Posted April 3, 2013 by Steve Young


This is the final and bonus principle in a 4-part blog series on how to make a viral video based on the four principles outlined in the book The Viral Video Manifesto. This principle is NOT in the book.

Here are links to the four principles:

There’s a little known secret to the success of a viral video. It’s called promotion.

As Kevin Allocca, YouTube’s Trends Manager, stated in his TED Talk, there are three components to a viral video: 1) complete unexpectedness; 2) community participation; and 3) taste makers.

Taste makers are people in the industry that introduce us to new and interesting things and bring them to a larger audience. In the mainstream media, these are folks like Jimmy Kimmel, Jon Stewart, Daniel Tosh among others.

Within the tech community it’s Robert Scoble, Leo Laporte, TechCrunch, etc. Coverage from one of these people or publications can accelerate the viral process.

The Story Behind Rebecca Black’s Friday

With over 50 million views on YouTube, Rebecca Black’s Friday was one of the most popular videos of 2011. However, for the first several months of the video it garnered very little interest. It wasn’t until Tosh.0 covered it on his show and a popular video blogger sent a tweet poking fun of the video did it become the sensational we all love to hate.


How to Get Publicity for Your Video

Mark Malkoff, a comedian and filmmaker, has created several viral videos and has been featured on The Huffington Post, CNN and Fox News.

He created 171 Starbucks where he visits and consumes part of a purchase at all 171 Starbucks stores in Manhattan within 24 hours.

His video series where he lived and worked in an IKEA store for an entire week brought the most publicity in the history of IKEA and won the PR Week of the Year Award.

How does Mark get publicity for his videos?

He researches a ton about his audience. Who will watch and what will resonate with them? The very same way we marketers build a buyer persona, you should build a viewer persona. Think about all the web sites that your audience visits and the taste makers they follow.

Once you have the list, reach out to the journalists, bloggers and taste makers personally the week before you release your video.

Lastly, you want to aim for coverage on 2-3 web sites. That’s enough coverage to cause a PR domino effect.

To learn more about Mark’s process to promoting his video, listen to his interview on Social Media Examiner.

Photo Credit: paul goyette via Compfight cc

About Steve Young

Steve Young is the Director of Product Marketing at SmartShoot. He enjoys writing about marketing, design and product development. Although he shares the same name as a famous quarterback he unfortunately does not share the same bank account, so please throw him a bone and share or comment on his posts. Connect with him on Twitter and Google+.

Keep in touch: @stevepyoung

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