Video Essentials

Breaking Down the Myth of Viral Videos

The viral video is the ultimate goal of every online video-creating brand, right? Maybe so, but it shouldn’t be. Speaking at the Ubertube Brand Summit in New York City, Andreas Goeldi, CTO for YouTube marketing specialist Pixability, explained why viral video success is often less genuine than it seems.

Goeldi“Do I need a viral video? When you actually look at the data, first of all it turns out that a lot of the videos that you think of as a viral success are in reality not really viral,” Goeldi said. “They don’t get their views for free from people sharing the video. They actually pay for a lot of these views, and this includes a lot of famous examples.”

Yes, many brands purchase views for their videos to get them started. After all, videos have to be seen in the first place if they’re going to be shared. While these videos generate a lot of earned media traffic, it’s rarely spontaneous.

Even when videos do go viral, that doesn’t always translate into big sales for the brand. Virals often to a lousy job of moving viewers to make a purchase.

“In a lot of cases they are not actually an ideal vehicle for brands, because in order to go viral you need to be funny and interesting in many ways, but it’s very difficult to convey a brand message through that vehicle,” Goeldi said. “What we have found through our analysis is that very often the really successful videos for brands are the ones that are relatively boring.”

In other words, the videos that focus more on being useful than splashy are often the ones that pull in big numbers. So the next time you want a viral hit, simply deliver information that your customers and potential customers are looking for.

To view the full interview with Andreas Goeldi, including analysis on what viewers really watch on YouTube, play the full video below.


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