Notes on Viral Video Marketing

…by Edah Palatam

Everyone and their grandmother seems to be interested in the whole viral video marketing buzz and how it can transform something into gold practically overnight. The question here is that do we really know how this started or what it really is? Here are some notes on viral video marketing that can help you in your journey of creating one.

The very first thing we need to know is that what exactly is viral video marketing about? When I first heard it, I thought it had something to do with malware or computer viruses that will automatically go to a pre-programmed website or something like that. If you think about it, this method of marketing is something like that but it isn’t invasive in any way.

It essentially creates a need for people to want to share your material with their friends, contacts or to just anyone they think might be interested in it. It could be that they find the information included to be really useful or just that they might think that others might find it entertaining. Whichever reason they use to pass it around, once it starts, there’s no stopping it, hence the reason it’s labeled as viral.

Almost like a real virus, this form of video marketing will create enthusiasm in a person about a production or a product and they can’t help but pass it around like the common cold. This cycle repeats itself over and over again until everyone (or at least almost everyone) has heard of it and has seen it at least once. This is very appealing to marketers because it has the potential to reach countless people with very little cost on their part.

The first notable form of viral marketing was probably a scam created by Charles Ponzi (where the term Ponzi scheme came from) in which the people themselves spread the word around. The participants had no malice in spreading the word around simply because they thought it was real and that it shouldn’t be missed. Charles Ponzi didn’t market his scam aggressively, he let the participants do it for him and it was really effective back then.

Much like the first Ponzi-scheme, a viral video marketing campaign aims to use word-of-mouth to pass the message along to everyone. Once enough people are interested in what you’re offering, they’ll be the one telling their friends and contacts about it and this creates a cycle. Once this happens, you can consider you campaign to be already viral.

Before you think of starting your own campaign based on this, I would first like to share with you a word of caution. It’s not easy starting a viral marketing campaign, a lot of people have tried and have failed miserably. The rate of success for this sort of marketing is pretty low, maybe that’s why the returns for a success is real high.

The reason for this is that a lot of people are cynical about the content that’s being put out there and if you don’t pass certain natural barriers then you’ve failed. It’s not an easy task to create your own campaign so make sure that you have all the information you need because you even start. The positive note here is that the internet has everything you need to get started, all you need to know is where to start looking.


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