February 20, 2013

The Viral Video Formula

A new platform called TubeRank claims that it has found the formula for viral videos! After a year-long study of videos on YouTube, they have categorized and compartmentalized the seemingly elusive viral video into what they call “audience triggers” and “communities of interest.” The site’s purpose is to generate videos based on these variables to give you viral inspiration. This is very helpful tool and their analysis is spot-on. A video goes viral because it evokes certain emotions (triggers) in a particular “community of interest,” who, in turn, shares it with others outside the community. If the video relates to people outside that community, it could even reach farther and go “super viral.” Take a look at TubeRank’s platform and you’ll see they’ve neatly organized these “triggers” and “interests,” as well as the additional categories of User-Generated Content (UGC) and branded content, into the platform interface. With this platform, you can set the intensity of three triggers, such as “EPIC”, “WTF” or “Educational,” select up to three communities of interests, and choose UGC or branded content or both. BOOM! They pump out the top viral videos for those criteria. With a splash of “EPIC” and loads of “Moving,” we found the viral video of Isaac’s Bruno Mars marriage proposal:   But there is still a BIG PROBLEM with this equation— TubeRank successfully identifies which community of interests and what kind of triggers caused videos to go viral, but it does not identify how these communities discovered the video in the first place. In other words, it’s missing the tipping point of virality. The “make it and they will come” method just doesn’t work! Many great videos lie dormant on YouTube for years until someone of influence happens upon them. Even videos that have great potential and do get noticed sometimes fizzle out quickly. Until the formula can also answer, “How do I get people to notice my videos?” the viral video will stay elusive.