We've all seen it happen -- the video that travels around the world, gathering viewers as it is passed from person to person. This can happen with an inspiring call to action like Randy Pausch's "The Last Lecture" or a tongue-in-cheek battle cry like Sarah Silverman's "The Great Schlep." A friend sent me a video yesterday that moved me enough to forward it to five other friends (an action typically banned by this group!) and I started to wonder if others felt the urge to pass it along too. So I did a little test and here's what I found: After just 19 hours, viewership of the video on YouTube grew from 4,000 to 16,000. In less than half an hour this morning, more than 1,000 people viewed the piece. Here are the stats:
Dec. 9, 2008, 4:15pm - 4,070 viewers on YouTube
Dec. 9, 5:04pm - 6,004 viewers
Dec. 9, 8:54pm - 8,110 viewers
Dec. 10, 7:41am - 14,514 viewers
Dec. 10, 10:31am-15,535 viewers
Dec. 10, 10:57am - 16,692 viewers
So how does this apply to marketers? It shows once again that you need to create an emotional attachment with your audience and you don't do this by just talking about your product. In this case, author Kelly Corrigan doesn't mention her book in the video clip but you can bet sales for "The Middle Place" will shoot up. In your own business, what is the greater connection to your product? How can you help busy mothers provide nutrition to their kids? How can you educate consumers about gasoline so that they see it as more than a commodity? So, talk about more than your product's specs. Offer information that educates or entertains and you just might have the next viral video.