Most of you know that this blog is edited and maintained by the founders of the viral marketing company, Pandemic Labs. It has been our goal from the very beginning to create an online destination to provide insight, information, and discussion about viral marketing and social media marketing. It has occurred to me lately that much of our ongoing experiences with clients give us some unique insights that we can share with the community here. To that end, this is the first post in an ongoing series talking about some secrets of viral marketing.
Today’s post comes straight from our most recent viral video. For any who are interested, you can check the video out here. This video is for our client who is holding a contest for the best user-generated commercials. The video (along with our other efforts) is targeting people who have the ability and desire to create and upload their own commercials. The video has been up for just over two weeks and has already received over 1.5 millions views, made the front page of Digg and the front page of Break. We have been very pleased with the results. However, as we were tracking the spread of the video, we noticed something interesting.
As you can see from the screen capture here, this particular seed of the video on YouTube has received a ton of views from Poland (every link in the above screen capture is a Polish site). Now, the contest we are promoting is only open to residents of the U.S., so our first reaction might have been frustration that our video was viraling around another country. Some might wonder what good it is for our video to be one of the top videos in Poland. But, situations like this should be treated as a welcome surprise. Here’s why:
- The internet has no borders…so trying to force borders will just make you angry.
- Views are views. For instance, this seed received the vast majority of it’s views from Poland, but its quickly rising view count gave us a good story with which to approach American bloggers about our video which was obviously really popular. This led to an easier time getting American bloggers to feature the video and thus helped us get the video in front of more of our target demographic.
- It’s a two way street. Just as our english video gained a lot of traction in Poland, so too can popular things in other countries gain traction here. In this case, we know of two American video game blogs that featured the video after they had found it on Wykop.
Looking forward we can also hypothesize about some possible viral marketing tactics to use in the future. Basically, if there are Digg-like sites around the world that have the potential to drive lots of views to a video, and are easier to get onto the front page, then a smart viral marketer could leverage otherwise useless popularity in other countries to pump up the video view count and help the video make it to the Most Viewed page here on the good ol’ U.S. YouTube.
In conclusion, make sure that you don’t get mad if your efforts gain steam in areas of the world that you don’t really need. There are always benefits to more views and more popularity and the smart viral marketer can see these new benefits and use them to their fullest potential.