Great, a viral video! Now: What does it mean for Ohio State?

Ohio State has a new most popular video on its YouTube channel: an eight-minute piece of the marching band’s Sept. 27 Wizard of Oz-themed halftime show.

In itself, it’s exciting to see a video on an Ohio State channel climb past the million mark.

But there’s also a more subtle story that’s interesting to communicators: how a fun, popular piece of content raises the visibility of all the content we produce. Below, some lessons learned — and in case you missed them, the videos themselves.

Viewed by a million: A great band video that gave us a chance to brag about the talent behind the scenes.

We anticipated high traffic with the band story, so we planned to “ride the wave” and use that attention to share a great story about current band students and leadership. On Saturday, the band show hit the web. On Tuesday morning, we shared 
an osu.edu feature that focused on the work the students and new band leadership put in behind the scenes. (Made possible by teamwork between University Communications and the College of Arts and Sciences.) We used the popularity of the halftime show to shine a spotlight on a larger story about the caliber of students in the band: band members’ average GPA (3.5), record of community service and a history of innovation that dates to 1930.

A viral hit means more views across the board. The band wasn’t the only beneficiary of increased viewership. Unrelated Ohio State videos also saw a bump — in particular, two recent videos focused on Ohio State’s fight to end cancer. Views of a video profile on James survivor and Pelotonia rider Wally Yocum increased about six times; a newsier companion piece announcing Doug Ulman’s new role with Pelonia multiplied about five.

The beneficiary of the boost: Stories about Ohio State efforts to fight cancer.

And lastly, a bigger subscriber base. Since the band video hit, Ohio State’s YouTube channel has gained more than 3,000 subscribers. That means thousands more people will be told about new Ohio State videos as they post. And that’s a win the entire Buckeye community can celebrate.