Marketing Value of Viral Video

Viral videos are more popular than ever. Whether featuring a lion running from the jungle and into the arms of its former caretakers, or a bridal party dancing down the aisle, or a middle-aged Scottish woman singing her heart out in a national talent show, we just can’t get enough of a great viral video. The entertainment value of these goes without saying, but what about the marketing value where a television show, song, product or cause is highlighted? Do viral videos have marketing value? In short, yes. The longer answer is yes – if they are created and distributed effectively. To be successful, a viral video must have the right content and be placed in the right social media channels, where it can be viewed initially within those markets that it will resonate most. This will lead to broader market appeal, mass interest and virus-like spreading.

What makes good content? A common thread running through all great viral videos is the ability to strike a strong emotional chord. From warm and touching to hysterically funny or surprising, to shocking or disturbing; emotions are powerful conveyors that taken otherwise ordinary activities to a whole new level of impact. It also seems that the more genuine a video is, the better its chances of being a successful viral video.

As for social media, there are certain sites that reach larger markets. Among those that immediately come to mind are,, and These sites began as fertile meeting grounds for younger generations, and have since expanded across age, socio-economic and ethnic lines.

When developing a video, follow the same rules as with any marketing communications tools: be strategic, have clear goals, and craft your message and related graphics to support your goals and capture the attention of your intended audience. Additionally, remember to follow best practices in Search Engine Optimization (SEO). That means your content should contain the right keywords, content and links so that search engines will regard it as relevant and rank accordingly. Feeds (i.e., RSS and mRSS) also need to be properly addressed in the context of the video search engines and their requirements. Other key components that facilitate SEO are properly crafted titles, meta tags and headers.

For businesses or nonprofits that have a product, service or message they want to communicate to a large audience, viral videos are one of the most cost-effective and far-reaching vehicles.

Stephen Halliday is co-founder and President and CEO of Cross Bridge [], the preferred online content provider for faith and inspirational content. Cross Bridge is committed to providing high-quality, faith and inspirational programming and resources, bridging the gaps in current mainstream media while conveying uplifting messages and nurturing positive outlooks.

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