I penned a few posts on the work Realtime Man blog whilst in SXSW recently. I thought I'd repost here in case you missed them. This one is about compelling content.
Cat videos on the internet. Love them or hate them they’re here and you can’t escape them.
Sitting listening to a talk about the First Internet Cat Video Festival, it’s easy to question yourself. “Should I be here?” “Will this talk add value to my learning?” “Why do intelligent human beings exhibit such an emotional reaction to seeing a cat in a tie?” “Why have I just ‘aaaahed’ out loud to a kitten falling asleep?”
Well, whilst some people might think they’re the perfect example of the internet jumping the shark, the fact is over 10,000 visitors attended the inaugural Cat Video Festival, and cat videos regularly boast millions of views. There’s something about them that people want to seek out, want to view and want to emotionally engage with. Those are assets brands crave.
So what is it about cat videos that make them extremely sticky content? Here are two thoughts for starters:
- There’s a long history of cats being used in art. Look at ancient greek art. All the internet has done has democratised their distribution. So, find a cultural zeitgeist and tap into it.
- Cats are cute. People like to look at them because of this. They illicit an emotional reaction from people.
Now, there are a whole bunch of other reasons, and I’m sure those reasons are not rational. But, if you want sticky content you could do a lot worse than creating (or curating) content that taps into a cultural zeitgeist and draws a deep emotional reaction from people. And, whether you like it or not, learn from the cats and stop being so rational.
“Internet cat videos are doing all the things good advertising should: They’re creating conversations. They’re creating shared fun. They’re creating vocal detractors. They’re creating enduring content.”
Learn from the cats and you too can haz engaging content.