Will It Blend Week, part 1: 6 tips for creating viral content

As a preview for Word of Mouth Supergenius: The “How to be Great at Word of Mouth Marketing” Conference here in Chicago on December 16, we’re dedicating a full week to our halftime celebrities from Will It Blend — one of the most successful viral video series of all time.

Here are 6 tips from Blendtec’s VP of Marketing and Sales, George Wright, on the fundamentals for viral success:

1. There has to be something worth sharing

Your videos can’t be just funny or goofy — you need an inspirational or educational element. There has to be real value within the content in order for people to continue to share it.

2. Focus on business objectives

The goal is not just to “go viral,” the goal is to help a business message spread. If a million people forward a meaningless video, it does no good. Before you create your video, decide what you want people to do when they see it.

3. Include a “sponsored by…”

Always include proper disclosure. Sometimes companies think they need to hide their involvement to help the video spread, but that only serves to hurt both your reputation and your business objectives (see point number 2).

4. It has to be real

It’s easier to be authentic than to pull off amazing acting. Most of us aren’t actors, so it’s pretty obvious when we pretend to be. A huge part of Will It Blend’s success is that Tom Dickson (the guy featured in all their videos) is Tom Dickson — the founder and CEO of the company.

5. Support interactivity

Get you fans involved by using their ideas to make your content better. When Blendtec requested ideas on what to blend next, thousands of fans asked them to destroy an iPhone. The payoffs of supporting interactivity is that it builds advanced demand for upcoming content and that it helps fans take a little ownership in the content they love so much.

6. Offer simple subscriptions

One of the best things about great viral content is that it gives you the chance to earn permission to send your stuff to fans again. Through simple YouTube subscriptions, Blendtec can now share their new videos with more than 200,000 subscribers on day 1.

P.S. Check out Tom blending an iPhone (this video alone has 7.5 million YouTube views):

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  1. Will It Blend? Our 4-part series on creating content people love to share - November 18, 2009

    […] Part 1: George’s 6 tips for creating viral content […]

  2. Will It Blend Week, part 4: How it all got started - November 19, 2009

    […] George’s six tips for creating viral content […]

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