What makes a video go viral? On the one hand, it’s good planning: putting the video in places where it will be seen. On the other, it’s great content - and with that, maybe a little luck. We know, generally, that puppies and kittens are highly shareable when it comes to video, but a cute moment is not the only thing you need to increase views.
We're halfway through 2015, and now is as good a time as any to take a look at the state of video marketing. Many have predicted 2015 to be its year, but has it lived up to the hype? Here we examine some of the highlights in video marketing over the past six months.
MIT Technology Review has a summary of a fascinating recent study on the behavior of networks, and how they can lie to us, or at least make it seem like a majority of people believe something is common when it is not actually the case. The study, conducted by Kristina Lerman and others at the University of Southern California, also provides insight into how some things can go viral and spread like wildfire while similar content or ideas can't seem to get off the ground.
Viral marketing is not a hit-or-miss strategy any more. According to Professor Jonah Berger, a viral scientist and marketing researcher at the University of Pennsylvania, there are five essential traits for content to viral. These must be: surprising, interesting, intense, positive, and actionable.
Some viral content is more like a lightning strike than a campaign. But for content marketers, viral content can still be sought after. Pursuing viral content means you’re invested in content that’s purely shareable -- content that’s likely to get retweeted, liked, and commented on.
Romania has a problem. They have a large population of elderly people, 40%, living alone. So Vodafone, via McCann Erickson Bucharest, created a marketing campaign around two Romanian widows who were still in the habit of cooking enough food for a full family dinner.