Viral video advice from Nancy Rausman

What you can learn about video marketing from the Piper Sinclair success story.

This article originally appeared in the October 2015 edition of INVISION.

Like any optometrist, Dr. Josiah Young of Opticare Vision Center in Newport, KY, was only doing his job when he discovered that 10-month old Piper Sinclair had hyperopia and fit her with corrective eyewear.

And as many parents might these days, Piper’s parents took a video clip of their little girl enjoying her new glasses and posted it on Facebook. Within weeks, Dr. Young was fielding phone calls from CNN, The Today Show, Fox News, CBS News and other media. (If for some reason you missed it — maybe you were on a monthlong vacation without wifi? — watch it below.)

Picked up her glasses. Went out to eat and put them on her. Her reaction :) melts my heart

Posted by Jessica Sinclair on Saturday, June 6, 2015

As the video of Piper seeing well for the first time nears 50 million views, many of us may wonder, “How can I make that happen for me?” What was it about Piper’s video that made it an instant sensation — and can that success be replicated? You may not want to hear this, but having a video go viral is sort of like a winning lottery ticket: It’s unpredictable, hard to achieve and even harder to replicate. However, there are ways you can create engaging and shareable videos that will get you some attention.

Keep an eye out for inspirational and interesting stories, and when a patient is willing, share them.

Publish news releases about newsworthy events in your business and reach out to local news sources.

Get involved in the community to create opportunities for publicity or shareable moments.

Engage your staff in brainstorming ideas for creative or timely content.

If a video does start to gain traction, run with it. Share it by email and on social media, blog about it, inform local media outlets and spread the word. Opticare Vision Center has dedicated an entire page on its website to tracking the success of this story and promoting InfantSEE.

Being in the right place at the right time is an element in viral video success, but here are seven traits of videos that are highly shareable:

Short: Keep videos under a minute (shorter if possible), with the most engaging content at the beginning.

Positive: Viral videos are popular because they evoke emotions in their viewers. Happy and positive emotions are best!

Inspiring: People like videos that tell a story — and if the story inspires them, it’s even better. As Dr. Young wrote on Opticare’s website, “It’s hard for parents of children with vision problems to understand the impact it has on their child’s vision, until you see something like this. When she finally sees her mother clearly through the new glasses, the reaction is so genuine that it tugs on your heart.” People enjoy stories of other people overcoming a struggle, and they want to share those stories with others.

Timely: Whether it is a how-to video on the best way to cut a watermelon or a parody of the latest hit TV series, people love to share video content that they can relate to.

Funny: Most of us enjoy sharing a good laugh, which is why humor tends to spread fast. Sometimes the funniest moments happen unexpectedly, so be sure to have a smartphone or other video recording device ready on hand.

Interactive: Remember the ice bucket challenge? That concept went viral because it got people involved. Finding ways to involve your audience will spark a stronger relationship with your viewers.

Informative: Everyone loves to learn about the world around them, especially tricks or “hacks” to make everyday tasks easier. By teaching your audience something interesting that they didn’t already know, you not only create content that is highly shareable but you establish your practice as a knowledgeable and trustworthy expert.

As an eyecare professional, you often encounter small miracles and inspiring stories. Make it a goal to capture those stories and share them with the community around you. You never know when something will touch some heartstrings ... and even take the media by storm.

Nancy Rausman is managing editor of EyeCarePro, a leading provider of online marketing services and practice improvement strategies for optometrists. EyeCarePro develops results-driven strategies for social media, search engine optimization, online and traditional offline marketing and sales growth initiatives. Contact her at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

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