Did you watch the Super Bowl this past weekend?  Did you listen to the National Anthem being sung by Christina Aguilera?  Did you know that she messed up the lyrics to the song? If you didn’t know this at the time she was singing the song because maybe you in the kitchen getting a snack before the actual game started, you surely knew afterwards or by the end of the game.  This is still being talked about today – three days after the game! Green Bay won the game, but the results of the game are not getting this much attention!  The massacre of our National Anthem was captured on video, so now everyone has an opportunity to see how badly the song was messed up. And the best part about it… it didn’t cost anything to make or sent out.  This is what it means to go viral.

Going viral or “viral marketing” is a marketing strategy that relies on individuals rather than traditional marketing channels to redistribute their business content over the web. This type of marketing strategy creates an online idea or message that spreads it across the web like a virus with little time, maximum results, and no extra cost to the advertiser. So how can your business utilize this free service?  Businesses are now learning that making a catchy video and watching it go viral just might be the cheapest, most effective marketing.  

What does it take to go viral?  One of the best ways to get your video moved around the internet is to have it spark an emotional reaction, like making someone laugh! Who doesn’t want to share a funny story? Next, you want to make sure that you keep it short.  Think about how much time you spend on the computer and how much time you have to devote to emails, videos, social networks, etc.  People really don’t have the time to watch a 30 minute video now-a-days, so keep it short!  Also, don’t spend a lot of time and money on your video. The more money you spend producing a video, the more viral it must become for you to get a return on your investment.  Lastly, once you get your video finished spread the word about it!  Email it to your friends and put it on your social networking sites.  If you video is worth watching, you can expect that it will go viral!

Another way to advertise your business and even the video is to put a link at the bottom of your email as part of your signature so that every outgoing message contains something about you or your product and a link to your website. As people e-mail their friends and colleagues, they are also advertising your services as well as helping you to spread the message for you. Recipients can view your video or the link to your website by simply clicking on the link and read all about you and your business. This way, the message spreads within existing social networks and was passed along with little effort from the company. This is a great way to market and increase brand image, bring traffic to your website, and boost product sales. The whole idea is that other people will review your message and if they find it worthy of sharing they will pass it on to their friends. It is today’s electronic equivalent of old-fashioned word of mouth. Viral marketing is one of the most powerful ways to reach your audience, and it allows for other people to share your story for you.

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