Product Development June 30, 2020

I Hired Jesus For A Viral Video – And Failed Horribly… Sorry

CJ Ezinne @cjezinne

As a founder, it always seems like everywhere I go, some new company has done something to experience some crazy, viral growth.

Examples:

And a little over a year ago... I was hooked on this idea.

I was going to create a viral video that exponentially grows my user numbers!

The Infamous quote "If you build it, they will come" started ringing in my ears.

... But Boy was I wrong.

And I still cringe and apologetic about it to this day!

Background:

===============

Almost 2 years ago, I founded a side-project called The Crypt. This was a newsletter that focused on Tech & Finance News.

Similar to what The Techonomics is today, however, we use a lot more Artificial Intelligence and an entirely different tech stack.

I am a fan of both tech and finance media, I spent years working and studying these industries so working on this project was a great way to bridge my interests and work on something interesting.

I have had previous successes with online-based businesses before. I have bought, created, and sold multiple blogs in the past, but this was my first newsletter-based business and this one was a bit tech-heavy.

So initially I thought, no worries... this shouldn't be too hard to grow... Ha

The Crypt was HELL to grow. Months and months of various content marketing strategies just to get mere hundreds of subscribers.

So I had the brilliant idea that it was time to GO VIRAL!

I was going to make a video of Jesus Christ... giving financial advice... on Easter

I still cringe thinking about it!

What Was I Thinking?
========================

Honestly, At the time, I was 100% sure I was doing it right.

I read multiple articles at the time giving me the secret formula to making a viral video. (In hindsight this was ridiculous)

Steps To Creating Viral Video:


  • ✅ Focus on a single message
  • Provide value
  • ✅ Use the right format
  • ✅ Create a catchy, branded thumbnail
  • Etc...

And to time it right on easter?

This was brilliant! (sarcastic)

The actor I worked with was viral at the time for his work with Pewdiepie and other YouTubers. So I knew the production quality would be great.

As a raised Christian myself, with a poor sense of humor. I assumed people would get the joke and ask themselves.

"Lol. Why is Jesus giving me financial advice?... Welp, time to sign up for this newsletter"

Well, that is not what happened…

Results
===========

Like you may have expected, the results were poor.

  • ❌ Shared on HackerNews -- Fail

  • ❌ Shared on Reddit -- Fail

  • ❌ Facebook Ads -- Fail

    • Average Play Time: 9 seconds

  • ❌ Our Own Newsletter -- Fail

    • Not even a single click on the video

My close friends told me this wouldn't work and 1 year later... I still cringe at the fact I thought this was a good idea!

Conclusion
==============

Would I do this again?

Make a video using the signifying figure of a large organized religion to push my product? No... and you shouldn't either.

However, will I try to make another viral video again? Of Course

You have to shoot your shot if you ever plan on succeeding.

Quick Favor?
================

If you enjoyed this post. I created a Twitter Thread summarizing this post.

I would love if you shared this, by simply retweeting and like the tweet -- here.

And if you are looking for an awesome Tech & Finance Newsletter -- Join us at The Techonomics for free - here.

Lastly, But most importantly... I apologize to anyone I may have offended with this viral experiment.

  1. 1

    Do you still have the video?