One of the best ways to grab massive amounts of attention for your videos is hiding right under your nose. In your newspapers. On your nightly news shows. Literally. Its stunning but true, that one of the near foolproof formulas to video view heaven is to ride the coat tails of current events. It can be breaking news, a pop culture phenomenon (American Idol), or just about anything else that catches the public’s fancy. If its done well (notice I said well, not complicated) its almost guaranteed to draw a reaction. And when you can relate it to a program, product or campaign you have coming up, the result can be pure gold!
Late last year I did a video promotion for a colleague spoofing the infamous Balloon Boy Controversy. You might remember, this was the hoax where a Colorado family, allegedly working on an experimental balloon in their backyard, sparked world wide interest when the balloon became untethered and their 6-year old son was believed to be in the balloon.
The story broke on Thursday. I had the idea for the video Friday and created it over the weekend. I posted it on Monday, first on my friend’s Facebook Fan Page. (The spoof video was a promo for one his live events). And the response was massive! He even posted the link to the video on his Twitter page several days running. And it garnered massive new visibility for his live event. If you are looking to create your own Current Events Video, here are a few tips to make it successful:
1. Act Quickly
Had I waited too long, the response would have been much smaller because the buzz over the event would have died down. The fact that the controversy was fresh and the story continued to build momentum for the next few weeks, meant the video got in right at the start of the publicity curve. When you act quickly, your video benefits from rising interest. If you wait, your results will suffer.
2. Choose Your Events Carefully
Political events or lightning rod issues are best left untouched as you may lose as many fans as you gain. Unless, of course, your business is politics or social commentary. While controversy can create buzz, its best to choose controversies or debates within your own industry, rather than incendiary social issues.
3. Humor Works
Videos which take a humorous slant on the event are often the most popular. Humor also allows you to integrate any pitch or sales message on the back end more seamlessly. When people laugh it relaxes them and creates an opening for your sales message. Especially when your pitch continues the humor, an audience that may have been hostile to “being sold to again” will welcome your offer with open arms.
4. Don’t Pontificate
The most popular videos take an entertaining angle on the event. Unless you are a pundit or commentator, don’t pontificate, get too heavy or too preachy. Its true, some popular personalities on YouTube are opinionated and polarizing. However, as a business owner, you can take your financial life in your hands if you alienate your customers with a message video that rubs them the wrong way.
Not all current events will work. Not all will be something you can spin into a promo. However, if you keep your eyes and ears open for the right one, your video can attract a ton of interest you can then funnel into the promotion of your choice.