August 6, 2014  by Carly Chalmers
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Viral is Fun!

Marketing Jerk - Lesson 1When you spend the time to create video or other digital content that has a marked impact on your industry, things get fun very quickly, especially when you watch the number of shares, reposts, retweets and comments rise in a very short amount of time. You’ve said something important. You’ve shared useful, actionable information in a timely fashion with people who want to know what you’re talking about. Your blog post, white paper video, etc., flies around the internet, helping people throughout your industry in solid, practical ways. Industries change. Lives change. Your bottom line changes for the better. It feels good to be that useful, doesn’t it?

The importance of constantly maintaining positive (and fun!) vital content is extremely significant to maintaining a reputable image in your industry.  Social media platforms, such as YouTube and Facebook, make this content extremely accessible to a hugely diverse population. Why not make the best of that? Creating content that is both useful and engaging is the best way to ensure connection with your brand, and you may even find that something goes viral or has mass appeal. You do definitely want to go viral for all the RIGHT reasons. For the sake of this blog, we have found examples of three videos that have gone viral for the right reasons, as well as three videos that have gone viral for the wrong reasons. Here are our top three in each category:

#AllTheRightReasons

1. A perfect example of an individual who took the advantage of social media platforms is a man named Nick Vujicic. Nick is an Australian motivational speaker who, unfortunately, was born with a disorder that resulted in the loss of all four of his limbs. For Nick Vujicic, all odds were against him in living a positive life. He was born with a disease that would normally make people feel bad for him, and view his life in a negative fashion. For Nick, the easiest way to be in this situation would be to identify himself as a victim, become embittered about his circumstances and spread negativity, perpetuating the negative assumptions of others. However, this man in particular is so widely known for his success story, due to the fact that he shares viral content that is upbeat, positive, and inspiring to the public. He questions us to become a miracle, if we can not get one. He comments on fear and brokenness, stating that “Pain is pain. Broken is broken. Fear is the biggest disability of all. And, will paralyze you more than being in a wheelchair.” Due to this unexpected positivity, his content spread like wildfire. Click here for video link

Everyone will constantly cheer for the over comer, rather than the negativity spreader. That is why these hard knock stories will almost always become successfully viral. Why is this any different from the hardships that you face in YOUR industry? Never take the easy way out. How will you highlight your industry? 

2. More than likely, you have also seen or heard about the YouTube sensation who goes by the name of Kid President. Kid President, also known as Robby Novak, is a young, passionate, and inspirational 10-year-old boy who uses YouTube as a platform to inspire and motivate others. This young man has achieved over 30 million hits on his YouTube videos, in which he delivers messages such as,  “the world needs more awesome”, and to “treat everyone like it is their birthday.” He questions us, “if we’re all on the same team, then why don’t we start acting like it?”. He impacts us in such a meaningful way, because of his ability to have such a refined and mature view of life at such a young age. Kid President is a brilliant example of the impact of positive viral content.  This 10 year-old boy forces individuals of all ages to evaluate the impact of our actions, the way we treat people, as well as the way we see the world. Click here for video link

And, that’s powerful. There is a direct correlation between the positive content in Robby’s videos to the over 30 million hits that he has achieved. This kind of success can be found in any industry, all thanks to the impact of positive viral content.

3. Our last example of positive viral content can be seen in the powerful Always Infinity advertisement, which proves that a woman’s confidence level decreases significantly after puberty. In this video, an interviewer asks both adults and young girls to perform activities “like a girl”, such as running, throwing, and fighting. When the interviewer asks 2 adult women to run “like a girl”, the women both immediately run around in a demeaning way, both acting unintelligent and prissy. The interviewer then asks a man to “fight like a girl”, and the man immediately reverts to a portrayal of a cat-fight, where he shrieks and paws at another invisible girl. Then, the video shows the interviewer asking young girls the exact same questions. When asked to run like a girl, the young woman runs as fast as she can. When the interviewer asks another young woman to “fight like a girl,” she is shown punching her fists in the air as fast as she can, and so on. You get the picture, right? This campaign was ultimately so successful for the feminine product line, because there was a direct correlation with their message, to the target audience that they are selling their brand to – women. The uplifting content in their campaign was widely accepted and recognized by women in a sensationalized way that made them feel good, and feel as if they are making their voice heard on the self-esteem crisis among women and children worldwide. All while promoting their brand. That’s a pretty awesome branding strategy, don’t you think? Click here for video link

You know what else makes the world awesome? Fun, viral videos that make you feel good, and that you want to share. However, there are also videos that can go viral for the WRONG reasons. Stating this, many videos probably come to mind for you.

#AllTheWrongReasons

1. When we consider content that has gone viral for the wrong reasons, many sensationalized news stories might come in mind. This can be reflected in the viral news story about a woman, referred to as “Sweet Brown”. Sweet Brown earned her fifteen minutes of fame from a news story in which she told a news station that she got bronchitis once her apartment building burned down. This video went viral almost immediately, as it totaled over 1 million views from YouTube within the initial 48 hours that it was posted. This can be largely accredited to Sweet Brown’s humorous temperament towards the situation, as she dramatically stated that when it comes to bronchitis, “ain’t nobody got time for that.” However, although this video went extremely viral, the initial reaction to the video did not necessarily portray Sweet Brown in a respectable fashion. Rather, Sweet Brown is often considered as uneducated, therefore attracting negative attention from the content in her news story and mercilessly ridiculed for this video. Click here for video link

2. This news story is also similar to Antoine Dodson, in which he illustrates his horror after an unknown trespasser attempted to rape his sister in her second-story bedroom. In his interview, Dodson famously advises individuals to “hide your kids, hide your wives, and hide your husbands, because they’re raping everybody out here.” Although Dodson was ultimately trying to express his sheer anger and fear over the situation, he ultimately faced scrutiny from his comments. This is because many people were offended that the sensitive subject of rape was perceived by the public in a humorous matter. The appropriateness of his words came into question as they related to the serious nature of the event he was describing. What do you think? Click here for video link

3. Our last choice for a video that has gone viral for the WRONG reason is Miley Cyrus’ most recent music video with the Flaming Lips, which shows her on a bed with empty pills and pill bottles, a close resemblance to an overdose. When questioned the reasoning behind this controversial message, Wayne Coyne, a member of the Flaming Lips, stated that the music video was in reference to LSD. Although Miley Cyrus still has thousands of supporters, she has also gained extreme media scrutiny from her outlandish videos, from her fans, anti-drug campaigners, and parents alike. Click here for video link

When producing content that may be controversial to the public, always ask yourself, “is this controversial content worth potentially losing hundreds to thousands of supporters?”

This is why carefully revising and considering every piece of content that you put out to the public is essential to perceptions of your positive thought-leadership in your industry. Ultimately, these negative viral videos prove that you never want your content to offend anyone, be polarizing or attract any kind of negative attention. Always be contentious of the content you serve to the public – your words are way more powerful than you might think. A steady flow of positive vital content, which becomes viral, will directly correlate to the reputation that you are building or may already have in your industry, no matter what that industry might be. Constantly remember to promote but also protect your personal, company, or product branding so that prospects always get to see them in the best way that they can. So, in the words of Kid President, “You’ve just been pep talked. Create something that will make the world awesome.”

 

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