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Viral Marketing Goes Video & Mobile

Mar 24, 2008
More and more advertisers are adopting video as broadband continues to rise and ad-serving technologies become more sophisticated. Online video advertising is really taking off.

Users' attention can be captured and ads stand out from the crowd in an increasingly ad-cluttered online environment. It is true that video formats cost five to ten times more to serve than standard banners and they involve a lot more production and implementation work but they may well be worth all of that if they achieve greater response rates.

Where to use online video if wishing to maximize its effect, is what advertisers must carefully consider. Video to be used on the Internet should be information and communication focused while video to be used on television should be focused on entertainment.

Like everything else, there are good ways and bad ways to use video advertising. Right now most marketers are incorporating their audio-visual content into existing embedded ad formats like banners or over-content formats like pop-ups.

Though this could reach a potentially large audience, viewers are likely to be less captivated and more annoyed by these disruptive and distracting placements.

Cached or streaming video on a specific destination site offers the best chance of interesting consumers in brand messages, but it is not likely to reach a large audience unless it generates a viral outcome.

Whatever you come up with, don't forget to make it easy to open and distribute. File size is important, as is the media format. If your viral video has been created for a particular type of software that not many people use, how will you get people to spread it like wildfire?

Also, if you've made a video the impact will be better if you send the clip as an attachment rather than stream it. It's cheaper and, if you're not hosting it, it's more viral, too.

Mobile devices, mobile phones and PDA's are one of the last great frontiers of viral advertisement opportunities. However, we have become experts at filtering everything, our air and water, our e-mail and pop-ups, and our mobile devices as well. We are good at filtering.

The very idea of unwanted advertising streaming through our Blackberries is abhorrent. Mobile devices are the ultimate opt-in medium and, therefore, a great way for marketers to connect with users if that's what the users want. "WANT" is the key word here. How should marketers approach the medium?

There are three main ways to achieve this. They are:

1. Offer exclusive content. Anyone can offer ring tones. It's the unique content, such as exclusive mobile images of new brand concepts, that drives interest and calls them out in other media like e-mail campaigns, newsletters, websites, etc. So a wireless campaign is most effective when it offers exclusive content for wireless devices.

2. Make it useful and timely. Think about what would be handy and helpful to have on a mobile device. Last year, for example, Food Network enabled Sprint customers to download shopping lists for their Thanksgiving dinners. There was a lot of "Sprint-envy" going around among non-sprint customers.

3. Clearly define objectives. Usually, one of two business objectives drives successful mobile experiences: incremental revenue of brand intimacy. On the intimacy factor, a text message usually takes priority over almost any other form of communication. Why? Because we haven't yet been saturated with mobile spam, and this is what causes us to prioritize wireless messaging over voice.

Mobile marketing has been out there for a while but we marketers have new territory to explore. Video offers fantastic opportunities for engagement. Consumers already bypass their filters for highly useful or entertaining content and will do so for rich exclusive, compelling content.
About the Author
Jo Han Mok is the author of the #1 international business bestseller, The E-Code.
He shares his amazing blueprint for creating million dollar internet businesses
at: http://www.InternetMillionaireBlueprints.com
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