Sep 23rd 2014
A viral video could be an incredibly effective tool to have in your content marketing arsenal. Some of the biggest companies use them extremely effectively including Cadbury, Nike, Evian and T-Mobile to name just a few.
In this blog I’m going to go through what a viral video is and some ideas of where to start when thinking up your next idea.
‘A viral video is a video that becomes popular through the process of (most often) Internet sharing, typically through video sharing websites, social media and email.’ (Wikipedia)
So how do you get someone to watch and then share your viral video. The most important part of a viral video is the story or the theme, no matter what the production values, if the idea doesn’t work the video will be a flop. The story doesn’t have to be directly related to the product or service you are trying to sell, in fact some of the best don’t have any connection what so ever.
In order to think up a great idea a good place to start is to find out what interests your audience and what sparks their emotions. If someone finds something funny, cute or surprising/shocking they are more likely to share it compared to something dry and boring.
Here are a few of the more popular starting points –
A cute animal is an instant way to your audiences heart, whether it’s a cute kitten or three meercats called Aleksandr, Sergei and Oleg. Three produced the video below which features a young girl singing along to the incredibly catchy and well loved song ‘We Built This City On Rock’n’Roll’ whilst her kitten in the bikes basket sings the backing vocals. It was uploaded to YouTube in February and has had well over 5 million views.
Aleksandr Orlov from Comparethemarket.com has been on national TV since 2009 and has become quite a hit since then racking up 849,448 likes on facebook, over 67 thousands followers on Twitter and all the videos uploaded to YouTube add up to well over a million views, plus the huge amount of people you have seen the national broadcasts on ITV around the time of Coronation Street.
Babies and kids
Evian produced a great viral video featuring adults dancing with their baby reflection in the glass dancing back, it contained a selection of cute babies, dancing and a good sense of fun which works a treat. Since its release in April 2013 it has been viewed on Youtube a staggering 93,374,028 times.
Quite a few viral videos have featured dancing as the main theme in recent times. Cadbury produced a viral video for national TV which featured a logistics manager dancing in his office chair whilst on hold and T-Mobile produced a video featuring a mob dance in Liverpool Street Station which has accumulated over 36 and a half million views on YouTube since its launch in 2009.
Nike used the recent World Cup in Brazil as a backdrop to a range of videos to help promote their products and brand. The video features some of the worlds best known footballing stars and because of this, the tricks they are performing, the story being told and the style of the animation it has become Nike’s most successful viral video having been viewed 70,304,389 since June 2014.
DollarShaveClub.com released a viral video with humour and trickery being the main two themes. The release of the video prompted 12,000 orders over a two day period, it racked up over 16 million views and was shared via YouTube over 96,000 times. The video also won the company “Best Out-of-Nowhere Video Campaign” at the 2012 AdAge Viral Video Awards.
The reason I believe it did so well is because the CEO (the videos main star) is very likable, the humour timing is spot on and the way the video flows from one scene to another makes it incredibly easy to watch.
A slightly more subtle use of humour and in a geeky way taking the mickey out of Apple is Ikea’s latest video ‘Experience the power of a bookbook’. It was uploaded to Ikea Singapore’s YouTube channel at the beginning of September 2014 and has already been watched by more than 12 million people.
If you would like to find out more about viral videos and how they could help your content marketing strategy please get in touch with Will or Andy on 01273 911345.