Viral Marketing is one of the most popular ways to market on the Internet. If you’re not sure what “viral marketing” is, it’s a method of marketing involving the placement of ads or videos online, centered around a campaign and creating a buzz about them by targeting the ads so that it is just about impossible not to notice them. However, it is hard to predict what will cause a big stir and what will just kind of sit there. Some of the methods can be a funny or outrageous video, a free giveaway, a contest, blog promotion, or some other character driven campaign meant to get the attention of a large group.
Viral marketing can be extremely effective and the availability of the web makes it all the more possible. It is not only possible it is highly cost effective to launch a simple campaign and to have it yield unexpected results. If you’re prepared to put in the creative efforts this unexpected yield can be a windfall. These types of campaigns are usually sparked by curiosity and then through word-of mouth; or in the case of the internet; “word-of-the digital message”. It can actually start offline, for example; through the local paper, TV, radio, or another publication that can spark an interest.
The idea is to create buzz around a particular product or service either directly or indirectly without giving away too much about it. Naturally people will want to find out more and get in on the fun and hype that is created. It can even reach a point where people are trying to make predictions or guesses about what they think it is or will be. Then they can be the one to say “Ah Ha, I knew it!” When the outcome or finale is revealed (and it’s a good idea for it to be pretty special at this point), you’ll have the attention of a large group of people and potential customers.
One of the most popular viral campaigns online was created by the North Carolina marketing duo Rhett and Link. They made a very unusual video ad (see video), advertising a North Carolina furniture store which became extremely viral and caused a lot of conversation and buzz; not only about the spot itself, but about its creators and the Red House Furniture store. This campaign was a big hit and actually increased the store’s business, which is the idea, but it was not without risk because the humor was offbeat and many people may not get the light-hearted angle or approached they used.
Red House Furniture Viral Video
Many companies want to make themselves more visible in the public eye so viral marketing is becoming more and more of a controlled technique used by marketers or by marketing firms hired by major companies. Sometimes there can be a risk involved which is not meeting the expectations of the hype or possibly offending some people or just that the financial expenditure did not produce the desired results. This, of course, is true with any form of promotion in business, that there is risk involved and no guarantees.
It’s difficult to predict the future with absolute accuracy and, if you place advertising on TV or radio you can’t be certain it will work. Furthermore, it is hard to track. In other words, you don’t always know what your latest sales are attributed to. In an online advertising campaign it is easier to tailor it as you go and make necessary changes. This opens up the option to be more creative and to try out different approaches and to build on the success of what is working. And yes, to create something viral that everyone is talking about. When this happens you can reap the benefits of the publicity for a long time.
Here’s another viral video created by Rhett and Link for the Ojai Valley Taxidermy in California. This created the internet “meme” or catch-phrase “Nope! Chuck Testa”
Rank High Media would love to talk to you about doing an off-beat or comedic video to promote your business. They’re not for everyone, but humor is a great way to reach your customers on an emotional level. Look at the Geico commercials now and other insurance companies. A field that usually was presented in a serious way based on the subject matter is now exploring different techniques to reach their audience. It works. What are some of your favorite commercials or videos or any other thoughts about viral marketing?