The ROI Revolution Blog

The 4 C’s of the Viral Video Paradox

June 5, 2014

AustinHeadshot-208x274.jpgAustin Craig, pitchman for Orabrush, shared his experience with creating viral videos at the Retail Traffic Summit 2014. In his session he discussed the ways that retailers can plan for a viral video.


That’s right… going viral requires planning.

The paradox of this lies in the fact that the harder you try to go viral, the less likely you are to catch the unexpectedness required to become viral. You see, going viral is caused by 3 things:

  1. Your Tastemakers – these are your fans and followers.
  2. Your Communities of Participation – the likes, comments, and shares of your tastemakers.
  3. Unexpectedness – you have to be doing something no one is expecting.

So, when it comes to creating these viral videos, Austin shared his 4 C’s for viral content (and this can apply to all forms of media and social media):

  • Good Content – retailers need to be creating good, sharable content that speaks to their target audience.
  • Collaboration – retailers can collaborate with a number of people and businesses online to find new and expanded communities of participation through mutually beneficial collaboration partners.
  • Calls-to-Action – retailers should perfect the art of asking. If you don’t ask your audience to ‘Subscribe’, ‘Comment’, or ‘Share’ the answer will always be ‘No.’ By simply asking them to take that next step retailers can increase the likelihood of going viral.
  • Consistency – retailers need to commit to a strategy then do it consistently. Viral videos are not born in one-off creations. They come from consistently creating good content, collaborating with others, and having a call-to-action.

In his closing, Austin shared the story of Poop-Pourri – an innovative product line who’s team spent a lot of time testing videos before accidentally going viral with the one below. The point of the Viral Video Paradox is that retailers can’t strive for viral, but need to focus on serial video content.

What has been your experience with creating videos for your ecommerce website? Share with us in the comments below.

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