Recently, we were trying to come up with new content formats. As part of our strategy, we began doing research on popular channels to see what other successful content creators were doing.
Colin and Samir have had some huge successes, particularly with their YouTube Shorts, so we decided to do some digging to learn what exactly is contributing to their popularity.
To start, we pulled a sample of their highest-performing YouTube Shorts. We also looked at some of their lower-performing videos to help give us a complete picture. Once we compiled all the references, we started looking for patterns. What element do all the high-performing videos have in common?
One pattern that stood out to us was the use of unexpected statistics that tie into real world applications. For example, the fact that after Squid Game came out on Netflix, the sales of Vans shoes increased dramatically. Many of Colin and Samir’s best-performing videos had some kind of statistic like this.
Once we figured out the pattern, we asked ourselves what made those statistics so compelling for a viewer. Our hypothesis: absurdity. With that in mind, we started forming the idea of absurdity as a performance driver. Then, we asked ourselves, “what if we used absurd visuals along with the absurd statistics?” Or maybe we could just use absurd visuals as the Hook Point. Then we could create a video with unexpected statistics that aren’t as interesting or absurd on their own, but rely on the absurd visuals to draw a viewer in.
This is the key to our ideation process. We’re not just blindly copying a popular channel, but rather, we’re attempting to understand the underlying Hook Point and apply it in new and different ways. It’s through this process that we’re able to understand what’s really behind viral success and consistently replicate it on a systemic level.
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