Having a video that goes viral is at the top of many marketer's lists these days. And why not? A viral video is like the Energizer Bunny, it just keeps going and going.
How do you orchestrate one of these viral wonders? Can you make it happen? Can you create the right format and content and then just sit back and wait for the online acceleration?
In Part One of viral videos, we looked at the link between creating a hook and the desired state of "viraldom." Hooks are the secret sauce that fuel viral propagation. Hooks sustain viewer interest which can generate that precious Word of Mouth. I love the Samsung HD video challenge because it's got just the kind of hook that grabs you and doesn't let go until the last frame. Here, see for yourself why this one video has well over 1 million hits. Sweet.
AdAge has an interesting take on what Samsung did. They call it social video marketing and define it as the "use of video as the central organizing element for social interaction and storytelling online." And interactive it was, with boatloads of comments from people trying to figure it out.
Here's where this Samsung story gets even more interesting. Rather than stop with the initial video, Samsung then cleverly embedded some of those viewer comments into a follow-up making of video. Mashed-up digital storytelling and inventive. And, by the way, each of these visual narratives worked together to generate more eyeballs. Getting a case of viral envy yet?
An ad agency produced both of these Samsung videos. But, critically important to their success, they are not packaged as super-slick ads. They come across as more of a story and less like marketing material. Putting on my PR and journalism hats, I don't see any reason why PR couldn't be creating video stories like these and upload them to YouTube as well as the company website.
If you find the right one-two story punch, you can definitely amplify the WOM potential. In fact, you could also get an added boost from the media, eager to showcase their tech and product savvy with just these types of short video clips. AdAge jumped right on these videos. Why stop there?
With that in mind, here are a few take-away questions, particularly geared to my colleagues in PR, to get your creatives juices flowing as you gear up for the typical post-September new business promotional push.
- What types of stories can you create that put your product into the spotlight in an engaging way, beyond the typical customer testimonial or straightforward product demo?
- Can you identify at least two possible story hooks?
- Is there a follow-up video possibility to continue the storyline?
- How will video make this a better story?
- Can you think of two or three additional uses of your videos for sales, marketing or training that will help you make the ROI case stronger?