Viral video is simultaneously the most entertaining and the 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.
With that said, there are plenty of reasons to continue developing video content with the goal of going viral. In terms of investment to value, viral videos remain some of the cheapest efforts a brand can make on their 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: They sell blenders so powerful and reliable they’ll destroy just about anything you put into them. The company’s big success story came with “Will It Blend?” series for your new high-power blender. The videos are simple: a charming and friendly man puts something unexpected and expensive in 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 fun and that their blenders were incredibly powerful. People’s immediate reactions were, in order, “You 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 compelling and dramatic way that cannot be argued with.
Benefit 2 – Cheap, Cheap, Cheap
Viral video is incredibly profitable. The costs of 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 reasonable-quality video camera, the salary of a decent videographer, the blender the company sells, and the cost of the camera device. week. In the case of the demolished Blendtech iPhone, let’s say $600 depending on where they got it. Either way, the video’s production costs probably didn’t exceed thousands of dollars, and that’s about it.
Benefit 3 – Free streaming
Once you’ve got the video up and running and people find it entertaining, you don’t have to spend a lot of effort to keep it going. If you play that funny bone like the Blendtech video did, people will show it repeatedly to almost 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 commercials? They are pretty generic and seem to cast their nets pretty wide. This is particularly true of infomercials, which attempt to make all of humanity bumbling and incompetent incapable of packing their drawers, cutting up their food, or cleaning their houses without the aid of some prodigious contraption. The result is tasteless 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 a guy demolish technology that hundreds of people were probably still waiting for in the rain. The commercials were short, exciting, funny and evocative.
Now, there is an associated effect. Consider the reality of a blender: Is it really that much fun? Are you really going to use it to demolish your most expensive electronics or gobble up your leftover garden rake? However, even if Blendtech customers aren’t going to do 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, 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’s coming next, they’ll want to share their favorite moments with friends. Most of all, they will want what you are selling because it was so much 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 hit to get your brand out there in the right way.