online video tidal wave

Visual Measures, among others, reports on their blog that the Susan Boyle video has reached over 100 million views on YouTube in just a few days. Amazing huh?

Online chart from Visual Measures
A few thoughts:

1. First, it’s a great story. It’s that simple. I’m cynical enough that I have to at least allow for it not to be exactly the way it seems, but it passes my sniff test.

2. It wasn’t designed as a viral video, it even appears that there weren’t many dollars involved for anyone. And the clip featured was longer than I’d suggest, it was 7 minutes long! If a client had asked me, I’d have told ’em “way too long, no one’s going to watch a 7 minute video.” Good story trumps good advice.

3. People promoted it, forwarded it and talked about it because it was interesting not because they felt obligated to or because a friend asked them to. There’s a lot of talk out there about online video being a killer strategy. I agree, but it is easier to shoot video, than it is to create something viral.

If you want to cash in on the online video action, tell a great story. Simple as that.

The good news is that you have a great story if you’re a ministry or organization doing good work. The trick is to tell that story. It will probably take practice and trial and error. But you have to try.

Oneicity is even putting our toes in the water with online video… but gingerly.

Here’s my question, if you watched the Susan Boyle video, where did you hear about it and did you let anyone else know?

I’ll start the ball rolling, Hoots forwarded it to me, “saying, you’re going to love this” and I blogged on it last Monday. I haven’t forwarded otherwise.

And you??

Steve Thomas
Partner, Oneicity

Picture of Steve Thomas

Steve Thomas

11 thoughts on “online video tidal wave”

  1. I first saw it on Twitter on Sunday April 12. I shared it with Steve, who blogged on it the next day. On April 13 I saw it on @HildyGottlieb (Twitter and blog) so I commented…and there read a comment about Susan’s backstory.

    On the 15th, I overhead someone talking about the video at one of my favorite local coffee shops, so I gave them a link to the backstory, too.

    That same day one of my friends on Facebook posted the link to her video, which I commented on. The next day, two more of my facebook friends posted a link to her video.

    On Saturday, I posted a link to an @Mashable article asking if Susan Boyle would be the biggest hit ever on YouTube and then yesterday I posted a link to the Visual Measures chart showing how explosive viewing of her video had been. In all instances, I had some great comments on my Facebook wall.

    And yesterday, we made a new Twitter friend (@janenb) who, it turns out, had also blogged about Susan’s video last week.

    This story just resonates with me for the same reasons it does everyone else. The judges were smug, the audience was rooting against her…and she blew them all away with her God-given talent. It’s a beautiful thing.

  2. Donna Mansfield

    A totally unassuming, natural beauty – that Susan Boyle! I heard about her first from a girlfriend in Newfoundland, Canada who sent me the video, probably moments or an hour or two after the audition. About four hours later I received another, then another – they were pouring in from all over the country. I forwarded the first one to a couple of people – that was all I had time to do. I thought I would do more later. But, everyone else I knew had already taken the ball and run with it.

    First of all, you have a “given” with the television show being telecast all over at least Britain and Canada. Perhaps she would eventually have been noticed, but not on the grand scale that modern technology gives us.

    Secondly, the fact that she wasn’t all made up and could have cared less if every little hair was in place was intriguing – I think that got everyone’s attention right away…unfortunately, in a rather negative way. But, she persevered. She knew she had something that people would like and she put it out there…with no apologies or second thoughts. I would say that her faith in herself (and the faith that obviously her mother had in her) helped give her strength.

    We think of strong women as being those who lead the way, i.e. women’s voting rights (Suffragettes), environmental issues (Rachel Carson), women in Liberia forcing the government to stop their evil – and I could go on and on. I think this woman, Susan Boyle, is a perfect example of how one person can truly change people’s perception of what “beauty and grace” is. She is a strong woman – beides having the voice of an angel.

    During her time, Tammy Fay Baker was an enigma. There are still women on those Christian broadcasts who aspire to look and be like her. I am sure that there are viewers who like to see that (they probably don’t even listen to what they are saying half the time). But, honesty and getting your hands dirty is a wonderful thing to see, too. The whole Susan Boyle story has definitely started many different discussions! Like the one here!!! Marketing!!

    She has no idea! Bless her heart!

  3. I watched Susan Boyle first based on a Tweet or Blog post from Oneicity. (At six minutes I had a little tear, and it wasn’t for missing work.) I passed it along to some more, then by the end of the week it was EVERYWHERE. The view recommendation and comments were coming back from all directions…Facebook, Twitter, emails and even personal conversation. Steve, you so right about the power of a good story, and those stories are imbedded in nearly every non-profit org.

  4. I found the Susan Boyle video the night before it hit the US news. At the time I saw it – the viewed count was less than 56 thousand. My daugher and her partner had found another video from the UK show of a father and son doing a parody of Michael Flattley. In the related videos was a picture of Susan and the tag line that this was the act that shocked the judges. I watched it and was enthralled. I even posted a “note” on my Facebook page about unexpected greatness from ordinary people.

    Being someone who has also been judged as unremarkable for whatever percieved reason – I enjoyed seeing someone like “me” surprise folks. To me – it shows that everyone has a good story – you just have to get past your percieved image to find it!

  5. @Donna: Love your thoughts! I completely agree about how she’s changed the way we think of “beauty and grace.” Maybe that was some of what people were drawn to, a different authentic powerful woman.

  6. @Al: so you had one of those moments too? I so wanted to stand and applaud. I know you have one of those deep and wide networks, how’d you spread it-email? twitter?

  7. @Gwen: Wow, you were on the early part of the wave, weren’t you? I think we’re all drawn to authentic greatness, not the managed and designed perfection that is so much a part of our culture. You “unremarkable”? Never! You have that unique special spark. Thanks for sharing your sparkiness!

  8. Pingback: oneicity // income solutions for non-profits » a deadly social media mistake

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