In the battle between video experts and the word viral, the video experts won, at least in the case made at the SXSW session Viral Is A Dirty Word: Strategic Video Success.
The session wasn't about bashing the idea of things "going viral." It was about the word. The word viral derails conversations and thus the word should be banned (it's long been banned in my world). Part of the problem is that people think viral means free in the marketing space, which of course isn't the case. They assume that just because a video is good it will catch on (not true).
With each "Double Rainbow" type video, assumptions are made that it must be easy to generate that many views. That's also not true and imagine if a logo appeared in the "Double Rainbow" video. It wouldn't have been viewed and passed along like it was. Yes, my friends, viral is a dirty word.
So what word or words do we use instead? The panelists suggested a video that's "good" and "relevant to my audience." That's a good place to start but a successful video goes beyond that. It starts with avoiding goals based on video views. The next time someone asks you to create a video that will get 10 million views remember that fewer than 0.4 percent of of YouTube videos reach even 100,000 views.
When it comes to successful videos, the key is science. Achieving that takes a five step antiviral program as shared by panelists Jeremy Sanchez of Global Strategies and Robert John Davis of