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How to catch the world's most wanted criminal...
How to catch the world's most wanted criminal...
What is it with Uganda?
It was once home to the notorious military dictator Idi Amin who killed anywhere between 100,000-500,000 people while in power in the 1970s. It's also home to one of the most daring counter-terrorist rescue attempts in history as Israeli commandos rescued 102 plane passengers who had been taken hostage by Idi Amin's forces in 1976, which is often referred to as the Raid of Entebbe.
That raid is something I'm particularly proud of since I now have a son serving as a paratrooper in the Israeli Army, which led the operation to free the hostages.
Today, the world is hunting for another warlord, Joseph Kony ' the world's most wanted criminal who is accused of ordering the abduction of thousands of children in Uganda to become sex slaves and soldiers often forcing them to kill their families. More than 2 million people have been displaced since 1986.
It's sickening to think about.
But Kony is also the subject of the world's most popular video on YouTube that garnered more than 100 million views since its release March 5 as a group of Gen Yers try to bring him to justice.
Using the power of social media, Kony has become a household name in just a few days ' something CNN, the New York Times, the BBC and all the conventional media haven't been able to accomplish in 20 years!
When we first started following the video three days after its release on YouTube it had 20 million views. By the next day, 26 million more people had viewed the video. And within a few more days, the number of views doubled again, making it the fastest-growing viral video in history. The previous record was held by U.K. 'X Factor' contestant Susan Boyle singing 'I Dreamed a Dream,' which took nine days to hit 100 million views. 'Kony 2012' did it in just 6 days.
The video is a terrific case study illustrating the power of social media and how to create your own viral video'
'Kony 2012' was created by Jason Russell, head of the non-profit group Invisible Children, who created the 30-minute video to bring attention to Kony. As of this writing, Russell seems to have suffered a breakdown as a result of criticism against him and his organization. Even so, the video he created is a landmark case of how to grab the attention of viewers and keep it, which is something anyone can learn.
From our research, we've uncovered 3 key factors you can use to take your own videos viral. These are the same 3 key factors Russell also uses in his now-famous 'Kony 2012' video.
First, you have to have an enemy. Every great story has a conflict with good guys and bad guys. In just about every successful marketing campaign there's an enemy. Obviously, in 'Kony 2012' the enemy is Joseph Kony. But who is the enemy in your market? For some it may be banks, the IRS, the government, the economy, higher gas prices and so on.
Second, you have to have a poster child. Charitable organizations know just how powerful a poster child can be to generate support for their causes. There have been numerous tests done that prove that if you try to show the thousands of people that may be affected by disease, malnutrition or abuse you won't get nearly the response compared to just showing one person who has been affected. Why? Because we can identify with one person, but we can't identify with 2 or 3 people or even thousands.
In 'Kony 2012,' for example, Russell focuses the story on one poster child, a young boy he met several years ago. Kony's atrocities are told from the perspective of one child.
That one child represents thousands.
UNICEF learned this lesson years ago and most of its promotions and website feature the story or image of just one child at a time. Take a look at the website SmileTrain.org, which is dedicated to performing corrective surgery for children with cleft lips and palates in about 80 developing countries. They don't feature thousands of pictures or stories. Rather, they just focus on one. Why? Because we can identify with one child ' and we feel we can help one. More than one and we're overwhelmed.
Who is your 'poster child?' When I make presentations at conferences, I usually have one company I highlight as our 'poster child.' This is the single, best example I can use to illustrate my message. Your poster child could be a customer who could tell an amazing before-and-after story based on your product or service. It could be a testimonial from a client. It could be a case study about a customer or client.
Third, you must have a simple call to action in your video. This is another brilliant move by Russell. Catching the world's most wanted criminal who could be anywhere on the planet at the moment sounds impossible, especially as someone who is doing nothing more than watching a video. But Russell concludes with a very easy and simple call to action: sign a pledge of support and be prepared to participate in one day of protest against Kony on April 20.
The call to action is the most important piece to your puzzle. Unfortunately, it's often the weakest piece we see among our clients. Ask yourself: What's the SINGLE, most important thing you want prospects to do? Don't give them too many options. From our research, we've found that the call to action should have no more than three options.
More than three usually leads to a lower response because prospects have to make too many decisions.
What next steps do you want your prospects to take? Do you want them to call? Go to a website? Fill out a form? Download a report? Remember, keep it simple.
Russell's video proves that whether you produce a 30-minute video like he did or a 3-minute video doesn't matter. What matters most is to use the3 key factors (show the enemy, illustrate your story with a poster child and offer a simple call to action) to create your own viral video.
And if you need help creating your next viral video, give us a call. We would be glad to help.
Always taking you from where you are to where you want to go,
Jon Goldman, President