what is viral marketing?There are a lot of people out there talking about creating viral videos, viral blogs, viral children (kidding), etc. Well what does viral really mean? I used to work at an agency that put up a video of a dog chewing on a stuffed animal polar bear, they called the video “dog versus polar bear,” (or something to that effect). The video has received around 450,000+ views, now would you cal this “viral?” perhaps. Think about this for a moment. If you go chop off your arm, film it, and then stick it on youtube with the title “Worst Pain Ever”, do you think you will get a lot of hits? What if you catch someone at work flipping out and destroying company property, let’s say you title the video “Man at Work Destroys Everything,” do you think that will get a lot of hits? The answer to both of these questions is usually yes, but are these videos viral?

A viral piece of content from a business standpoint should be much more than just a shocking event caught on video. I am going to refer to business viral content as “Biral” content from now on. Some of the key components that a “Biral” piece of content (from a business standpoint) should have are:

  • Be spreadable
  • Peak interest
  • Address a product/service/brand
  • Engage the audience
  • Be relevant

Essentially there are 2 types of viral content, user generated viral content and viral content from a business standpoint, or “Biral content”. From the standpoint of user generated content, “viral” simply means something that gets a lot of views, reads, clicks, etc. But from a business standpoint there needs to be something more, it needs to be “Biral”. There needs to be a reason to get the views, clicks, reads, etc. The reason for this is usually to increase brand awareness, product sales, new users, etc. Simply creating a video entitled “Dog versus Polar Bear,” is meaningless from a business standpoint.

These are 2 videos that I consider to be “viral” from a business standpoint, do you understand why?

Weezer Pork and Beans

Kobe Jumps Over a Car

These are 2 video that I consider to be “viral” from a user generated content standpoint.

Numa Numa Video

Star Wars Kid

I’d love to hear some of your thoughts, what do you consider to be viral content and do you think there is a difference between user generated viral content and business viral content?

Thanks for reading!