How the Kony Video Went Viral and Lessons for Entrepreneurs

In less than a week the 30 minute Kony video , calling for arrest of Lord’s Resistance Army leader, Joseph Kony, has the gained over 49 million views on You Tube, 13 million views on Vimeo and been extensively shared across the major social media platforms.

While the tactics used by of the makers of the video, non-profit Invisible Children, have received some criticism; there can be no question that they have raised the profile of an important issue, gaining praise from the White House and support from celebrities who have tweeted and shared the Kony video with millions of fans and followers.

What Entrepreneurs Can Learn from the Kony Video

The video maker’s powerful understanding of human psychology is key to the Kony video going viral and provides important lessons for startups engaged in pitching, marketing and selling.

The Kony video

1.   Hooks the viewer’s attention immediately, using dramatic music and intrigue. You are left with a sense that something important is coming and are compelled to watch in order to find out. The video also gets your attention with the revelation that there are now more people on Facebook than there were on the planet 200 years ago. A thought provoking fact that many will not be aware of.

2.            Creates a sense of ‘relevance’ for the viewer by showing people from a range of backgrounds, age and racial groups. This video is for everyone.

3.            Create a sense of connection between the viewer and the video by talking in terms of ‘we’ and referring to commonly shared emotional needs e.g. love. This sense of unity is established early and is an important foundation for the call to action that follows.

4.            Powerfully engages the viewer’s emotions by including children and moving moments e.g. a child being rescued and a woman hearing for the first time. Emotional engagement is an essential precursor to getting your audience to take action.

5.            Drives home the themes of ‘sharing’ and ‘change’ throughout the video. These simple, powerful messages cause the viewer to believe they can bring about change by sharing the video.

6.            Has a very clear call to action at the end (4 in fact) which includes share the video.

Share the video.

Martin is the author of ‘Here’s the Pitch‘ available now from Amazon and Barnes & Noble and all leading booksellers

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About Martin Soorjoo

Martin Soorjoo is the founder of San Francisco based Pitch Clinic. Over the past 25 years he has advised, coached and worked with Senior Executives, Investment Bankers, Venture Capitalists, Angels, Startup Founders, Attorneys, Judges, Politicians and other high achievers. Martin works with his clients to increase their Performance, Productivity and Presence. He also helps them create and deliver high impact presentations, whether they are delivering an important keynote address, raising venture capital or seeking a senior position in a company or public body. A former award winning attorney, Martin is the creator of 3XP Performance Coaching and and author of 'Here's the Pitch - How to Pitch Your Business to Anyone, Get Funded and Win Clients' published by Wiley. During his career at the Bar, Martin was consistently rated by the world’s leading legal directories as a ‘leader in his field’. He is a Master Practitioner of Neuro-Linguistic Programming (NLP) and expert in body language and performance psychology.

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