Elements of a Viral Video

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Many companies nowadays are harnessing the social media to promote its products and services. Job vacancies have been opened to people who are keen on developing effective social marketing campaigns. Responsibilities of a social marketer includes (but not limited to) updating the company’s social networking profiles, creating contests using social media, and developing viral videos.

Some of the most successful viral videos that directly promote a product or service include the Old Spice commercials, which were shared many times on social networking sites because of the catchy copy and the off-the-field “I’m on a horse” scene that made people wonder how did that happen. Old Spice brought the viral popularity of this campaign further with its actor, Isaiah Mustafa, posting videos in response to questions asked by fans on Twitter.

The “Old Spice Guy” campaign continues a year later, with the actor giving one super fan an exclusive peek on his latest commercial as well as two tickets to the Super Bowl.

Almost every company would want to create a viral video that creates buzz swiftly and effectively. However, such videos cannot be considered viral until these are spread extensively within the social media, then it gets picked up by mainstream media. Otherwise, videos that are intended to be viral but only get a few hundred hits simply languish in obscurity along with other videos that attempted to go viral but failed.

So what makes a successful viral video? We need to take a look on its common elements.

Low in budget – Although the Old Spice Guy commercials appear to be highly budgeted, its creators claim it is not. Many viral videos do not rely on fancy special effects, A-list actors, and exotic locations. They can be recorded using a cell phone camera or other inexpensive recording device. What is most important is its content.

Humor – The most effective viral videos are humorous, whether intentional or not. It can be a parody of something current, a hilarious commentary, or something serious that went horribly wrong. Of course, there are those touching, emotional viral videos, but the funny ones tend to spread quicker.

Sticking to what’s current – Viral videos should be relevant by the moment it is spread. It would be easy to perform a parody of the current viral video, but once that video becomes a has-been, so is your parody video. One effective viral

It provokes you – Whether it is thought-provoking or downright inflammatory, effective viral videos catch the people’s attention and elicit reaction. The most common reaction to viral videos would be “Oh my God,” either in the good or bad way.

It surprises you – Whether it is a “planned” or unintentional private video, viral videos have an element of surprise. Who can forget Susan Boyle’s audition for Britain’s Got Talent? No one expected her to sing that good, which is a shame on our part yet definitely taught us a lesson or two.

Source: About.com
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