The element of surprise can be a highly effective marketing tool to create brand awareness. Take for example, the flash mob. According to urbandictionary.com a flash mob is;
“A group of people who appear from out of nowhere, to perform predetermined actions, designed to amuse and confuse surrounding people.”
Since its emergence in New York in 2003, the flash mob has been used as a successful visual marketing tool for many companies. Here are two companies whose flash mob video productions have become among the most viewed on YouTube.
The title for the most viewed flash mob video on YouTube goes to an Ontario-based company called Alphabet Photography. This company shows that you don’t need a large budget for your flash mob production; just talented performers, clever planning and lots of surprised onlookers. Their flash mob video, “Christmas Food Court Flash Mob, Hallelujah Chorus – Must See!” went viral soon after it was posted on YouTube and has received over 38 million views. After its release, the video was featured across world media and the company has since received royal approval from Prince Charles himself! The end board of the video lists information about Alphabet Photography’s website and a seasonal greeting, which serve to heighten awareness of the company.
Mobile Phone Company T-Mobile has two flash mob videos appearing in the “Top Ten Flash Mob Videos on YouTube.” Their UK-based “Life’s for Sharing” campaign features flash mobs taking place in the busiest transport hubs in the UK. Collectively, their big budget, all-singing all-dancing flash mobs have received over 46 million YouTube views. T-Mobile also creates individual campaigns around each video with a behind the scenes look at the flash mob organization, and reaction from the public after the flash mob has taken place. Before you check out the flash mob videos below be warned that “The T-Mobile Welcome Back” is quite a tearjerker!
So what lessons can we take from the examples shown above?
- A well organized and entertaining flash mob video has potential to go viral, regardless of the size of your budget.
- Theme your video so that it has lasting appeal and makes a connection with your business. A significant portion of Alphabet Photography’s business is in the gift market. The company’s flash mob video likely receives an increase in views and shares around Christmas which may increase web traffic and potential revenue.
- Flash mob videos such as “The T-Mobile Welcome Back,” that include unsuspecting onlookers being caught up in the action, rate highest on YouTube.
- Film everything! Footage of the organization of the flash mob and snippets from behind the scenes can be used as part of an extended campaign before and after the release of the flash mob video.
So, have any of these stories inspired you to consider using a flash mob video as part of your next online marketing campaign?
Everyone enjoys a great laugh once in a while, especially when it comes from a place you least expect. Usually businesses focus on promoting the unique selling points of their products and services, and forget to add a human element that keeps them real. Consumers love it when businesses make fun of themselves. It makes a brand more likable, more human. There is no formula for adding humor to advertising, and it can be done in various ways depending on your product or service. Here are some examples of my favorite digital ads that have gone outside the box of conventional marketing messaging and added humor to their marketing efforts:
- Dollar Shave Club – This startup created a witty video ad, similar in tone to the Old Spice campaign, that went viral earning over 4 million video views on YouTube and helping raise over $1 million in funding.
- LG Ultra Slim LED TV – LG created a video ad showcasing how easy it is to steal one of their ultra thin TVs. The campaign became viral, generating over 4 million views.
- Thor - the Marvel blockbuster film created a video campaign to promote the release of the new film by mimicking Volkswagen’s highly successful viral video The Force. The original video by Volkswagen garnered over 48 million video views, while Little Thor only reached 3 million views; however, in the viral video world that is still considered a significant success.
Hopefully these videos inspire you to consider using humor in your digital marketing! Which video was your favorite? Do you have other examples? We would love to hear about them.
YouTube is second only to Google, when it comes to search. YouTube receives over 3-billion views every single day. When my 4-year old broke his arm, I went to YouTube, not Google or Bing, to watch a video on how to make a sling. When I was making a dinner for 6, and trying to nail a recipe, I went to YouTube to see how to do it right. And I’m not the only one. We’ve been hearing it for a while now how video, as a medium, dominates search… and that spells big payoffs for YouTube.
With this in mind, it’s high time to start thinking – not just how to make more videos – but how to get your video content and your general video presence seen! The good news is, you already know how. We’re talking about basic SEO practices like those for Google, or any search engine.
There are literally dozens of tips for optimizing content for YouTube. Here are a few easy ones to get you started.
Post content frequently. Activity begets activity. Active channels get more attention. Every time you post new content on YouTube, it indexes that content. So in essence, each time you post, it’s like poking YouTube and reminding it you’re there. Posting frequently can also foster loyalty in your audience, and if it’s good content, posting frequently will grow your audience.
