Do you do viral video?

YouTube has changed our connotation of the word video.  Depending on your age…it might have meant something you rented at the "video store."  Or, you might have even taped TV shows on one.

For those of us in the communications world, video used to only mean high end production pieces that would tell your company’s story in 4-7 minutes.  (Still a very viable communications tools — just not an exclusive meaning anymore) or you might send away for one if you were considering buying a BowFlex.

But today, when you said video, it’s just as likely that someone will reference a Paul Potts video that was viewed by over 20 MILLION people or the Diet Coke + Mentos video was was watched nearly 5 MILLION times.

So as marketers — I think we need to be paying attention and asking ourselves if we too should be producing video content for our business or our clients’ business.

Over the next few days, I’d like to explore this topic with you.  We’ll look at high end, slick videos that have gone viral, sentimental tear jerkers that have touched people’s collective hearts and some down and dirty videos that have an effectiveness all their own.

Here’s some statistics to start off our discussion.  Think that viral video is just the territory of  bloggers and other early adopters?  Think again.

The Pew Internet and American Life Project have just completed some research and the numbers are noteworthy.  Is this marketing tool mainstream yet?  No….but if you look at the increase in percentages, you can see that it’s not too far off.



This first chart shows stats on people who have ever visited a video sharing site like YouTube.  Look at how the numbers are trending.



This next chart is looking at activity on an average day.  Again, look at the huge percentile growth.

So what’s been your experience so far?  Have you experienced a surge of video exposure in your professional life?  Are your competitors doing it?  Have you considered it?

Interestingly, when you look at the list of the Top 5 viral videos of 2007, you’ll see they’re hardly of the home grown variety.  What do you think that means for the less expensive and less agency produced variety?

Source of charts: