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Monday, December 9, 2013

Why Some Web Series Catch On And Many Don't

This article was published by Jeremy Campbell who's Founder and President of the collaborative freelancing website specifically for video and film projects, Spidvid.

I do my best to read a book a month, and it's something I really enjoy doing. The book I recently read is called Contagious by Jonah Berger. In Jonah's very well written book he articulates 6 principles, or STEPPS as he calls them, which cause things to be talked about, shared, and even imitated.

I'm going to do my best to apply the 6 principles to the web series space below. Be sure to buy and read the book too as it is truly an incredible product with many interesting insights. 4.4 stars out of 5 on Amazon certainly doesn't lie!

1. Social Currency - How does it make viewers look to share or talk about your web series? People like to share cool content with their friends, family, followers, and fans to build credibility and influence. Or in today's world, "social currency."

2. Triggers - Create shows that stimulate viewers enough to think about them in social environments. When a video can trigger something in someone's mind, that's huge because your video has made a memorable impression, which can lead to it being organically shared. Make sure that your Episode 1 totally kicks ass!

3. Emotion - How can we create shows that make people feel something? Emotional content often gets shared. Videos must make viewers feel something in their gut, often negative emotion trumps positive emotion. Just watch your evening news, there's a reason you see more bad stories than good unfortunately.

4. Public - Can others see what you're watching while online? Most of the time the answer is likely no, unless you are killing time at work, or perhaps on your iPad at school. But for the most part, we tend to watch videos on our computers alone. If you create episodic content that is being watched in groups, this can be an amazing thing to generate conversation around your content.

5. Practical Value - If you can create shows which add some sort of value to someone's life then good on you. I enjoy creating how-to cooking videos with my girlfriend, and collaborating with other creative talent. I have received many comments, tweets, and emails thanking my team and I for helping viewers discover new delicious recipes which they go onto make and love. That's very rewarding, and generates plenty of positive word of mouth/mouse too. I have embedded one of my favorite episodes below, How To Make Chicken Enchiladas. Click the play button to watch the video, but I warn you not to watch while hungry!

6. Stories - Viewers don't just share information or entertainment, they tell and share stories which resonate with them personally or professionally. Storytelling helps to break through the clutter, and captures the essence of a meaningful connection to viewers. We tend not to remember stats and most details so well, but stories can travel with us for years, or in some cases last a lifetime.

I'll be honest, I haven't re-read many books, but Contagious could be one of those that I pick back up in 5 or 10 years from now, it's that good. Thanks Jonah for writing a compelling story that I'm motivated to and passionate about sharing here on Web Series Today!

1 comment:

  1. I bought Contagious months (a year?) ago in part because of its contagiously great orange cover, and got distracted. Gonna pick it up again. Thanks Jeremy!


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