Encourage comments and respond to them. Just like a blog, each video should provoke comments or questions from your audience. Following up on each and every comment will show your audience you’re listening, and will encourage further interaction. Furthermore, responding to comments gives you more opportunity to showcase your humor, or expertise.
Use meta tags. Once again, just like content on a website, using meta tags helps YouTube correctly categorize your content and serve it up to the right audience when they come searching. Learn more about that here.
Transcribe your video content. This step is often overlooked but can make a big difference in the optimization of your content. Transcribing video means writing out each word that is spoken. The resulting script is rich with keywords and essentially gives YouTube a roadmap for your content. You can read more about transcribing here.
Want more? Here are 10 more tips you should know about YouTube.
Have more tips not listed here? Share them in our comments section.
What if you turned right when you should have turned left?
You might drive into oncoming traffic, which would be bad. Or maybe you’ll end up somewhere you never expected. Sometimes doing the unusual, unnatural or unexpected thing will help you see something new and possibly inspire an idea for your next digital strategy.
Some of the most popular social media networks were built with an intended purpose. They have features and functions that allow users to perform intended tasks. For example, you’re suppose to post 140 character messages on Twitter. You’re suppose to upload videos to YouTube. You’re suppose to upload photos to Flickr. You’re suppose to pin images on Pinterest. You’re suppose to create a Facebook Timeline Business Page.
But what if we re-imagined how we used these networks?
What if you used Twitter solely for taking customer food purchase orders?
- Users would send an @reply to your account saying, Combo A, Combo B, etc.
What if you used Twitter to publish a collection of photos?
- Publish links to photos hosted on Instagram, TwitPic or YFrog.
What if you used YouTube to conduct focus groups?
- Publish 3 videos, each with a different idea. Ask participants to like the video/idea they like best.
What if you used YouTube to as a customer service tool?
- Publish a video of the customer service representative describing himself/herself and his/her responsibilities. Ask customers to post inquires in the comments section. Monitor and respond to the comments.
What if you used Flickr to publish a comic strip or a picture story?
- Each photo will act as one box in a comic strip. Different photos sets and photo galleries can be created for each story.
What if you used Pinterest to create a instructional manual?
- The step by step manual will have a picture and written instructions. Users can even comment on a specific step if they need clarification.
What if you used the new Facebook Page Timeline to post a fictional story?
- The story will be display chronologically along the timeline. Status updates with text can be added and photos can be added.
Photo Credit: nestor galina
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What If …Series (5 most recent posts)
Over the last several years lots of social platforms have come and gone. Some are slowly fading away. It’s really hard to keep track of where to spend your time and energy! 2012 will remain a big year for big players such as Facebook, Twitter, Google+, YouTube, and LinkedIn and similarly, we should also expect to see exponential growth for newcomers like Pinterest. However, as newcomers gain momentum, we will start to see other social networks fizzle off. Here are 5 social platforms we think you should put on your “fadar” (aka fading radar):
- Quora: The question and answer platform was predicted to be the next big thing in 2010. However, half way through 2011 the big buzz surrounding the site slowly started to fade off. The site still receives decent traffic, with an estimate of 500,000 users, however, as new social sites emerge Quora might not be at the top of social minds.
- Digg: The once beloved site-sharing website has been dying a slow death for several years. It hasn’t been able to compete with sites like Reddit, Facebook, and Twitter. It is my opinion that it is just a matter of time before it completely fizzles off. A few months ago it did launch a new version of the site, however, it doesn’t seem like users found it very appealing. A couple of years ago a great article would have received on average 3000 Diggs, now you’re lucky if you even get 100.
- Delicious: This social bookmarking site had everything going for it back in 2005. It was new to the scene and had no real competitors. What happened? As new bookmarking sites started to saturate the market Delicious didn’t reinvent quickly enough. Rumors are it might shut-down or sell its technology.
- Gowalla: This location-based site was once a fierce competitor for foursquare, both entering the market at about the same time 2 years ago. However, foursquare quickly gained momentum with over 1 billion check-ins to date, leaving Gowalla in the dust. Gowalla’s leadership has now joined forces with Facebook. According to industry insiders, Facebook has not purchased the technology, only the talent. Gowalla will slowly fade out.
- QR Codes: There’s a huge online debate about whether QR (Quick Response) Codes are slowly starting to die off before they’ve even had the chance to really take off. Some people may think, why would QR Codes be on the “fadar”? I see them everywhere? Well, that’s exactly my point. The ubiquitous use of QR Codes in often ill-conceived marketing efforts, is what might lead to its demise.
What do you think? Do you take issue with any of the above observations? Are there networks or tools you feel should be on the fadar?