psst- forward this!

Posted: May 1, 2011 in Viral marketing
Tags: ,

Viral marketing. Many are actively creating it, but few knows what it is. The ones that thinks they know what it is will most likely give you different aspects. Some say it is electronic word of mouth, others say it’s a virus spreading from one person to thousands of thousands of others. It doesn’t get easier from the different ways of using it. should it be consumer generated? should the company admit that its their commercial?

Ok to start and try to make sense in all this I will start with word of mouth.

Word of mouth is on its own a very used marketing term, but even here many people will say different things regarding the definition of the term. Word of mouth is for me a message between two or more people who has thoughts about a brand, a product or the company, but it is not sent from the company in the first place.
This is said to be one of the most powerful messages about a company  as many more listens to a friend that recommend a product then a seller in a store recommending the same product. This is logical. A friend has nothing to gain from talking well about a product, but the company has everything to gain from it. Many companies try to copy and create word of mouth which might succeed sometimes but it might also backfire creating negative word of mouth which can be devastating for the company.

As I wrote from the start some people see viral marketing as an online version of word of mouth but also like a message spreading as a virus. This should come naturally as people online has bigger possibilities to spread what they are saying. Within minutes a person can spread that they have bought a product on social medias such as Facebook,twitter blogs and forums, reaching thousands of people who can then past it on to others by such as retweets. (Retweet is when a person takes your twitter message and just forward it to their own readers, not changing the message and it is done with a simple click.)
When this is put in a perspective it is understandable why it is such a powerful tool. Many younger people have hundreds of friends on their social platforms such as Facebook and they often also have Skype/twitter/MSN/yahoo/QQ etc. The list can be made long. If one of these kids gets disappointed and spreads this on these sites it can reach many people in matter of seconds. If many people goes together to complain it can spread like a fire in the forest.

Of course not everything is bad with viral marketing. Many companies try to use it for their messages. If the manage to make a message in any form that their customers find interesting the consumer might end up sending it out through their networks to others who in their turn sends it to others.

An example is this video

I first saw it from my Facebook 3 days ago, and it has had more than 20 000 viewers in those days(in this moment of writing it has had 99 671 viewers). Is the company doing this? are they paying for it? of course not. They have in this case uploaded a video and it gets spread among their customers without their knowledge about it. This video might not even be the first version of it.
This is the case of the next video:

It got banned from YouTube in the version that i presume was their first, but it came back again thanks to a fan of the video? or the company themself? no one knows, but as of writing moment it has had 184 782 viewers.

Ok 100 000 or 200 000 viewers is not many compared with a billboard placed in a major city. But a billboard costs money. A billboard gets ignored. A billboard gets trapped in the cloud of marketing that are around the consumer.
How about the videos? Well, someone has to record them, someone has to put them up on YouTube and it might be someone who starts “the fire” that sets the message of. I don’t know any numbers of the costs, but I am sure on that it will not be near the costs of having a billboard getting ignored. After that the message goes viral, which many claims to be at 100 000 viewers, it is out there for as long as it is uploaded on internet. No matter if it is the company that has it uploaded or if the consumer uploaded it themselves again.

So why don’t more companies make viral videos? I believe they are trying. But the consumer is well-trained in spotting what consumer made or what is a commercial and therefore it might not be a successful viral.
I have in this text just gone through a very few aspects and thoughts around Virals and more will come in the future. How can you make a message viral? How should it be made? Where? how..? When..? The list can be made long and I will post more thoughts about this in the future.

To see the videos on YouTube go to:
http://www.youtube.com/user/89Perra?feature=mhum

Cheers
Perra89

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Comments
  1. Mat says:

    The viral marketing really is a effective way to reach the potential customers for a small sum!

    I guess viral marketing will become more and more common in the near future.

    I love that clip with the girls, you can really see yourself as one of the guys who’s taking a sneekpeek 🙂

    • Perra says:

      Thanks for the comment!

      What you say is very true and more and more companies relies just how important this is.
      It is also interesting to see just how effective this is. Just today has the first video gotten another 1000 viewers and it hasn’t cost the company anything.

      Hope you will continue to follow the blogg.

      Perra89

  2. alina says:

    marketing in the form of viral videos could become the most effective, cheap and fast way of advertising these days. also, the phenomenon called “buzz marketing”. there’s one famous book about that. look into it 🙂

  3. alina says:

    oh and cool videos, by he way 🙂
    maybe you should make an entire section with viral videos. i would definitely go to a page with an anthology of those.
    or with really cool commercials. like the oh-so-epic “old spice” commercial 😀

    • Perra says:

      I am going to write a post about the old spice – i have prepared the videos and they are already in the youtube channel. (www.youtube.com/89perra)

      • alina says:

        Great. You think about everything 🙂

        About the Old Spice..I have a friend who liked the ads so much that it made him very curious about trying the brand but couldn’t find their products. And then me, as a friend wanted so badly to find them and give it to him, as a present 🙂 Which I did 😀 And he was so excited.

        And all of this because of an ad. They’re that strong!

  4. Perra says:

    “Do you think it can backfire? Like..totally destroy a brand?”

    There is always a risk that the company promises to much or do something they can not live up to and then of course the commercial can destroy a brand. If a video gets viral for wrong reason can also ruin a brand. So yes, there are many things to keep in consideration. I will possible write something about this too, if I remember it later on.. 🙂

  5. alina says:

    *it up 😛 of course

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