The Business of Viral Videos

Viral marketing, also called viral advertising, refers to a marketing technique that utilizes unconventional means – like websites – in spreading information about a product or service. One of the best ways to do viral marketing is by creating video campaigns. Videos attract a bigger audience because they can be seen on practically every corner of the Internet, specifically on social media and video sharing sites. As these videos are shared across different sites and viewed by various groups of people, they become viral. To use a cliché, they “spread like a disease”. Thus, they are called viral videos.

A viral video is created for the purpose of Internet sharing via social media, electronic mail and video sharing websites. They developed into trending videos, which means they become extra popular online because of extensive spreading through different platforms. Most viral videos are amusing, entertaining and / or humorous in nature.

How the Videos Are Spread Online

Video sharing site YouTube is the most popular choice for posting viral marketing videos. Since it has buttons that allow for sharing on social sites like Facebook and Twitter, getting the videos across different niches and audiences is easy. These videos are then picked up by other websites and netizens.

Once viral, the videos appear on a video chart. This chart lists the most popular and most recently uploaded videos on YouTube. Some websites even have a separate section or page for their own viral video chart. It basically acts like a viral video compilation. Some people actually prefer browsing through the chart instead of searching through YouTube or other social media sites.

How Viral Videos Help Market Products and Services

There are four reasons why businesses should consider using viral videos to promote their products and services:

  1. Videos attract people. They are more interesting, visually appealing and engaging.
  2. Videos offer a definitive answer to what your product or service can do, as well as give a clear picture of what a customer will stand to gain by patronizing such product or service.
  3. Videos can be viewed multiple times, no matter what time of day; any day of the week. Thus, they create long lasting awareness for your brand.
  4. Videos attract more people to your website. And these visitors will find reasons to stay longer and explore the site.

Major Brands Using Viral Videos to Market Products

Some of the world’s most popular consumer brands have been using viral videos for product promotions. They use videos to introduce a new product or promote a campaign. Some companies even have a viral video series. Here are four enterprises that have made significant impressions with their viral marketing campaigns.

  • *Blendtec’s “Will It Blend?” viral video series started in 2006. The videos show the company’s product – blenders – blending almost anything, from golf balls to glow sticks to the iPad. Majority of their videos (more than a hundred!) have a million views on YouTube. The glow sticks video has the most views at three million. The “Will It Blend?” website has a chart showing their latest and most popular videos.
  • Red Bull is another company that uses viral videos to get their message across. Its “The Athlete Machine – Red Bull Kluge” video went viral in 2012. At present, it has more than 14.6 million views on YouTube. The video simply shows different clips of extreme or action sports, something that Red Bull is now known for.
  • Nike knows how to make good viral marketing videos. One of its most popular campaigns is the video that features NBA star Kobe Bryant jumping over a car – an Aston Martin, at that! – while wearing his Nike apparels. It has over 2.8 million views on YouTube.

How to Determine if it is Trending or Not

To find out whether a video has gone viral, you need to track the results by regularly monitoring several metrics or feedback (such as number of likes, comments and shares). Social media monitoring is one way of doing this. Monitor or follow different websites to stay updated with what is happening online. You don’t just track social media sites, though; you also monitor forums, blogs and news websites.

There are tools that can be used for video monitoring, which will make it easier for businesses to track the spread of viral videos on YouTube, social networks and other online portals.


Although viral marketing and viral videos can never go mainstream like traditional television commercials, they’re here to stay. One reason for this is their ability to capture the attention of a wide and diverse audience. Moreover, as their main means of advertising is the Internet, they are – in some ways – cheaper than traditional advertising. And lastly, since technology is here to stay, viral videos are here to stay, too. In fact, we may be in for bigger video surprises in the future!

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