What is all the Fuss About Going Viral?

Going Viral with Strategy

Let’s face it, every brand wants a piece of that social media gold: the coveted viral content. We have clients ask us all the time if we can make their stuff “go viral,” and our answer is of course, as long as the content is strategic!

strangers-840x550Going viral is one of those buzz phrases that you hear people throwing around.  It sounds great to shoot for 28 million views in a day, but when the goal of going viral clouds the marketing strategy, it could actually have the opposite affect for your brand.

If you were online at all in the last few days, then you probably heard something about the Strangers Kissing Video. Let me ask you something- do you know what brand made that video? Probably not. This is because poorly branded; off strategy content regardless of reach, just doesn’t work. I will say though, despite the fact that there isn’t a clear strategy, I did like it. 28 million views on Youtube in just a few days is impressive and shouldn’t be overlooked! For the record- the company who made the video is “Wren,” a  high end clothing brand.

All too often we find marketing 101 being brushed aside side in order to shine in the social media spotlight. Just because something is social, doesn’t mean that it can be void of all strategy. If you are looking to create a great piece of online content, go back to the basics and ask yourself: what are our marketing objectives and goals, and does this content help us reach them? If the answer is yes, then go for it! If you have to ask whether or not the content is strategic, then it is time to go back to the drawing board.

If you want to see a viral video that has clear strategy- check out the Motorola “Lazy Phone” series.

I Hope This Gets To You (And Everyone Else on the Internet…)

I ran across this video on Gizmodo and, well, just watch it first:

I was immediately struck by this video for two reasons: Number one, it pulled at my heartstrings. I must admit that at first, the “aww” factor got me. My husband and I were once in a long-distance relationship and so I get just how meaningful this will be for the video creator’s girlfriend when she does see it (she hasn’t yet).

But then I noted one small fact that Gizmodo was sure to point out: The guy that made it is in a band called The Daylights. It’s a band I could like judging by this song, but I had never heard of them. Until now. Hmm… I think there is a name for this… oh, yeah. Viral marketing. What better way to get people to pass your band’s music along than fueling it with a romantic story, complete with a call-to-action anyone with a soul couldn’t refuse?

Maybe I’m a cynic. When you work in advertising, you start to think about the motives behind everything. Maybe both romance and exposure for his band was this guy’s aim. While the video hasn’t gotten to her yet, the second part seems to be working out well – Katy Perry has tweeted it and he got an interview with The Village Voice. We’ll have to wait and see if his long-distance love is impressed, though I have a feeling she will be.

What do you think? Savvy social media marketing maneuver, or simply a romantic boyfriend sending a sweet message in a big way?