Going viral: tips to start trending.

Viral videos have become the rage within the past few years. And with more than 4 billion views on YouTube each day, the opportunity for exposure is tremendous. I like how this graphic represents how viral messages spread:

viral

So, what is the best way to make a viral video? Is it all luck?

Mekanism, an award winning creative agency that has created viral campaigns for clients such as Pepsi, Virgin Mobile, Axe and 20th Century Fox, says it’s not blind luck and provides the following philosophy formula for success:

1. Their philosophy for viral marketing is “Candy with the Medicine.” The candy is the entertainment, and the medicine is the message.

2. Their formula for success is ‘people + platform x snowball effect = results.’ Viral ads can be created, but they take some serious planning.

a. People are the influencers in social media who have relevant audiences. Basically, it’s where you put your ad to get exposure to the masses.

b. The platform is more than just thinking ‘YouTube.’ It’s understanding how to use that medium. Mekanism knows that there are 10 categories within YouTube, and that the top videos from each of these categories will be featured on the home page and browse page of YouTube. For instance, they uploaded their Hovercat ad in the ‘pets and animals’ category in order to capitalize on the fact that only 150,000 views would be needed to make the leader board as opposed to the 1 million needed to make the comedy or entertainment leader board.

c. Snowball effect (once things get rolling – keep them rolling) refers to having a post launch plan to keep momentum.

But, is viral marketing becoming more effective than traditional media? In the mobile world, should we start focusing on this more?

Kimberly Stone, founder of POSHGLAM.com, disagrees. She states, “the online presence should act as an extension to already existing marketing messages, not the end-all be-all.”

Her advice is to consider every other aspect of the marketing mix first and to plan the social media campaign as a compliment to existing communications.

How much of your marketing efforts do you think should focus on viral?

-Josiah

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