Viral video is simultaneously the most entertaining and most infuriating element of online marketing. Let’s get things straight quickly: no one can promise you the success of a viral video. Ever. Viral videos are successful because the audience likes them and spreads them to other people. If the audience doesn’t get it, the video doesn’t go viral and there’s nothing that can guarantee the response you want.
That being said, there are plenty of reasons to continue developing video content with the goal of going viral. In terms of investment-to-value ratio, viral videos remain some of the most affordable endeavors a brand can undertake on its own. If even one video you produce hits the entertainment nerve and goes viral, you’ve done your brand a lot of good. Let’s consider the success of a particular viral series to see some of the benefits available from this branding tactic.
Benefit 1: fun and real
Blendtech is a company with a pretty simple business model: it sells blenders so powerful and reliable they’ll destroy just about anything you put in them. The company’s big success story came with “Will it mix?” series for your new high powered blender. The videos are simple: a charming and friendly man puts something unexpected and expensive into the blender and turns it into its constituent elements.
In very short and powerful videos, Blendtech ended up proving that destroying expensive electronics in a blender is entertaining and that their blenders were incredibly powerful. People’s immediate reactions were, in order, “He just mixed up an iPhone!” and “I want one of those blenders.”
Therefore, a good video can spread the information about your product in a convincing and dramatic way that cannot be argued.
Benefit 2 – Cheap, Cheap, Cheap
Viral video is incredibly profitable. The costs for many videos are incredibly high, especially for TV advertising during prime marketing hours. Just consider the sheer volume of investment that goes into Super Bowl halftime commercial extravaganzas.
On the other hand, the Blendtech commercials were apparently shot on a shoestring budget: maybe $500 for a reasonably quality video camera, a decent videographer’s salary, the blender the company sells, and the cost of the camera device. week. In the case of the demolished Blendtech iPhone, say $600 depending on where they got it. Either way, the production costs for the video probably didn’t exceed thousands of dollars, and that’s it.
Benefit 3 – Free streaming
Once you have video going and people find it entertaining, you don’t have to put in a lot of effort to keep it going. If you hit that funny bone like the Blendtech video did, people will repeatedly show it to just about everyone they can, because they want to see other people laugh and enjoy it too. Just make sure the video has a dedicated YouTube or video link that people can refer to.
Benefit 4 – Specialization
Have you ever watched most of the commercials? They are pretty generic and seem to cast their nets pretty wide. This is particularly true of infomercials, which attempt to turn all of humanity into bumbling and incompetent incapable of packing their drawers, cutting their food, or cleaning their houses without the aid of some whiz gadget. The result is bland nonsense. On the other hand, a good viral video allows you to ignore all of that and focus your efforts specifically on reaching a certain audience. For example, Blendtech – they wanted to go after people who wanted a good strong blender. They created an ad that therefore does nothing BUT promotes the strength and effectiveness of their blender, and does so in an impactful and eye-catching way.
Benefit 5 – Entertainment
As we have discussed, the most important element in the success of the Blendtech campaign is its quality of entertainment. People tuned in to the videos because they wanted to see some guy demolish technology that hundreds of people were probably still waiting in the rain for. The commercials were short, exciting, funny and evocative.
Now, there is an associated effect. Consider the reality of a blender: Is it really that fun? Are you really going to use it to demolish your most expensive electronics or gobble up your leftover yard rake? However, even if Blendtech customers aren’t going to be doing any of these things, they’ll still think of them fondly when they use their blender to crush some stubborn ice for a daiquiri.
By posting a good and entertaining video that goes viral, you are creating the implication that your brand is itself entertaining and creative. Your audience will want to see what comes next, they’ll want to share their favorite moments with friends. Above all, they will want what you are selling because it was a lot of fun.
So while we must once again reiterate that nothing in the world can guarantee you the success of a viral video, there are plenty of reasons to devote some of your marketing efforts to developing entertaining and informative videos that can capture the imagination of your target audience. All it takes is one success to get your brand out there the right way.