What Does the Fox Say? – A YouTube Sensation Becomes a Children’s Book


What-Does-the-Fox-Say-a-YouTube-Sensation-Becomes-a-Childrens-BookWhat does the fox say? That simple question has led to an immensely popular YouTube video. The music video, created by Norwegian comedy duo Ylvis, features people dressed in animal costumes, alongside lyrics about the sounds each of them makes. They then wonder what sound the fox makes, and speculate on a few random nonsense sounds. It’s very simple and rather silly, but the video currently has nearly 250 million views.

But does a flash in the pan hit on YouTube really mean content marketing success? True, a lot of people are viewing the video, but that isn’t the endgame. The goal is to channel that success toward actual monetary gain. How do you do that with a YouTube video? Too often, these pop culture phenomena end up fizzling out and having no lasting impact apart from their single hit.

Real success depends on how you use that popularity once you’ve got it. For instance, the song “What Does the Fox Say?” can also be purchased on iTunes (with a convenient link in the YouTube description) and spent three weeks in the top 10 songs of the Billboard 100. Not too shabby. But it doesn’t end there. Simon & Schuster’s Children’s Publishing has now released a picture book based on “What Does the Fox Say?”—just in time to be a stocking stuffer for Christmas shoppers everywhere.

This is all well and good. But what does it have to do with you? What are the chances that you’ll release a phenomenally popular YouTube video that’s sung or quoted by people all over the world?

First of all, if you know how to promote your content properly, that’s a definite possibility. Second of all, even if you don’t reach 250 million views, the lesson remains the same: When you have content that people like and want, there are all sorts of ways to turn it into opportunities to make money. Maybe you won’t score a book deal with Simon & Schuster. But the Internet makes creating and selling branded products easier than ever. If you have a retail site, add a section to your store with T-Shirts, coffee mugs or other paraphernalia based on one of your popular videos.

Or if your business is something different and making branded products isn’t quite up your alley, sites like CafePress can do it for you. They let you take your images and text and put them on just about anything at all, from T-Shirts and coffee mugs to iPod cases and tote bags and more.

So if you’ve got popular content that your audience seems to like, it can be a great way to promote your company and website. But the opportunities go deeper than that. And there’s no reason not to turn it into something more. What does the fox say? Apparently, it says, “Cha-ching!”

Inbound Marketing 101