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What are viral videos and how can they benefit my business’s online marketing?

Written by Adam Bullas, January 23, 2014
Chemistry

What are viral videos and how can they benefit my business’s online marketing?

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There seems to be a misconception when it comes to getting your online video seen by a lot of people and that is that you need a big budget to reach thousands of people. The only thing you need is a good idea and you can reach thousands of people without having to pay out much money at all.

In the blog below we will explain what is a viral video and give examples of some of the most popular viral videos, including the following:

Blendtec phone beldning videomusic video for band Atomic TomViral quirky music video ‘The Fox’ and complaints about broken comments on Google+.

 

What is a viral video?

Viral videos are videos that have become successful generating lots of views through sharing via places like social networks, email and instant messaging. 

Typically, they would consist of content that is funny, unusual or shock value to encourage sharing. Viral videos are sometimes never intended to become viral. They can be a result of a lot of people taking a liking to it and posting it to social bookmarking sites such as reddit where it’s relatively easy to reach a large audience and gain popularity should the content be appealing.

Examples of some great viral videos

#1 – Blendtec viral video

In the Blendtec phone blending video above, you will see one of the many Blendtec videos demonstrating how durable their blenders are by blending random objects (typically electronic equipment) which generated the shock value required for something to go viral. It also demonstrated how good and durable their blenders are. A lot of people would see the blending an iPhone 5 for example and think of it as idiocy, you should be looking at it and seeing genius. Let look at the facts, at the time of writing this their videos have reached a combined total of 227,597,880 views. Taking just one of those videos such as the iPhone vs Samsung S3 video, we can see that that video has reached nearly 8 million views. Let’s say the combined cost of the devices came out at £1,000, would you pay that to reach 8 million people in one video? Seems like a bargain to me.  How much would you have to pay through traditional marketing methods to reach that many people and have them want to share the content?

The below video shows one of Blendtec’s viral videos.

#2 – Atomic Tom viral video

A second example can be found with a music video for band Atomic Tom that you can see below.

#3 – Music video ‘The Fox’ viral video

A third example shows the Viral quirky music video ‘The Fox’ which has had over 340 million views on YouTube

#4 – Broken Google+ comments video

Many YouTubers made complaints about the broken comments on Google+ integration gaining as many as 2 million views in two months.

In the music video for Atomic tom, the band are on a train and instead of playing their instruments to create their music, they are using virtual instruments on a number of iPhones to create the music and perform it live on the train.

The video has nearly 6 million views and it probably cost them nothing as most people have devices capable of doing this. Not only is it a great way to reach a large audience, it’s a great way to stand out from all of the other predictable music videos and set yourself apart.

Some tips for getting started with viral videos and your marketing activity…

#1 – Use social media to spread the word

With the examples listed so far, they are showing ways that you can utilise YouTube to reach huge audiences with little to no budget. With the recent surge in Micro Video and apps such as Vine and Instagram, you have even more ways available to you and your business.

#2 – Think original and encourange sharing 

You just need to sit down, think outside the box and come up with something that will stand out from your competitors and have that share factor, something that generates natural promotion through sharing on social media sites and word of mouth.

#3 – Brainstorm video ideas with your team

A good strategy is to get together with your team and try to think of something wacky, something unusual. Most businesses even today are stuck with a very traditional vision of how marketing and promotion should be done. The reality is, times are changing and in order to be current, you need to take risks.

#4 – Seek specialist support to get the ball rolling

Once you have your idea recorded and uploaded, you might need the support of an internet marketing agency to help set up some sponsored listings and promotional activity to ‘get the ball’ rolling. The fact is, once a few people have seen a great unique video, you can expect somewhat of a snowball effect and from there on, you can rely on natural user sharing to spread your video.

#5 – Get users subscribed and keep them informed of new updates

Not only will this video capture traffic and spread your brand when on YouTube, users can subscribe meaning they will be notified if you or your company puts out any more content in the future. This is a great way of gaining a following online.

These tips should be enough to get you thinking about how to best create a viral video for you or your business. If you have an opinion on this or any other examples, we would love to hear it! Please leave us a comment below.

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