You may have a great video and fantastic marketing plan, but new research shows that blog coverage is one of the best ways to go viral, and two blogs were singled out as viral triggers. Coverage on one of these two blogs could be your key to viral success.
Researchers at the University of Washington, led by associate professor Karine Nahon, sought out to discover what makes a political video go viral, and how blogs play a role in the spread of viral videos. Though the research focused on the viral spread of political videos, it wound up shedding some light on the viral process in general and singled out elite blogs The Huffington Post and Daily Kos as two of the biggest viral triggers in the blogosphere. The research found that these two blogs “are often the first to trigger distribution of particularly interesting videos. Top general blogs, such as TechCrunch, Laughing Squid or blogs associated with major publications, like Wired or The New York Times, then post the videos, and from there, they often go viral.” This may not come as a surprise to YouTubers who have seen “As seen on Huffington Post” written on many a popular YouTube video.
The research followed the path of viral videos through the blogosphere, focusing on four groups of blogs – elite blogs, top general blogs, top political blogs, and tail blogs. The researchers defined each of these groups as follows:
Elite Blogs: Those that had the highest percentage of blog posts linking to the top political videos. The Huffington Post Linked to 98% of the top videos, and The Daily Kos, to 75 percent. These two blogs consistently posted ahead of other political blogs.
Top general blogs: These had more than 250,000 unique visitors from March 2007 to June 2009.
Top political blogs: Until now, most researches have looked at political blogs as one group. Nahon’s team found that Huffington Post and The Daily Kos were outliers, and therefore constituted their own elite group. Other top political blogs, such as Talking Points Memo and American Thinker, then became a group.
Tail blogs: They included all other blogs that linked to the viral videos but lacked the authority that comes with higher viewer counts. Such blogs prolong interest in a video.
As you can see from the diagram below, the elite blogs clearly get the ball rolling in the viral department.
So what’s the moral here? Hopefully your video will catch the attention of Huffington Post, Daily Kos and other elite blogs to send you on your way to viral success. What do you think of the University of Washington research? Do you think it accurately represents the way that videos go viral in the blogosphere?