Anatomy of a Viral Video

So you come home from getting groceries and you say to yourself, “We need to make a viral video for our company! Genius!” Then you make supper and watch 5 hours of Netflix. You don’t ask yourself, “What goes into making a video viral? What constitutes a video as viral? Is it a good investment of your marketing budget to spend on a viral video and what should the expectations be?” So let us tell you.

For a video to be considered viral you look at time and views. The amount of views needed is commonly considered to be 100,000 in a 24 hour span. From there the video will take on a snowball effect from shares and likes. Posting time alone is just as important as the content. Statistically speaking, Friday after lunch (about 2:30) is the best time. Workers are in a food coma from lunch and winding down for the weekend. But even this isn’t a guarantee.

…defining a viral video is much easier than making one. In fact, Nalty says he’s posted the same video twice and seen one go viral, but not the other, leading him to conclude that “you never know” what will resonate with viewers. (aol)

There are two routes that can be taken when creating a viral. You can go low cost, low quality or high cost, high quality. Either way the rule of thumb is that not every video you make will go viral. You might have to make twenty videos before one hits the right timing and relevancy.

So, you make a ton of content hoping one of them goes viral for your marketing campaign. What should you expect to get out of this kind of campaign? Viral videos go viral for a reason. They awe, inspire, or make you laugh. What they don’t do is look like an advertisement.

Most viral videos are just entertaining and just provide good branding for the business…Which makes you realize what Viral Video Marketing really is: A publicity stunt caught on video. (designseo)

Now you may be thinking “let’s throw money at it and pay people to show our video.” This isn’t a bad idea, but there are acceptable and unacceptable ways in this community. The acceptable way is to partner with an online celebrity that already has a subscriber base that follows their videos and recommendations. This is common practice and is accepted by the viewers. What will not be considered viral is when you pay for your video to be shown before other videos start.

isn’t the appeal of a viral video the warm feeling your brand gets because thousands of people are sharing a fun video about you?  In this scenario, thousands of people just can’t avoid your video. (business insider)

Viral marketing is going to be a gamble no matter how you go about it. There are things you can do to make sure the campaign has some foundation though, such as adding a viral campaign into a larger marketing campaign. When a viral video has success, it can become a staple in itself.

Take Old Spice, whose “Old Spice Guy” campaign (which included both social media and TV commercials) helped the brand generate tens of millions of views on YouTube and increase sales by 107 percent. (aol)

According to data from The Nielsen Co. and SymphonyIRI Group, the Old Spice ads weren’t a wash-out. On the contrary, they produced a flood of sales . (bizreport)

So is viral marketing right for you? It could be, but it takes a fresh look at marketing and the goals of the campaign to deem it a success. What viral marketing videos have you seen? Share them!

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One Response to Anatomy of a Viral Video

  1. Hi says:

    These harlem shake vids are great… A company in my industry just made one and then it’s like everyone in the field followed. Have to get on the band wagon :)

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