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Using viral videos to create business momentum

While there’s no foolproof method of creating a viral video that gets as many plays as the KONY 2012 YouTube campaign, many small business owners can look within their organisation for funny anecdotes to translate into video and create some positive momentum.

Two weeks ago I was preparing for a workshop on social media, so I went looking for some viral videos to demonstrate this online marketing technique. It just happened to be at the same that the KONY 2012 campaign was hitting its strides, so I didn’t have to look far. For those of you that live under a rock and some how missed this latest viral phenomenon you can watch the video here.

The premise behind the campaign is to make a particular ‘bad guy’ in Africa famous so the authorities are forced to do something about him. You’re encouraged to share the story and video far and wide on social media, and its creators make it very easy for you to do so. The video was uploaded on 5 March 2012, and at the time of writing this post it’s had 85,276,735 views.

Its not just about Joseph Kony, its about creating a movement for change. Never before have we been able to enlist so many people across the world behind one cause, belief or product like we can now. This power used to be in the hands of the rich and famous, now in 2012 the masses can create something that will start a movement – and viral videos is how to do it.

Your movement may just be about getting people interested in your product or service, but either way, the world’s waiting to hear from you. It just takes a little clever thinking about what your message is and how you can make it worthy to be passed on. People will share something because it is either hilarious, unbelievable, deeply emotional, in agreement with their worldview, makes them stop and think, isn’t covered by mainstream media, dramatic, embarrassing or provocative.

The Dollar Shave Club is a great example of a business using a viral video to market its products. Like the KONY 2012 campaign, this video was also posted on YouTube on 5 March, and at the time of writing it’s reached 3,790,513 views. This video fits into the “hilarious” category – you can watch it here.

I don’t have any specific statistics, but based on the number of views and comments I would say this little video has definitely helped the Dollar Shave Club to grow.

During a recent workshop, we came across a website that wasn’t making any sales. After looking into it, we discovered the website was miscalculating postage at astronomical amounts like $17,000, just for Australia Post to deliver a few jars of jam. This little story could quite easily be turned into a funny video about why it’s important to test all the processes on your new website.. It might never reach the volumes achieved by the KONY 2012 campaign or The Dollar Shave Club, but for the two – three hours of recording, editing and uploading, there’s no doubt it could create a positive momentum for a business.

What do you think?

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Michelle Frost

Michelle Frost

Michelle Frost runs two successful technology businesses with her husband. <a href="http://www.michoninternational.com"> Michon International</a> began 10 years ago as a niche digital information publisher and has evolved into a SME consulting/training business passionate about helping local business to get and grow online. Her other business came out of necessity as so many of the Michon International clients requested websites - <a href="http://smikwebdesign.com/">SMiK Web Design</a> was born to fill this need. Michelle loves dispelling the myths around online marketing and turning all that jargon into ‘plain English’.

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