Yes, I said reach 100,000 hits.
This review will cover aspects of the Virtual Reality (VR) trend that is currently in the mainstream.
Neuroscience, psychology, and cognitive behavior tells us that curiosity, observation, and analysis of trends are key components to figuring out the madness that makes things viral.
What is it? The Cambridge dictionary says: “An eager wish to know or learn about something.” This definition could apply to well over 90% of the viewers on youtube.
Curiosity is just a word. The description of the word is the important factor, which will shape and determine the approach and eventual success of any youtube video.
Words like “arouse” and “excite” are very similar to the word “viral.” We could easily describe a popular YouTube video as, “it went into excite-mode,” or, “it aroused the public,” but of course these are not as pleasant to the ear as “it went viral.” We can direct and create material much easier by assessing the descriptive analysis of words that are normally associated with specific videos.
These key word descriptions bring forth imagery in the mind. The imagery will always be different and help to shape YouTube videos. If a person has an eager wish to know or learn about something, we already know they will be searching visuals that can key into the thought process of users who all have similar connections in terms of any niche market, such as virtual reality.
The first, and probably most important, factor is the title picture (visual) associated with each youtube video. This picture must contain all the essential elements that are associated intimately with the VR market (i.e. common colors, phrases, and visuals). Big, bold, and unique images with a flair for nostalgia can capture a viewer’s imagination.
As a real world example, type in “funny VR games.” What comes up? I got these images (see below):
I typed in “funny,” which has a word association description. That description is obvious to all of us; Miriam-Webster describes it as “differing from the ordinary in a suspicious, perplexing, quaint, or eccentric way.” All 4 of these images look exactly like what is being described in the Miriam-Webster definition of “funny.”
What is common among 3 out of the 4 videos? Smiles and laughter. The most original and more intellectual image is number 3. “Richie’s Plank Experience,” suggests a story awaits us. This image is the best of the 4, and the views suggest it has over 4 million.
The Potato cartoon character and younger generation user “boy” have more mass appeal than the dynamite and older male using the VR headset. The font on “escape” has already been used in the title. The re-use of this word serves no purpose other than the font type. The font type plays a role in how a viewer interprets the frenetic energy of the image. Richie’s Plank experience is probably the only image here that effectively uses fonts as a backdrop. The plank is placed over the words, which completely embodies the idea of walking on a questionable surface.
The Title and Descriptions beside each image of course play key roles as support mechanisms for potential viewers. Let us compare at 273,000 hits for “FUNNIEST VIRTUAL REALITY GAME EVER!” versus 32,000 hits for “CAN WE ESCAPE THE PLANE?!?!” These two titles can’t compare. The one with more hits definitely caught my attention. It has the word “funniest,” which is exactly what I used in my search description. That word association is KEY to developing a connection with your viewers.
The title of the second video could be renamed “HILARIOUS ESCAPE ATTEMPTS WITH A PLANE?!?!” That title peaks my interest as a viewer. One can already visualize this plane game as something interesting. It also contains the humor element we were seeking in our search. Instead of using the word “can” which is so basic, we can turn it around and say “attempt,” which adds a new level of descriptive analysis and still keeps with the original intent.
Does any of this really matter? For the sake of consistency, yes it does. Think about it: Nothing is successful long term, especially in the public eye, unless it has a solid foundation and approach that is unique and consistent.
One thing to keep in mind here are subscribers: The 273,000 hits video has approximately 159,000 subscribers versus 1.88 million for the “ESCAPE” video.
So we know already that the number of subscribers has nothing to do with the success of the videos.
The next key question to ask is how to retain viewers. How do you get someone who has clicked on your link to stay focused and watch? Entertainment value will be a key component here.
Good content geared toward the original search idea is going to be key for success. Observation of the image and descriptions in the listings tell us that the HTC Vive Gameplay video is geared toward a younger crowd. This can be verified by clicking the actual videos and comparing.
Okay, I just watched both videos for the first time. Yes, the first video, as suspected, has been marketed with a theme more applicable to a younger crowd. The host is using a modified voice, similar to that of a more mature individual we see on TV game shows. The host also sits in a more conventional way than the Oculus video. This conventional sitting position is much like what we see on TV today with shows like Ellen. The host here is taking center stage first, and then going heavily into full game immersion. The game itself is much more entertaining and involved.
The gameplay with the Oculus rift is actually not funny at all. The host is trying to call it funny, but this game deserves a different title all together. The host seems disingenuous in his attempt to describe the hilarity of the game, whereas the HTC host does a great job opening up with a description, and actually entering into gameplay without trying to change what the game is by using their own personality.
The game relates more to a thriller/adventure type movie compared to the HTC game, which is completely comedy, plus adventure. The voice-overs on the HTC game add quite a special feeling. After watching the content, it is obvious why more hits were given to the HTC game. Question is, could the other game have been developed with better game play?
Yes it could have! But how you ask? The game itself is flawed in so many ways. It has a lack of excitement, curiosity, etc.; it’s just a person sitting in a car with no voice-overs outside of the odd computer generated voice asking for a retinal scan or an emergency signal. If this car was in a plane, how about adding to the excitement by having the plane shift – moving from left to right, then settle and so forth.
The list of things wrong with this game can’t be denied. If anything, this game deserved a more reserved approach on the part of the host. The premise of the idea suggests that you are a secret agent of some sort stuck in a plane with a ticking time bomb and other obstacles. The host could have taken the time to add in some key components of a made up story, for instance.
Being a secret agent is probably the coolest thing ever, so this game should have done much better in terms of YouTube hits and viewership. Comparatively speaking, the lack of setup content by the game and host, along with bad use of images and descriptions caused a lack of hits.
3. Trends and Analysis
VR is currently the new Atari of the 80’s. Progression and acceptance throughout the world will be slow but penetrating. As YouTubers, there is still time for users to enter this market trend.
According to statistics provided by Touchstone Research Innovation & Excellence:
- 79% of people have heard of virtual reality
- 68%, when asked, revealed a basic understanding of what VR is
- 47% know some or a lot about VR.
Of this test group, Samsung, Oculus, and the Sony Project Morpheus retained a product knowledge rate of more than 30%:
- 88% of kids said VR is “off-the-charts” cool
- 80% are very/really excited about the things they might be able to do with VR
- 78% are very/super interested in knowing more about VR and new devices.
Half of the test group expressed concerns about radiation, dizziness, headaches, heavy headsets, loss of limb control (bumping, tripping, falling), and addiction to VR.
The top picks for things to do in VR:
- Visit another country (64%)
- Explore a place they could not (64%)
- Go on an adventure (52%)
- Travel back in time (58%)
- Visit a fantasy world (61%)
- Watch a VR movie (55%)
- Play a game/online app by themselves (57%)
Life games had the highest rating approval at 51% versus 34% for online role playing games.
How strong is the potential of VR with kids and teens? 85% said they would tell their friends about VR, 79% want to learn more, and 75% will ask for a VR device if priced within the gaming console range.
Virtual reality is definitely a trend, and in the current focus of the public.