Published on October 17th, 2014 | by Janine Popick0
Creating Viral Content Comes Down to Just Letting Go
If I told you an Ohio traffic reporter had over a million views of his video on YouTube, you would probably be surprised.
When was the last time your content or videos got that many views (and that’s in one week)?
Bob Herzog is a traffic reporter for WKRC – Channel 12 in Cleveland, Ohio. He brings a rare musical flair to his job by giving popular songs a weather-related twist. As part of Dance Party Fridays at the station (obviously not your typical news station), he has done everything from Elton John’s “Rocket Man” (changed to “Traffic Man”), Tom Petty’s “Free Falling” (changed to “Tree Falling”), and Barry Manilow’s “Copacabana” (changed to “Drive Indiana”).
His latest parody is “Let It Go” from the Disney movie Frozen. Herzog sings “Just Don’t Go” while trudging through snow and attempting to climb a set of icy stairs, reinforcing how dreadful the weather has been and why it’s a good idea not to venture out on the roads.
Pretty darn catchy for a news station in Cleveland. What I found interesting is that instead of leveraging these videos to generate traffic to a YouTube channel for the station, the videos are posted under Herzog’s name. The station could be generating a lot of additional traffic this way (most of the videos have over 50,000 views).
Another recent example of using pop culture and humor occurred when Durham Academy announced school would be closed due to inclement weather by rapping the announcement to the Vanilla Ice tune, “Ice Ice Baby.” Lyrics included:
All right stop, collaborate and listen
Ice is back and the roads will glisten
Polar vortex has a hold of us tightly
Wind like a harpoon daily and nightly
This video had over 4 million views and was tweeted or posted by CNN, Time.com, BuzzFeed, Gawker, and Deadspin. Not your usual coverage for a school closing due to weather. Plus, I bet a lot of kids now think their school administrators are a lot cooler than they suspected.
Think of some creative ways you can incorporate this approach into your own efforts (we did this a number of years ago when we launched on the Salesforce AppExchange, and the video still gets views today).
Imagine announcing a new product this way, or an event you’re having. The possibilities are endless, so rev up your sense of fun and let it go.
This article by VerticalResponse founder Janine Popick originally appeared on Inc.com.
© 2014, Janine Popick. All rights reserved.