Why is your "viral video" just sitting there languishing in obscurity? You had such high hopes for it. But there it sits, gathering dust on YouTube like the kid who threw a birthday party and no one showed up. It's not viral, it's just a video, and that is an important distinction. So repeat after me: You cannot create a viral video. You can only create a video that has high viral potential.
Going viral simply means that a video becomes popular and attains a massive consumer redistribution that you didn't have to pay for. Granted, that can happen with any content, but in this format, we can actually track it. What constitutes a video going viral is entirely up to the individual brand. For some, 10,000 views on YouTube or Facebook is a massive success, for others, 1 million is the magic number.
I like to think of viral as 100,000 views. Why? Besides being a nice number, 100,000 unsolicited views could probably turn roughly 10,000 people into advocates for your brand (there is usually a 10 times multiple from advocates to views). And it's the advocacy behind a brand that is important, not viewers. Otherwise, paying for rich media video banners and force-feeding them the same video content would work -- but it doesn't. At 100,000 views, most video has to be compelling enough to illicit redistribution purely based on interest.
You can use any of the great social media monitoring tools to help monitor those advocates and check your sentiment score. What you are looking for is positive sentiment score movement. If your video is successful in positively changing brand perception then your positive sentiment score will move up. Simple as that.
That's why weighing views as a measure of viral success is dangerous. Advocacy is actually the most important attribute because it measures the positive effect of distribution. While the number of views may be an indicator of video content going viral, they are not an indicator of it having a positive impact.
If you are just counting views, the video content or message could be hurting brand perception. It's the why behind consumer redistribution of your video that is most important. There is a direct and predictive correlation between the number of advocates a brand has and the amount of positive sentiment it is creating -- with both terms leading to how many people are actually purchasing the product (the return on investment).
But before you decide to embark on this viral journey, you have to ask: