(Above Image from http://www.endeavourcats.com/)
Online marketing covers such a broad spectrum, and there is much to learn about what works best to get the word out about you or your company. Viral marketing is really one of the ultimate goals, trying to create a strategy that will get other people to pass along a post, article, video, commercial, or some other form of social media to others, who will also pass it on, and so on… Individuals or companies that are successful at this can generate millions of views in a very short period of time, and create an online sensation! There are some thoughts on what makes a good viral marketing initiative or campaign, and it is smart to follow some guidelines if one wants to increase the odds of success.
One of the best methods of creating a viral marketing initiative is by using YouTube as a social media “medium”, and developing videos that contain some of the key elements needed to raise the odds that it goes viral. “At its core, viral marketing is simply the “spread of an idea” that helps market your business or cause. It’s putting material out there that by its very nature attracts attention and discussion.” A good viral marketing video needs to tug at a persons’ emotions and cause an emotional reaction. If they react strongly to the message, there is a very good chance that they will pass along the same message or video to others that they know in order to try and get the same emotional response from them.
As Tony Robbins has mentioned in his books over and over again, an emotional reaction can happen when the right “trigger” is used in a social media marketing campaign. Remember the old Budweiser “Waaassssuuuuuuup?!” campaign? They were very popular because they could be used as a greeting, which is a very common trigger. Caring comes first, then the sharing… For instance, the “pink glove” video campaign for breast cancer, and the ALS “ice water challenge” are both extremely viral YouTube marketing efforts that have achieved tremendous success because of the caring message they are promoting.
In addition to the emotional trigger response, some other key attributes needed in a good social media viral campaign might be to include “social proof”, and to make sure that the video has some practical value for the individual watching it. We have to remember that it is always “individuals” that are watching the videos, and even though they may be watching as a company employee there also needs to be something interesting there to keep them watching on an individual level, otherwise they might just turn it off and go on to something else instead.
Something that also works quite well is to become a storyteller, and interact with the viewer on that level. Draw them into the story by keeping their attention riveted on the next words or what is going to happen next, instead of putting them to sleep with the same old thing that they can see anywhere! Watch other people’s YouTube videos to get a feel for what might be working and what isn’t working. Look at views and see what videos might have gone viral and try to figure out the reason why. This may help you the most when trying to decide what aspects of the video that you need to focus on the most.
Make your videos weird or funny in order to try and make them different from other peoples videos and to get them to go viral. If they are unique and make people laugh, there is a good chance that they have the ability to go viral. Check out the following video and see an example of something incredibly simple, but created over 600,000 views!
In order to create a professional looking video that you would want to place out on YouTube or another online video hosting site, you will probably want to invest in some video editing software such as Camtasia. Camtasia will definitely do just about everything that you will need or want in terms of video editing, but it also runs about $300 or so. You can find cheaper editing software, and some that are even free, but in my opinion if you can afford to purchase Camtasia you may as well do it now and get used to using it. There is a lot to learn with any video editing software, but it will help you in your quest for that perfect viral marketing initiative!