I’ve repeatedly stressed in my recent posts how important online videos are as a marketing strategy. And I’m not only talking about business-to-consumer (B2C) transactions – it’s actually a more important medium for the business-to-business (B2B) level.

According to Brightcove, there are six reasons why B2B marketers need videos: 1) grab people’s attention instantly; 2) tell your story in less time; 3) bring your ideas to life; 4) create a buzz with viral video; and 6) bring your website into the 21st century.

I’ve read this article on ReelSEO by a guest author named Daniel Sevitt, which talks about the three types of online videos for business. I felt a need to share that with you since I’m in the video marketing business and I want you to understand what you are getting if you decide to adopt video advertising as a strategy.

Sevitt talked about three types of online videos for business. These are: viral videos, conversion videos, and education videos. Now, as I want to be quite extensive, I’ll be making this into a three-part series, starting with viral video.

What is a viral video?

Here’s a quick definition I got from Wikipedia:

“A viral video is any video that is passed electronically, from person to person, regardless of its content. It becomes popular through the process of Internet sharing, typically through video sharing websites and email. Humor is often a characteristic of viral videos, but not a defining one.”

Viral videos first came out with the birth of YouTube. One of the earliest videos was the “Dancing Baby” or “Baby Cha-Cha”, a 3D model of a baby dancing for several seconds.

The term viral videos came from viral marketing, also known as word-of-mouth marketing. Now, I personally believe that marketing through word-of-mouth is a very effective way to make a product sell.

It somehow makes customers feel a lot “safer” with the product since the person belongs to their circle. This may be one of the reasons why Web marketers saw viral videos as a potentially helpful medium in driving traffic to their websites.


“Mattress Dominoes World Record Attempt” video by Benson’s for Beds

What does it take to make a video “viral”?

According to Sevitt, you should consider the following characteristics if you want your video to be viral:

Original

Unexpected

Unusual

Funny/Mysterious/Sexy

However, there are times that even if you’ve done your best to make your video in such a way that you will get a good following, you still don’t succeed. This is the factor Sevitt calls as the compound of timing, luck, and Internet serendipity, which is quite impossible to make.

According to Sevitt, viral video works best when they are found outside the company’s site.

“Viral video is all about distribution and promotion. The company’s aim is for the video to be embedded in many different sites to reach as wide an audience as possible.”

The disadvantage of putting up a video outside your company’s website is that you will lose control over the surrounding text, ads, or pictures. It is also harder to track.

How do you know that your viral video was successful?

According to Sevitt, basing your success on the number of views alone is not at all a guarantee. There are a lot of YouTube videos that are viewed millions of times, but how do you know if the viewers are really that interested? A lot of people just watch videos to amuse themselves, but have no intention of further communicating with the company or producer of the video. They are just passers-by. After that, they just forget the video and move on.

“It depends who your products are targeting and whether or not you were noticed by the right kind of audience,” says Sevitt.

Looking at the number of comments that your video receives is a more definite way to get an idea of how much “buzz” your video has created.

Companies such as TubeMogul and Mochibot will help you keep track of how your viral video is doing.