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The Keys to Video & Viral Marketing

Viral marketing is an elusive beast, the internet holy grail, the word of mouth mammoth if you will. There is no path to find it, no map, and GPS ain’t gonna work either. However, if you should find the magical internet beast, you and your product could be launched into that rare air of internet dominance. You know that place where PSY has hung out with his Gangnam style, Bieber lives there, evil Kony stopped by for a bit and I’m pretty sure Angelina’s right leg was a resident at one point. It’s an eclectic gathering with untold marketing value for brands, services, businesses, dogs, individuals… crikey for everyone and everything really.

Viral Marketing – Chasing Yeti on Youtube

To have a shot at viral video success you really need to do the metaphorical leg work. The best way to get results on Youtube is to:

  • Put continual original and engaging content up on your channel
  • Interact with your followers
  • Feed this content through your social channels

Viral marketing needs an engaged audience, followers and social buzz. To get this you need a busy channel full of viewing options. The viral marketing beast of shareable goodness ain’t hanging out in empty channels, he’s in a packed out social channel swinging from the rafters. He’s crazy social.

What makes a video go viral?

A helping hand from ‘taste maker’ (that’s someone who people follow/copy/endorse)

If your video can get some public loving from someone with a strong online presence then it is much more likely to be viewed, followed and shared.  Of course a re-tweet from Oprah, Lady Gaga or Russell Brand would ensure your video gets attention. However, if they are not on your list of mates, don’t despair. All is not lost. It is about seeding the video cleverly and somewhat systematically.

Encouraging participation/opinion/imitation

Ty to make a video that can be easily copied / created and that is something people can participate in.  Videos that inspire people to create remixes do really well as each video fuels the other. The Harlem Shake is an awesome example of this, part of the fun is in the participation. Planking did it. Gangnam style did it. Harlem Shake is doing it.

The element of surprise/ something unique/a touch of strange

Strangeness and something new is huge on Youtube, look at the Harlem Shake or Gangam Style which was the first video with a billion views.  Make sure your video has something strange/quirky/new involved.

Key Genres within a popular video

Make sure your video has some of these key genres, this is a great article! Do you remember “Charlie bit my finger”? This article will help you understand the magic behind this type of videos from the Entrepreneur.

Check out these examples of successful viral videos

Poignant / Insightful

And if you can combine two or more of these you could create a viral masterpiece! Like this one:


The success of the Harlem Shake – let’s take a peek at the timeline of this successful social beastie

  • February 2nd  – the Harlem Shake was published on Filthy Franks Youtube channel
  • February 2th the video was generating buzz
  • February 10th  –  Harlem Shake imitation videos were being uploaded at a rate of 4000 PER DAY
  • February 11th -15th – 125 million views of the original video

How did this happen? Let’s see ….

There were ‘taste makers’ at work.

It had taste makers helping the video.  Both of the above channels had over 100 videos each before their viral video. Each of these videos had thousands of views. Filthy Frank had over 100 000 subscribers and the Sunny Coast skate had nearly 20 000. These numbers are what helped to seed the video appropriately without any forced promotion.  The uptake grew organically as people watched Sunny Coast Skates and Filthy Franks videos and then shared them.

The Harlem Shake fostered participation/imitation

The video is easy and quirky enough to be replicated and changed.  Anyone could make a Harlem Shake video. And they did!

Boo! It’s surprising!

No one expects the cut the first time they see the Harlem Shake, it’s instantly stupid and funny!

Want to make a viral video?

  • Aim at the long term – make videos frequently
  • Ensure that each video has a hook,  ie quirky, surprising, silly, cute etc
  • Once you have a channel full of videos your chance of creating something viral increases
  • Find your ‘taste makers’

With good videos, good luck, good promotion and good planning you increase your chances of getting on the viral bandwagon. It is a rare phenomenon but it does happen, as we have all seen, and it will happen again.

Kevin Alloca gave an amazing talk on this…if anyone knows something about viral videos is the Trends Manager at Youtube. Trust us.

Traditional modes of advertising are losing their strength. Popularity is curated more than dictated. So create something likeable, do-able, laughable and shareable.

If you want to float some ideas about your next video viral campaign, talk to the Media Heroes Brisbane video production team today. We’ve run successful viral video campaigns with tight budgets and these sort of campaigns are always a huge amount of fun! Get in touch via our enquiry form or call the Hero Hotline on 1800 464 376.