Almost every morning I have The Today Show on in the background while I start my morning routine and minutes ago I heard Matt Lauer say, "Our most ambitious viral video ever coming up this half hour."
Once I stopped laughing from the complete absurdity of it all, I figured it was a good time to remind you all that while everyone talks about making viral videos and forcing things to go viral, it is all a big myth.
We talk about it in Content Rules, that you can not force anything to go viral. I always use a quote I heard at SXSW last year that if you want something to go viral just put boobs or kittens in it. Even that isn't a guarantee.
There is a myth in the marketing world that you can force content to go viral and I'm here to tell you once again: IT IS A MYTH!
The beauty about the world we live in now is that at any moment you can't guess what might grab the world's attention. You can't buy it. You can't schedule it. You can only create something that is awesome, compelling and invokes an emotional response. After that, you have zero control.
So instead of focusing on how many views, buzz and warm fuzzies you want to get, why not focus on what you hope to get out of the content and then create it in the best possible way.
If you are ever lucky enough to have something go viral, are you even set up to capture that momentum and do something with it? Sure, a lot of people might watch your video, but then what? How does that help your business? How does it make you more money?
They just showed the video and guess what? It was nicely done, but I've seen it before. There was nothing original in it. It was an imitation of a sing along that we've all seen before. They didn't even change the song. It left me yawning. They had the chance to create something truly unique and instead they rehashed something we've all seen done before.
Anyone got a connection at NBC to have me on to chat about how it could have been done better and the myth of making content go viral?
Don't embrace the myth and stop spreading the virus.