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How to create a Crazy Viral Marketing Video over the weekend

By John Alexander


We recently were invited out to my wife's brother's home on the weekend for a pleasant backyard barbeque. 

Paul and Jan are delightful hosts who really know how to do a family gathering up right. It was just an ordinary Sunday afternoon out on the patio with family (which included our various pets too.) My wife brought along Christy our Jack Russell Terrier, just to liven things up. Understand of course that Jan and Paul already have a house full of pets including a couple of dogs, several cats and some exotic birds. Also along for the afternoon was my son Curtis, who has recently been doing a lot of photography around town. Before we talk about one of the highlights of the afternoon, I wanted to encourage you by showing you just how quick you can easily you can put together a viral marketing video.

What is a viral marketing video?

Its not so much SEO related, although still effectively about bringing traffic to your Web site the easy way (through word of mouth.) For example the term viral is thought to have originated from the reference to a "virus like" means of spreading from one person to another. The whole concept of viral marketing is to create a "buzz" about Web page, Web site or a product or even an idea. 

To create a viral marketing video, we are talking about publishing a video with the idea of having it spread widely and very quickly. It might be through social network marketing using a network like Utube. On the positive side, the viral marketing video may require little effort on the part of the promoter. With a viral marketing video, each of the recipients watches the video and then they become the means of "spreading the word" to other people. On the negative side (if there is a negative side) it can be hard to measure or hard to control once it takes off. Numbers can literally double or triple huge traffic volumes as the word spreads, depending on how wide it spreads.

Benefits of creating your own viral marketing video:

1. Video is very easy to create. 
The example I'll show you took place in less than 60 seconds while we were enjoying a barbeque on a Sunday afternoon. My son Curtis grabbed his camera took a short video and added the sound track in that evening.

2. Viral sounds like it is rather nasty or "disease related" but really the benefit is simple. You are creating something that others find very watchable, entertaining, humorous or even just plain fun. If your video makes people smile or laugh, chances are they'll pass it on to friends or let others know about it, right?

3. You can use existing social networks to help put the word out.

4. Its not dependent on high quality or expensive equipment but often you can create something with your average digital camera. Of course it helps to have an eye for an event or something worth photographing, but its not technical at all.

Meanwhile back at the Sunday barbeque...

Okay, now back to the barbeque on Sunday. One of the highlights was when my Sister-in-Law's Parrot named Simon, decided to do a little dance for everyone. Perhaps it is not that unusual if you are an avian fan and familiar with a parrot's behavior, but Curtis grabbed his video and simply captured Simon's Dance Party. Once he had the footage of Simon, he did a little editing that night adding in some fitting music. By next morning he e-mail me the video and I added in a simple title and some captions.

To create the following video, Curtis used: 

  • His Hewlett Packard PhotoSmart Camera 6 Megapixel
  • Windows Movie Maker (which comes with free with Windows XP
  • Music clip is "What is Love?" by Haddaway
  • Title and captions were added with Camtasia Studio

Simon the Parrot are now invited to his dance party: (Clip runs in 59 seconds) 

Click here to check this example viral marketing video called "Simon's Dance Party."

Its amazing what fun you can have creating a quick little video that makes people smile. Keep your video camera charged up and handy next weekend and see what you can create in the way of a viral marketing video. 

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About John Alexander
John Alexander is Co-director of Training at Search Engine Workshops offering live, SEO Workshops with his partner SEO educator Robin Nobles, author of the very first comprehensive online search engine marketing courses. John is author of
an e-book called Wordtracker Magic and has taught SEO skills to people from 87 different countries world wide. John's articles can be read in publications like REALTOR Magazine, Search Engine Guide, WEBpro News and many others.  

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