I logged onto Facebook recently, only to see that nearly 20+ friends have shared the same video, commenting on it, and reposting to other forms of social media. That is taking a video ‘viral’. When it gains popularity through web sharing and the momentum carries it to Internet stardom.
There are many different types of videos that can go viral, anything from hilarious cat videos to brand awareness or cause driven videos like the epic “Kony 2012” – a video that brought forth the effects of Ugandan guerilla group leader, Joseph Kony.
On February 20, 2012 Invisible Children, Inc. uploaded the 30-minute video, which started a media storm. Within 16 days the video had nearly 7 million views on Vimeo, before being reposted on Youtube. Within 72 hours the video had more than 43 million views, all because of web content sharing.
College students, particularly, are a key driving force behind this momentum of taking a video viral. Social media has become as much of the college experience as spring break or Greek rush week. With the introduction of mobile devices with social media access, constant connecting and sharing is more tangible than ever. Students love to share the latest and greatest with their friends and networks across their social media platforms. Within seconds, they are posting and sharing with hundreds of people. In addition, Popular sites like collegehumor.com or knowyourmeme.com document the best-in-class web content and videos that give students the first look and the ability to share with their network.
Many companies have already tapped into this idea of viral marketing, uniquely honing in on their target audience. Take a hint from Smirnoff and the brilliant Raw Tea viral advertising campaign, ‘Tea Partay’. The viral approach to marketing seems direct in gaining brand awareness. If done correctly it allows a company to tap into the college student demographic without being overt or invasive while still maintaining their brand identity. Viral brand strategy is ideal for the student audience because they can take it from a simple word-of-mouth buzz to a fully launched fast moving viral campaign.
There is no exact formula for how to make a video viral however, it is important to note that a good first step is to get it in front of college students that have the large networks and passion for sharing to kick start the momentum.
What are some brand viral videos that you have seen?
Tea Partay video:
Kony 2012 video:
Cristina Visconte, Campus Entertainment