3 Crucial Lessons Learned from Adorable Internet Animals
We all enjoy a good funny animal video now and again, be it of the cat-thinks-it's-people, bear-raps-like-Snoop-Dog or Turtle-surfs-with-baby variety. It's a good way to get a quick laugh and put of your work for another two minutes and 35 seconds. Besides the inherent pleasure of watching something like a sleepy puppy trying to stay awake though, there is a greater value in cute animal videos for those in the marketing business.
Cute animal videos are easily the most viral content humanity has ever created since Justin Bieber learned to comb his hair weird. And as many lessons Justin Bieber's hair holds for us all, studying what makes cute animal videos so sharable might be a better way for us to spend our time together. Check out these personal favorites of mine, and let's see what we can learn about improving promotional campaigns/how we can pass off looking at tiny, adorable animals as work.
Besides being adorable and reminding us that animals swimming is endlessly entertaining, the Boogie Boogie Hedgehog video offers and important lesson on content creation: Layer your work. The video combines cuteness with humor and a funny, catchy song, setting it apart and making it more interesting than the 10-billion other cute animal videos out there. Differentiation is important for any content creator, be promotional campaign creators or YouTube entrepreneurs.
(see the OCD blog here: http://corgiaddict.com/)
Corgis are the best dog breed in all universes, galaxies, realities and anyplace else matter or anti-matter exists. This is a scientific fact, and should need no explaining. What might need a little explaining however, is just what exactly the blog Obsessive Corgi Disorder teaches us besides what we already knew (which is mainly that corgis in lobster costumes are just A+). There are couple lessons to pick up here if we really wanted to spend some time on the blog, but the one I'd like to focus on is user-participation. The OCD blog takes a topic and strong content that captures a broad public interest and tweaks it into a user-driven experience. Readers of the OCD submit their own pictures and videos, participate in polls, and share content through the powerful social blogging platform Tumblr. Recreating these steps exactly is obviously something not always necessary in your work, but if you have a similar opportunity to engage end-users through a participatory promotion, don't let it go.
(see the I Can Haz Cheezburger site here: http://icanhascheezburger.com)
According to Internet ranking site Alexa.com, the I Can Haz Cheezburger site is the 2,018th most popular website in the world and the 790th most popular in the United States. Take a minute to think about all the websites that the American populace could be interested in and I'm sure you'll come to the same conclusion I did: 790 is a ludicrously high position for a website that pairs images of cats with simple and somewhat repetitive jokes.
And yet there is it, sitting relatively high-and-mighty on the American cultural landscape. The lesson here is an obvious one, but it's important all the same: Don't underestimate the power of humor. The I Can Haz Cheezburger website has created a large Internet empire, complete with merchandising and a large number of sister sites, out of carefully folding humor into images people already love and respond to. Certainly you don't need to be shoehorning humor into all your work, just remember that it can be an extremely powerful marketing tool when appropriate.
Until next week!
MONDAY MIKE FACT: Despite my love of Corgis, I'm actually a cat person.