The Candace Payne Chewbacca Mask Lady Story
I love the Chewbacca mask toy story of Candace Payne and whilst some believe it may have been intentional and designed to generate sales for a new toy, do you know what? I really couldn’t care if it was. It’s a great happy feel good thing and it’s made lots of people smile.
It also reveals some interesting stats for those who rode the coat tails.
Generating page views on Youtube like a star wars droid on acid
The success on youtube was phenomenal – A sea of copies and copycats rushed to jump on the happy train in a bid to emulate the success or just have a bit of fun with it and as the above youtube search results show, they attained quite healthy channel views as a result.
Jon Deak (I’ve no idea if him and Candace are connected but he owes her a beer or two) 5 million page views. Incredible.
Newworld, 500,000 and rising.
Tyrone Magnus on a reaction video 270,000 +
Numbers to get advertisers moist in the jowls.
Search Volume Explodes Like a Death Star
A look at Google trends, shows the explosion of interest too. From nowhere, to ubiquity.
Where there’s search volume, there’s content…
A look at the web results, reveals that here in the UK too lots of folk jumped in and wrote about it, and why not, it was funny after all and Candace has a great infectious laugh.
Let’s look at three of those urls and see what traction they attained using a few tools out there.
The Facebook URL with Candace’s video has (according to AHREFS) generated 674 unique domain citations.
The YouTube copy which we know to date has generated 5 million plus page views also acquired (according to AHREFS) 656 backlinks
A write up by aleteia.org generated 48 (according to AHREFS) backlinks to the url
As a result alteia.org (according to SEMRush ) has seen a healthy uptick in its organic traffic recently of 29%. Not bad for a story about a lady in a mask.
The story that just keeps on giving…
Even today June 2nd 15:00 GMT the meme continues and the story keeps growing new legs as Candace does the rounds and people continue to chat about it. Source: socialmention.com
So what are the takeaways?
What characteristics does this story have and what can we learn from them?
Well, I’m not going to say there’s a blueprint and here it is, ( I’d be fabulously wealthy cash wise if I could) but it’s useful to look at it and see if there are any common threads that we can at least consider and think about how things like this work and why they do so well and get traction and adoption.
The story is: Funny
People like funny, people like to laugh, who knew! If we can make people feel things with our content, then we are usually on to a winner. Do you remember the laughing baby thing? 4.7 million views and rising.
The story is: Original
How many videos have you seen recently that featured a cool new toy that was hilarious? Not only did you find the video funny, you also secretly wanted your own mask too, right?
The story had: Mass Market Appeal
Everyone (apart from Trekkies perhaps) loves Star Wars right? The franchise has instant mass market appeal across international boundaries. A character like Chewbacca has been mimicked by many a person, in many a city across the globe. Laughter and Chewbacca in this example are pretty much international
The story didn’t seem to be: Contrived
We all hate fake – this story just didn’t seem so at all and as a result Candace was invited to lots of talk shows and has been enjoying her new found mini celebrity status
The story speaks to: Us
We love the story because it’s human and talks to us. We love an infectious laugh and we love that this could so easily be one of our funny friends, back from a store, in their car blah blah blahing incidentally on social media about a cool product or some other experience they had
The story is: Creative
Whether Candace intended it to be or not the story is pretty unique and creative! No one alive had ever shoved a chewy mask on their face and laughed inanely as an electronic Chewbacca cried out for affection.
Creating cool stuff isn’t usually this easy. It’s hard, especially if you’re in a boring old niche, but stuff like this shows that you need not have a massive budget to succeed. If you can come up with something that’s genuine and useful (this is useful as getting people to laugh is absolutely useful) then you are half way there.
I didn’t even touch on the number of social shares that the URL’s referenced generated, but they were pretty stellar too.
Candace, I tip my hat.
Update: I just also read that she and her family have also earned full tuition scholarships as a gift! Brilliant.
Don’t buy questionable link building packages, buy good ones
I was just talking with a friend about link building. He’s a small biz chap with a good product and looking to try and grow what he does.
He asked me for my thoughts on link building and it got me thinking of the variety of services that are out there. The game’s changed, primarily due to the increased perception of risk generated by the chatter and dings delivered by Google.
