The Rebecca Black Guide to Viral Marketing: 5 Tips for Viral Success

You put down that jug of haterade right now! I don’t understand the huge backlash against 13-year-old singer Rebecca Black over her catchy song, Friday. (When I first saw it, I thought it was a legitimate new hit. It’s the same as Justin Beiber’s “Baby” in terms of vapid content.)

There are so many lessons to learn from Rebecca’s success. Viral content means more traffic and more sales, so let’s break it down and look at the steps that created Rebecca Black’s viral success.

1. Make it Catchy.

I’ve listened to the entire song “Friday” only once or twice, and I bet I could recite the whole thing. It might be vapid, but that song is catchy! If you want your content to go viral, craft something that will haunt your viewers for days to come. (Friday, Friday”¦dammit, make it stop!)

2. Make it Strange.

Rebecca’s song went viral like wildfire because it’s so strange, it’s the perfect combination of perfectly bad. You know you haven’t heard lyrics like, “tomorrow is Saturday, and Sunday comes afterwards” outside of Sesame Street. When you craft something strange, you’re encouraging people to share it. Speaking of sharing”¦

3. Make it interactive, encourage others to play along.

Viral videos are usually high imitable. Anyone with basic video editing software can make their own version of Rebecca Black’s Friday music video; the video is begging to be lampooned. Encourage others to play along, make it a game!

4. Set a low budget.

Rebecca’s mother reportedly paid $4,000 to have the single and accompanying music video produced. The legacy was born from such an incredibly modest budget, it would go on to top the Billboard Hot 100 and other charts! Viral hits don’t have to be expensive, so don’t spend much to produce yours! Like a good Grindhouse horror flick, sometimes the lower the budget, the better.

5. If it’s not risky, you’re not doing it right.

Releasing the silly, banal single Friday into the cruel internet playground was a big Risk. Rebecca was lampooned and insulted across the world, but in the end she’ll get the last laugh. It you don’t feel a little scared releasing your viral content unto the web, you’re not doing it right.

You want your content and products to catch on and spread like wildfire, so take some lessons from Rebecca Black and take Risks. Try something new and crazy, who knows, you may be the next viral hit!

Vanessa wrote this post. She is a full time copywriter and webmarketer with a passion for art, creativity, and thrift. She writes about thrifting, creating, and saving money every weekday on her blog, Thrift Core.

7 comments | Click here to reply

Love the post- Points well made- You are so right about that last one- If we don’t get out of our comfort zone it’s just plain boring-
Thank you for sharing these-

Annamaria Potamiti

Love the post and you got to give the 13 year old props–she did what tons of serious business people would love to do for their brand. Now I just have to think of my risk taking idea!!!

Upscale Downhome

Holly: Thank you! And when you’re famous, think of me when you need a personal assistant, too! 🙂


you are so full of great advice… going to bookmark this along with “how to get them talking about your art” and when i’m famous one day i will list you in the dedication of the book i write ;]

holly anne

And then they covered the song in glee!! That’s when you really know you have made it 🙂


Yep. She’s laughing all the way to the bank, right Miss Lou. 🙂 Thanks for stopping by and leaving a comment. Have a great night.


As much as I don’t like that song I know everything mentioned here is true, I even figure some of these on my own, its like you said no matter how many times ppl have laughed she will be the last one laughing

Miss Lou
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