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Beyond Viral: How to Attract Customers, Promote Your Brand, and Make Money with Online Video by Kevin H. Nalty

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Chapter 16. Learning from Obama Girl

By Ben Relles, founder of BarelyPolitical.com

In this chapter you will learn:

  • What one of the most viral sensations of the decade, Obama Girl, can teach you about creating and promoting your videos.

  • How to take your video from online buzz to mainstream news and conversations.

  • Three proven elements to online-video success based on hands-on experience with entertainment and brand case studies.

  • How to adapt to the medium as it matures, and use online video to build on existing conversations.

Getting Online Video into the Mainstream Conversation

In previous chapters of this book Kevin examines how online videos are discovered most often via ways that don't fit the usual definition of viral sharing. Indeed, most often videos are discovered through search engines, subscribing to YouTube channels, or through "related videos" to the video they are watching. Kevin declared the era of viral video dead in 2008.

However, Kevin asked me to write this chapter in part to theorize about videos that do actually go viral and become part of pop culture. I created an online-video comedy network called Barely Political, which is approaching more than a half billion views. As Kevin has laid out in the book, the majority of our viewership comes through continuously building an audience—which is more sustainable than trying to "go viral" with every video.

One aspect of online video that fascinates me is that sometimes videos do indeed go viral and beyond. They begin as online ...

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