It’s basically pretty stupid to pay anyone for anything that takes a cheap arse ‘button press’ type approach to link building. 1000 directory submissions, 20 blog posts and 100 forum sigs might seem fairly attractive, especially if it’s packaged up in a £50 one time fee parcel with promises of boosts for your target keyword/s.
I probably sounded almost cliched but I found myself talking to him about creating genuine conversations and buzz and how that one of the best ways of achieving that might be to build a fully integrated platform that enabled him to do so, which might possibly mean creating the most kick arse resource in the country/region/planet for his niche.
I pointed him to a resource that’s fairly niche in the home improvement vertical and showed how they were enabling their visitors to ask questions, give feedback, review products and how they could read product how to’s with guides and tools and videos and podcasts along with the usual social box ticking.
There were a few other generalisms but the point of it all was to try and convey the idea that if you set out to make stuff that is link worthy, as in kick arse useful content that people will want to share on youtube, niche home improvement/green/save the world/ type communities, blogs, social networks etc, then half of the battle is won.
I guess I was trying to say that even if his end product out there in the real world is top class, well priced, sought after that if his online shop front didn’t do the same then in lots of ways, he’d be wasting his time. Why do people expect inferior shitty boring user experiences to rule their niches?
Socialise get down, let your souuuul hit the waves shake it now, go ladies, it’s a living dream… *
I don’t need to bang a drum that says that the web is becoming increasingly social. Anyone with half ounce of eighteen pence knows this already. The fact is that if you have a bog standard, say nothing space on the web, then by and large people just aren’t going to talk about you.
So I kind of went full circle and said something like your link building company should really be talking to you about these very things. Your brand, your product, your offering. How they’d go about creating something viral perhaps or how they’d use his voice and identity and add genuine value to the places that they engaged with on his behalf. He’s a small business, he can’t be everywhere, but maybe his link building company can give him some stellar advice as to how he can get others to do so. If they can’t then there’s a chance that they are stuck in some time warp creating very little else but shit.
Sure, you CAN go and buy links of course. You can go out and spam forums, blogs, pr networks with your stupidly crafted laser targetted anchor text and build links that way. It’ll work too, for a time, but eventually you might get caught up in some mess that see’s your domain Pandarised or Penguinated. I won’t mention Karma. I won’t mention the offence you’ll cause to all and sundry as you pay a bunch of wankers to go pollute the web with your pony “hi nice post” type comments, or your useless kill me now type shitty guest blog posts, or your no one gives a hoot type add no value to the world type press releases as I hope that’s a given.
My closing words were something along the line of ask this ‘expert link builder’ what it is they’ll do.Cut through any old bollocks they give like directories, shitty press releases, guest blog posts in spammy networks and instead listen to those who talk about you and your brand and their understanding of what it is that you are trying to achieve. If they can’t understand that then, I doubt that long term you’ll get any links worth having. Sure, there may be some short term SERP success; but if it’s built on a house of cards, then it’ll eventually fall. Far better to take a long view and do it properly the first time around.
Thanks for listening.
Link to your friends effectively
Some times we tend to take everything we’ve learnt for granted, we assume that everyone must surely know that already. It’s one of the reasons why we tend to use jargon – we just assume that because we know, then it follows that others probably know as well.
So with that little intro out of the way, herein follows a little statement of the obvious that might not be obvious to all. 😀
If you link to them with the words this, here, or click then you are really not doing them as much of a favour as you could be. You wan’t to help your friends right? You wan’t to help improve the relevance of their pages too huh?
So, if they write an article that talks about their launching a new link building service, then use those terms just as I did and link directly to the page too.
If you already know that they are ranking well for a particular term, then mix things up a little for them too. Think of variants of the words they’d like to found for and vary those. People looking for solid business blogging tips might not always enter those terms in a search engine, some might enter make money from your blog, or monetise your blog. By knowing who your write about and taking a little more time, you could be helping them and adding value to what you do, both for them and the people who will subsequently find them in a search engine somewhere.
For those who don’t know – search engines use a thing called anchor text to help them determine relevance. The words that are contained in the link add weight to the page by adding contextual weight. An assumption is made that if a person points to a page with descriptive words, then it follows that the page is likely to be a good match for those terms. If enough people, or enough sites with sufficient levels of authority link to that page for those terms, then the relevance of this page amongst others, is boosted resulting in a greater likelihood of that particular page being returned for the search engine query.