In honor of my Journalism 240 class preparing to discuss how videos go viral this Monday, I thought I would do a little research myself on YouTube and find someone who might have some experience in this area.
Well, I found him…Jimmy Fallon! Fallon is the newest host on the Tonight Show and has a special talent in creating videos that grab the attention of many viewers. Not only are they amusing and funny to watch, the videos poke fun at relevant trends, dive into historical culture, and feature famous faces such as Justin Timberlake and Will Smith.
Jimmy Fallon truly is a man who can speak YouTube!
With a popular TV show behind him, many of Fallon’s videos receive over 3 million views. In fact, some of his best videos have reached over 22 million views.
So what makes Fallon so successful in making his videos go viral? I turn to an article my JOMC professor sent me that highlights the key factors needed in making a video go viral. The most important thing to consider when making a video is how you are going to get people to see it, click it, and share it. Essentially, SHARING is EVERYTHING. Your video will not at all get any attention if people do not share it.
One way to ensure that people are more likely to share “something is if they have a strong, positive emotional response to it….the lesson from this isn’t so much that people like to feel feelings when they engage with a piece of content, it is that when it works – when the thing actually makes them cry or exclaim or feel inspired or shocked or happy – they want to share that experience with others.”
I believe Jimmy Fallon has mastered this lesson! Most of his videos are comical and light-hearted. I can’t help but smile when I watch them and I personally want to share them with my friends via Facebook and Twitter. Even on a bad day, Fallon’s videos make me feel better. In fact, I often forget about stressful events that I have either endured or will endure while watching his videos. He makes it seem so easy…yet I am sure a lot of planning and practice went into producing a perfect video.
But seriously…who would have thought to make #Hashtag videos that make fun of the popular Twitter phenomenon? Its genius! And then Fallon, takes it up a notch by incorporating actors such as Jonah Hill and Justin Timberlake into his videos. It can’t get any better!
Fallon also understands the value of knowing who his audience is and targeting specific individuals from his viewership. Along with creating videos that grab the attention of the youth, Fallon also considers his older audience. For instance, Fallon knows that many more adults watch the news and therefore created a rap parody with Brian Williams. Unlike his other videos, Fallon did not even appear in this video. However, he received over 7 millions views on YouTube…and who knows how many people viewed his video outside of YouTube!?!?!
That being said, here is my FAVORITE video produced by Jimmy Fallon and his team. He recreated the popular 90’s TV show Full House and had the cast of Full Cast appear in the video. How cool!
So to my JOMC peers….Fallon is a wonderful example if any of us ever try to make a video go viral! Good luck!
Keep it up Fallon! Your videos are the BEST!