Meet Isaac and his son, Bodi. Their video drew over 70 million views on CBS, BuzzFeed, and Ellen Nation. Want to know the exact steps they took to go viral?
- Have a purpose with the content.
Bodi was bullied at school for his long hair, grown to donate to kids with cancer. Isaac pulled out his phone and made a 2 minute video in the shower, posting it on Facebook and boosting the post.
- Use social proof as testimonials to target larger audiences
The local news picked up the story. We boosted that post to people who work in the media– BuzzFeed, Ellen, CBS News, ABC, and so forth. Over 100 targets.
- Amplify to media outlet audiences
Other media outlets picked up the story over the next few days. We shared their posts and boosted to a combo audience (their audience and the media workplace target).
- Engage the top influencers on the posts
Millions of people watched, commented, and shared the videos from these outlets. We replied to the top influencers, which included other media wanting to run the story, often in another language.
- Create follow up content. Keep the viral energy alive.
Outlets worldwide asked him about bullying, how Bodi’s doing, and whether they could share his story. Isaac made follow-on content, so that he wouldn’t be a “one hit wonder”. Using the same style of video, he made more videos on related topics in the same shower location.
Here are some of mentions and shares on Facebook:
- Living Tree: 111,000 views
- Love What Matters: 522,000 views
- China Times: 22,000 views
- Medieval Times Dinner & Tournament – Myrtle Beach: 10,000 views
- BuzzFeed: 8,669,176 views
- Ellen: 2,300 views
- The LAD Bible: 5,425,593, views
- Café Mom: 100,000 views
- Parents: Shared video from Isaac’s page
- Mic: 25,724,728 views
- Shauna Zeck’s video response with David: 4,300 views
- CBS: shared video from Isaac’s page
The nearly 400,000 shares on that post is far more impressive than the 26 million views.
Isaac’s video was translated into Chinese for the China Times.
The video even got a response from Medieval Times!
- Leverage the viral attention.
Next, Isaac used the momentum from the video to build his personal brand and share his story on what it was like to go viral.
Some videos go viral passively, but you can see here that you can do so intentionally as well. As you get picked up on different outlets, share, and re-boost to their audiences to piggyback off their authority. More outlets pick up your story, and you continue to boost. Isaac’s viral adventure is proof that going viral is an outcome that can be driven by a step-by-step process.
About the Author
You can find him quoted in major publications and on television such as CNN, the Wall Street Journal, Washington Post, NPR, and LA Times. Clients have included Nike, Red Bull, the Golden State Warriors, Ashley Furniture, Quiznos-- down to local service businesses like real estate agents and dentists. He's spoken at over 750 conferences in 20 countries, having flown over 6 million miles in the last 30 years to train up young adults and business owners. He speaks for free as long as the organization believes in the job-creation mission and covers business class travel.
You can find him hiking tall mountains, eating chicken wings, and taking Kaqun oxygen baths-- likely in a city near you.