The Kony video was a short documentary that went viral fast. It spread like wildfire in just one short weekend. For Internet marketers, the Kony video was a case study to learn from.
Storytelling at Its Best
The Kony video was about an African guerrilla leader who trained kids to be killers. If you’re like most folks who hear that description, you’re probably on YouTube right now looking it up. The reason? Because it’s so darn intriguing.
It went viral because it told a compelling story that you just couldn’t resist. It had all the elements of great storytelling – good plot, interesting characters, and a story that moved you along to the end, and you couldn’t wait to see what would happen.
Takeaway – Turn your videos into stories. Write compelling descriptions that make viewers say to themselves, ‘I’ve got to see what this is about.’ Keep them moving through the video in excited anticipation just like a Hollywood blockbuster.
Kony Had Its Tribe
The Kony video didn’t just pop out of nowhere and take the world by storm. It was produced by a non-profit organization called Invisible Children that already had a strong, solid following. They primed their tribe for the release of the video so that the minute it was uploaded, it was getting viewed.
Takeaway – You need a following that’s hungry for what you’re offering. You can create this following through your email list and social media sites. Before you launch a video, prime the pump and get them excited with promotional deals.
Emotional Hot Buttons
One of the main reasons the Kony video worked is that it pushed its viewers’ emotional hot buttons. You couldn’t watch that video and not be moved. In my opinion, this is the single greatest factor that got it shared so widely.
Takeaway – Resonate with your viewers’ needs, wants, fears, worries and loves. Get them emotionally involved in your video. It doesn’t matter what the emotion as long as it moves them.
The Call to Action
Did you watch the Kony video? If you did, you’ll notice that they weren’t subtle at all about asking you to share it. In fact, that almost seemed to be the central message of the video! Throughout, they told you exactly what you needed to do – share it with your friends through social media.
Takeaway – Tell your visitors to spread the word. A little nudge is usually all it takes for them to click on that ‘share’ button and let everybody know about your awesome video.
Remember that a viral video isn’t an overnight phenomenon. It requires you to know your market well and perfect your video making until you finally hit the nail on the head. It also takes other things aside from video production like priming your target market and urging them to share.
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