Got a Video? Take It Viral

Anyone who has watched the videos of two geeky-looking scientists tossing Mentos mints into Diet Coke bottles would attest to the viral power of video marketing. In three weeks alone, four million people viewed the video produced by Fritz Globe and Stephen Voltz, showing them combine 200 liters of Diet Coke with over 500 Mentos mints. While the videos were not created by either Mentos or Diet Coke, it certainly led to a lot of free publicity for both brands, which would have otherwise cost the two companies millions of dollars in traditional marketing and advertising.

Yet, not every video can become a viral sensation and replicate the success of the Numa Numa Dance or even the Coke-Mentos videos. With thousands of videos being uploaded on YouTube and other video distribution sites every day, making a video go truly viral is no easy feat. But focusing on great content, sharing your video online and making it easily accessible, can be the first steps to creating a successful video. Injecting humor into a marketing video and presenting your message in an authentic voice (by avoiding “corporate speak”) can also be great ways to make your video popular with viewers.

To give you an example: KitchenArts, a small family-owned kitchen retail store in Boston, uses online videos to showcase its products and demonstrate how to best use them. Using these home-made videos, the store has been able to communicate with its target audience in a personal and engaging way, allowing it to compete with bigger brands like Williams-Sonoma, at very little cost. The main principle that KitchenArts follows is to communicate your story in an interesting and engaging way to your target audience.

Once you create your video, it is important to generate buzz by sharing your video online. Most organizations post video content on YouTube, the most popular video sharing site. To make the video easily searchable on the site, you must include an accurate description of the video along with relevant keywords and tags. If your company or organization creates and shares video content regularly, it may be a good idea to develop your own YouTube channel that can be used to create your own unique profile and drive audiences back to your organization’s Web site. You can also consider embedding the video on your blog or sharing them on social networks like Facebook and MySpace.

If you cannot create great content for your video, a great marketing strategy may be to take advantage of user-generated content to drive some buzz about your products and services. For example, the U.S. Health and Human Services Department announced a video contest in July, inviting the American public to submit videos on flu prevention and safety. The contest not only helped to create awareness about flu prevention but also helped generate press coverage about the Health Department’s efforts.

Similarly, you can launch a ‘Submit a Video’ contest, inviting customers to create and submit their own short video around a particular theme relating to your business. The best ones can be showcased on your company’s Web site or even used as a real advertisement, making your message seem more authentic and engaging.

View About.com’s list of top viral marketing videos of all time:

  1. BlendTec
  2. Mentos and Diet Coke
  3. Dove Evolution
  4. Levis
  5. Smirnoff Tea Party
  6. Sony Bravia
  7. Evian
  8. JK Wedding Dance
  9. Nike & Kobe Bryant

For more information on our video production and digital marketing services, contact us at johnzaher@theprmg.com.