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How One Small Change Got Our Video 13,000,000 More Views On Facebook

Content that resonates is key, there is no argument. I’ve always said just make great content, and you’ll get the views/likes/subscribers you were hoping for.

In the content world today, that’s not entirely true. Content is still key, but realizing the content context is also huge. Where people are consuming it, why they think they should and how they were referred to it plays a huge part. We have the UnScientific proof.

Last year, we shared a clip of my “Millennial Rant” on the UnMarketing Facebook page. One of the things about this new video landscape on Facebook is that 85% of videos are watched with the sound off so we also added closed-captioning, so people could see what I was yelling on stage.

Original Clip

We sent it out to just under 50,000 “fans” on Facebook and it did great. It got over 250,000 “views” (we will break down the vanity data in part two of this post next week).

That’s a great number for anything on Facebook, since the average reach of a brand post is pitiful but I’ve seen many humour clips on Facebook go into the tens of millions of views that were kind of funny, and I knew this clip was gold. (I’m not trying to be arrogant, most things I say that I think are hilarious, aren’t, but I’ve had the luxury of doing the content on stage to thousands of people as a keynote speaker, so I know when they laugh, and laugh hard, it’s gold.)

The video was tickling the funny bone of our immediate fans, and they were sharing it, but then it would drop off.

So I had the team at Atomic Spark Video add a text title bar to the video to entice people to watch it.

And KABOOM! It received over 13,000,000 views, and counting.

The amazing thing is I had already sent out the clip, so it was a repeat to our fans. You’ll notice that the title had to be something that would entice people to want to watch it. (We’re treading dangerously close to encouraging brands to put “Woman Puts Hand In Blender, YOU WON’T BELIEVE WHAT HAPPENS NEXT!!!” on every Facebook video, and for that we are truly sorry).

Why did this happen, and why didn’t it take off the first time?

It’s a classic case of second circle evaporation.

We used the concept of “Third Circle” in the Book Of Business Awesome/UnAwesome to explain how things truly go viral.

Your brand’s page is in the middle and you put out your content on Facebook. A small selection of your first circle (fans) get exposed to it and decide if it’s worthy for them to Like/Share/Comment, which in turn, triggers the content to be sent out to some of their own first circle, which is your second circle.

Getting people who already love your content to react to it isn’t the challenge. They know you, they’ve self-identified as fans of your brand already and are willing to consume and distribute your content based on the fact they’ve Liked your Facebook page. However, when the content hits the second circle, that’s when most content dies of context irrelevance. Sure, one of my Facebook friends shared the content I’ve seen on my Newsfeed so it automatically has some clout to it, but not usually enough to get someone to click on a video and listen to it. The content must entice on its own, free from the friend bias. If people have never seen me on stage, why would they think this clip of a speaker is anything but another irrelevant talk?

That’s where the video headline comes in. We made sure it was enticing enough to make people want to stop the newsfeed scroll and listen for a few seconds at least and give the content the full chance. Once the people in the second circle consume the content, and they share it, with no original brand relationship with you, that’s when it hits the third circle and has gone truly viral.

We don’t want everyone to assume that the only thing stopping your video from getting millions of views is some text in the header, but at least give your video content a chance of being consumed by making it interesting before the click.

This is part 1 of a 2-part series. Next week we will break down all the data of the 13,000,000 million views, why it doesn’t mean as much as you think, are all views on platforms the same, and why Scott is now getting booking requests for his “comedy act” and how that’s not a good thing. Also, the emotion one goes through when thousands of people make fun of someone’s man-bun in the comments. To be notified when it goes live, just sign-up for our handy-dandy newsletter.