Viral videos

By Bronwyn Currin
Bronwyn Currin of The Media Image offers advice on making gaming content go viral

"It’s gone viral". This is what every online content creator wants to hear, but the instances are few and far between. Creating successful and innovative gambling industry content is a challenge.

For online content to go viral it has to be seen and shared, but there are no guarantees that a piece of content will be shared or even seen. A company may have a large audience across various social media platforms, but the audience is not exclusively their own. Audiences overlap – they are fans of multiple social media pages on each social platform. A piece of content on a platform like Facebook or Twitter competes for the user’s attention among other content in their feed.

For these reasons, whether a company has a large existing online network or not, the use of paid methods of reach should not be disregarded. After Facebook launched Promoted Posts, the average overall reach achieved by pages through paid methods increased by 221%, whereas reach achieved through organic methods increased by only 74%. So paid methods can indeed help get online content seen. However, there are a number of organic reach methods that content creators use to get their work shared.

The Media Image’s viral video campaign for GeoLotto – an online lotto company that creates location-based draw games – achieved an estimated four million views, primarily through organic outreach. In the campaign there was a series of short web videos featuring a GeoLotto representative handing out cash prizes to people in various UK cities.

The Media Image’s Outreach department contacted Twitter personalities, influential news platforms and high traffic social media interest groups with the video content. Other successful methods included editing the videos to select content that shocked or inspired, and to largely remove GeoLotto branding, as this cultivates trust from an online audience which can view too much branding as spam.

Successful methods included editing the videos to select content that shocked or inspired, and to largely remove branding, as this cultivates trust from an online audience
Another social media marketing company produced The Dojo of Pain campaign that was launched to promote Ubisoft’s Red Steel, the title name for a new Nintendo Wii platform. In this campaign, user-generated content was used. Online influencers submitted a total of 4,100 pieces of content, including more than 150 user-generated video, resulting in over 500,000 YouTube views. The keys to this instance of viral content were using influencers (including in the actual content – the videos), and calling for action (contributions from the audience).

In a third marketing campaign, a video was produced to stage a supposedly new trend in the gaming industry: parties for gamers in the nude. The web video was picked up by influential news sites and gaming forums, resulting in over 1,000 Tweets, over 700 blog posts and one million YouTube views.

The gamers in the video use XtendPlay, a video game controller enhancement for which the video generated exposure. The crucial elements in this marketing campaign were the use of influencers (the news sites and gaming forums) and audacious content themes.

Strategies that were proven to work included:
- Use influencers. Statistics show that social shares increase exponentially with each additional influencer involved.
- Call users to action. This might be a call for user-generated content, or it might be a kickstarter campaign for a petition. ‘Viewers’ are now called ‘users’ because they want to be involved.
- Don’t shy away from paid methods to get the ball rolling on exposure.
- Inspire high energy emotions. According to statistics shocking or inspiring content performs well.
- Cultivate trust. Avoid branding and naming; the audience should not feel spammed.

Research shows that content is being shared online at an exponentially increasing rate and over 100 hours of video are uploaded to YouTube every minute. Stats reveal that 640 million minutes are spent on Facebook every month and over 500 million Tweets tweeted every day. Is your content the next to Go Viral?

Bronwyn Currin works as a PR executive at The Media Image and often researches and reaches out to big names in the online gaming and gambling industries. She enjoys producing content too, and does some freelance writing and editing in her spare time

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