Be Creative and Go Viral!
By Alkimini Gritzali
There is no need to introduce once again the influence of social media in people’s lives and their importance for modern marketing. We all know that – due to this influence – the word ‘sharing’ has a new meaning nowadays, namely the sharing of online content. People share content every day: they forward articles to their friends, they email YouTube videos, they send film and restaurant reviews to each other. They retweet and share Facebook statuses and Instagram pictures. In all these cases, they share content about which they hold certain feelings – both love and hate. Most of the time, people share content they love or find particularly interesting, but we cannot ignore the much-hated content that has been shared from time to time.
For marketers, the possibility of online content sharing on social media is a huge opportunity in many ways. Most importantly, it is the heart of social advertising, a new way of advertising which, for certain audiences, can be more successful than even TV campaigns. According to Frank Rose, author of The Art of Immersion, the world “is moving from a time when advertising was something to be avoided on TV, to something to be shared online.” Social advertising is the new way of creating brand visibility and brand awareness, through video campaigns in social media. The campaigns aim beyond visibility, to sharing – considered the new form of online word-of-mouth. Therefore, the aim of these video campaigns is to go viral – to become the new social media hits of the week or, even better, the month, the year, the decade; or even – why not? – world records like this one)!
But what makes a video go viral? This is a very common question (especially by marketers) that has still to be answered. This is probably because there is no answer. If I had to extract some learnings from the top viral videos at the moment (you can find them here), that would be (what else, but) creativity and imagination. A creative idea and well-made content can explode a video’s sharing statistics and make it instantly “the talk of the town”. This applies to both well-established and new brands, loved and hated, cool and uncool products.
For popular and much loved products like James Bond, a creative idea is enough for a video to explode (here is my favourite example – who wouldn’t like to win Skyfall tickets?). For up-and-coming and cool products, like TNT TV Channel in Belgium, it is maybe more difficult, but not uncommon (here is the most creative video of all time, and my all time favourite). But, in this week’s Top 10 Viral Video Chart, there is a bold example of how to create a successful social advertising campaign, even when you do not have a well-known or cool product. The example of Melbourne Metro Trains clearly shows the way of how to use creativity to go viral! Marketers, take some notes from this video (and download the song)!