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You Don't Need To Go Viral

August 2019

The following is basically a summary of Seth Godin’s podcast, Akimbo, episode titled, "It’s not about the chocolate." He answers a question concerning content that has length/depth versus shorter length content and how that affects its ability to be shared. 


“Advertisers who don’t understand the benefit of focus, want mass.” This is the strategy that is driving a lot of content and advertising today. Advertisers want more eyeballs, and given the distribution models found with social media, this means shorter, “snackable” content that is dumbed down so that viewers can understand it at a glance.


Two problems with this strategy. The more apparent one is that most of the things we consider to be important, enlightening or profound cannot be communicated over a short glance. The more subtle, yet more serious problem is that this model creates what Seth often refers to as a, “race to the bottom.” The bottom in this case is shorter, simpler content. Someone will always make something shorter that is more general and that spreads to more people. By participating in this race you create two possible outcomes, A) you win this race and therefore made something incredibly short and meaningless or B) you lose because someone else made something shorter that spread further. Neither result is one worth the effort. So instead of racing to the bottom, race the other direction - pursuing quality content that people learn from and are made better from it. And yes, it’s harder and will take more effort, but it’s a race worth running.


You don’t need to go viral. You just need to reach the right people, the people that will appreciate your product or message. Raise the standard to create something better to get someone's focus and exit the chase for more.


I just want to wrap by saying that this doesn’t discredit all other forms of advertising, just something to consider when seeking to make video content that is impactful.

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