How do you make a video, blog post, or any digital content go viral? It’s the burning question on all of our minds and everyone is pouring an endless amount of coffee, memes and agency hours into finding the right formula. So what makes content contagious?
Maybe we can take a few queues from viral content luminaries and musicians, (I’m of course referring to the Indie band), OK Go. In their breakout viral video, the Chicago based musicians belted the song Here it Goes Again while expertly jumping between running treadmills. The video has since topped 21 million views on YouTube. OK Go’s online success came before their radio play. Videos featuring Rube Goldberg machines and dancing dogs quickly assembled their loyal and expansive fan base online.
Their latest video, The Writing’s on the Wall was headlined on Mashable today and features a colorful set of optical illusions laid over an ironically, warm and catchy melody about a looming breakup. What can the rest of us take from the band’s impressive collection of superbly viral videos?
1. Do Make People Smile
It’s all about making people smile, said lead singer, Damian Kulash in a CNN interview. “Content succeeds online because it brings people joy, it makes them smile,” he said.
2. Don’t think of it as ‘Marketing’
You’re going to have the most success if you think of your content as something you’re sharing for the enjoyment of your audience. Don’t focus on your products, or metrics. “We didn’t really think of our online videos as videos at first,” Kulash told CNN. “They were just sort of these weird gifts to our fans that we knew we were connected to online.”
3. Don’t Limit Your Vision
If we’ve learned anything from OK Go it’s that people want to share content that’s visually consuming, not just compelling. It needs to be “interesting enough to be passed along to friends and family members,” the singer said. “That’s no stunt, it’s just a matter of making something that’s genuine and interesting.” The sky’s the limit. Oh and of course, great music doesn’t hurt.