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We had a great client meeting today about a new product they wanted our help to launch. And during the discussion, the client casually mentioned another company who had produced a video last year that was “supposed to go viral.” But, of course it didn’t; the client, and we, both recognized you can’t just prescribe for a video to “go viral.”

Coincidentally, when I got back to my desk after the meeting, I had an email from my brother with a link to a YouTube video for TNT in Europe. I clicked on the link because I trust my brother’s taste. I clicked the play button. I laughed. I covered my mouth in horror. I watched the whole thing. I immediately tweeted to 1,000+ followers that they had to watch it.

The video was posted yesterday. As of 2:30 today, it has 4.5 MILLION views. Now that’s what I’d call viral.

Why did one video “go viral,” and another not? Of course, it’s impossible to predict exactly what will work and what won’t. But in comparing the 2 videos, a few things become obvious.

DON’T:

  • Make your viral video 6 minutes long.
  • Introduce it with large corporate logos.
  • Introduce it (after the logos) with a lecturer and definitions.
  • Make it hard to understand (both the plot and the audio).
  • Use a fake setting that looks almost real, but is obviously low budget.
  • Host it on your own servers. (While the video was also on YouTube, the company hosted it on their website in their own player.)
  • Use the same topic and approach as several other videos. (One similar video on YouTube had 40,000 views, but was obviously done in a tongue-in-cheek, cheesy, humorous style — and was easily understandable.)

DO:

  • Make your video brief.
  • Use a dramatic opening.
  • Use good pacing.
  • Use suspense.
  • Use real human emotion.
  • Use humor and pathos.
  • Throw in some unexpected plot twists.
  • You might also add guns, a girl in a bikini, and a football player or two for good measure.

In short, it’s just like telling a story. People like to pass on good stories. And in order for a video to go viral, it needs to have that same kind of emotional tug.

Your thoughts?

As Seen On TV can’t get much better…or worse.

When I was at the gym the other day (just wait, the irony is coming), an infomercial came on a screen in front of me. A woman appeared in a fuzzy pink jumpsuit that was announced to be the “one-piece, lie-around, lounge-around, full-body lazy wear.” With an acrylic fingernailed hand, she demonstrated how soft the fabric was by making bizarre and entirely unnatural rubbing/sweeping motions on her leg. The ad was for the unfortunate stepchild of the Snuggie® — Forever Lazy® — and, yes, that is the product’s real name. In shock, and thinking this was a rerun of an SNL commercial sketch, I continued to watch (much to my horror).

Read the rest of this entry »

If you’re like most B2B companies, you launch new or improved products or services every year. After all, that’s one of the easiest ways to increase sales and market share.

But time and again, businesses are disappointed with underperforming new products or services. A study by OnTarget and Impact Marketing showed that nearly 80% of executives ranked their method of launching products as “neutral” or worse. And 60% of launch failures are due to poor planning.

VantagePoint Marketing has helped dozens of B2B companies plan, execute and market new product and service launches. Recently a few members of our leadership team recorded a discussion about how we help companies make their launches more successful. Take a few minutes to watch excerpts from that discussion below (it’s only 4 minutes), and see if there’s anything VantagePoint can do to help you with your new product or service launch. (Or, feel free to watch the video in HD, along with other videos, on VantagePoint Marketing’s YouTube channel.)

Recently, we recorded a series of informal conversations with several of VantagePoint Marketing’s key staff discussing how to help our B2B customers create greater value for their customers. If you’ve got 12 minutes, I think you might find these interesting and helpful. The three brief videos are available below, or you can watch them in HD on VantagePoint’s YouTube channel. Each video addresses a different way to increase your value to your customer. Here’s a brief summary of each:

1. Improve customer loyalty. In this video, our team discusses:

  • the use of customer research and the Net Promoter Score
  • how to follow up with appropriate action
  • the increase in market share that will follow when you understand what matters most to your customers
  • a case study where a doubled Net Promoters Score led to record profit growth


2. Stay relevant to your customers. This 4-minute clip covers:

  • the importance of your product or service’s  relevance to both customers and non-customers
  • talking about what your customers are interested in, not just trumpeting your great new widget
  • letting relevance drive your strategy and marketing communication
  • creating specific communications for specific audiences
  • how you can help your customers’ business


3. Improve sales effectiveness. This video clip explores:

  • the importance of sales’ competence, confidence, comfort, and communication
  • how VantagePoint helps customers train their sales force and sales channels
  • the importance of understanding the buying cycle and all influencers in the B2B purchase process
  • how a feedback loop can help sales provide marketing with the intelligence to modify products and messaging


At VantagePoint, we want to provide the best value to you, which is one of the reasons we created these videos. Of course, we can only convey a limited amount of information in 4 minutes, so if there is any way we can help explain these topics further to you, we’d love to be of help. Please contact VantagePoint Marketing, and we’ll be happy to set up a time to talk.

ChooseYour customers are choosing, whether you’re the one giving them the choices — or not. That’s the message of the Web 2.0 era, and it was reinforced again in the last week of July. That’s when the hottest viral video of the week belonged to a UK nonprofit dedicated to stopping violence. The campaign launched on YouTube and within a couple weeks had rocketed to three-quarters of a million views per week. Read the rest of this entry »

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