In the era of content marketing, “going viral” has become the goal pursued by marketers and content owners. Once upon a time, viral marketing was only favored by small businesses that cannot afford huge media budgets. Viral videos, at that time, could be done for little to no cost. However, many big brands today come to speed with the surge of this new marketing technique.
Without a doubt, the top viral video ads last month went to Motorola’s “Lazy Phone” campaign. In the video series, comedic actor, T. J. Miller, personifies the lazy phone – so lazy that instead of offering help, it ruins the users’ lives. It is worth noticing that Motorola released this campaign right before Apple’s iPhone launch, featuring the “Touch-less Control” function. In terms of market share, Motorola’s new Moto X smartphone cannot compete with Apple’s iPhone. But its video series easily overshadowed that of iPhone 5S and 5C with 7 million more clicks. Even though some people point out that the popularity is due to Google’s supports since it owns both Motorola and YouTube, these supports are far from enough to help a video go viral.
It seems that big brands are very familiar with the magic behind go viral. They usually spend several million dollars on a 30-second television commercial during Super Bowl game, not to mention the money spent to create these ads. As audience switch to second screen and view contents from sources other than traditional TV platform, it is reasonable for big brands to migrate to the new battlefield. However, how will they influence the viral video landscape?
First, competition tends to be fierce. With approximately one hour long video being uploaded to YouTube every second, the online video platform has never been this clustered and fragmented. It is extremely hard for videos from unpopular source to win the eye-catching game. Second, to make a video spread, a single Tweet or Facebook message is far from enough. It’s better to create a constant flow, and of course, with high quality. That’s one of the key factors that make Moto X “Lazy Phone” a huge success since only one piece of video is easily buried by mass contents. Third, time matters. According to Austin Craig, the spokesman behind a famous YouTube video for Orabrush, “a viral video is like winning a lottery”. However, posting the video at a specific time period can sometimes bring good luck. Like Motorola took advantage of its competitor’s product launch, it would be nice if you could find a hot trend to ride.
Looking forward, all signs point to the fact that online video marketing is becoming critical than ever before. Still there’s no formula that will guarantee a video’s success, but it is worth to invest some advertising dollars to give a try, and your audience will appreciate your efforts.