5 reasons why Susan Boyle went viral

susan-boyleYou can’t guarantee anything’s going to go viral, even with the best intent. So here’s my two cents on why a 48-year-old woman named Susan Boyle is taking the world by storm.

1. She’s genuine. Unless this is the biggest marketing ploy ever (and if it is, I gotta hand it to them), Susan Boyle is a real person. She’s human. She’s unassuming. She’s the right blend of humble, naive and assertive. She’s real. So real you almost don’t believe her, but that’s only after repeated viewings when your cynicism’s had a chance to kick in.

2. She’s unexpected. I’m not going to belabor the looks issue. She’s not a Vogue beauty, ok? But that makes what she delivers even more unexpected.

3. She delivers. Les Miserables ain’t my cup of tea, but Ms. Boyle belts it out with exceptional, professional, beautiful, near-note-perfect delivery. So the packaging may be unassuming but there’s a diamond in there. Think: why is the Tiffany’s box so simple?

4. She’s entertaining. Her voice grabs us, as does her obscurity to fame story. We love nobodies who become somebodies. So she’s got the required emotional pull of any campaign.

5. She’s subversive. Susan’s looks vs. talent and her cheeky attitude threw conventional expectations back in the faces of the famous judges on Britain’s Got Talent, even dear Simon Cowell. And it takes a lot to throw that guy.

6. She’s got a Scottish accent. C’mon. Anyone with a UK lilt makes things sound better when they talk.  If you don’t believe me, check out the successful Panacea’s web tutorials on makeup applications. She’s garnered over 5 million views.

So, how do you apply this to your own marketing strategy?

As David Meerman Scott says in World Wide Rave: Creating Triggers that Get Millions of People to Spread Your Ideas and Share Your Stories, “people like to be entertained and share in something remarkable. So, if you want people to talk about you, be entertaining, share something remarkable, and resist the urge to hype.

“When a product or service solves someone’s problem or is valuable, interesting, funny or just plain outrageous, it’s ready to be shared.”

And, “when you’ve got something worth sharing, people will share it, no coercion necessary.”

Plus, it doesn’t hurt to hire someone from the UK, at the very least, to do your voicemail message.

Need help coming up with ideas that can cause a rave? Email me and we’ll do it for a — wait for it — song!