Viral video — are you trying to educate?

Picture_1 In our on-going discussion about the value of (or lack thereof) using viral video, we’ve talked about how the statistics clearly indicate that video viewing is on the rise (with double and triple digit growth) and some of the reasons why viral video might make sense for your organization.

In my last post, we explored (there were some superb comments — be sure you dig deep enough to read them!) using viral video if what you’re looking for is widespread exposure.  Those are the videos we’re all the most familiar with. The Mentos and Diet Coke, the RayBans, or the Small Office HP videos that I shared in that post.

Characteristically, they have a higher production value, tend to be funny and short.  Really, they’re the Super Bowl ads of viral video.  Their goal is to be talk worthy and sharing worthy.

But what if that’s not what you need.  Let’s say you’re the Marketing Director for a regional B-to-B company.  Viral video shouldn’t be on your radar screen — right?

Not so fast, my friend. 

If "I want lots of eyes" viral video is the Super Bowl of the medium, then the "I want to educate you" may be the high school social studies class film equivalent.  You remember those grainy black and white films that were short on entertainment value but long on content.  These are characteristically lower budget/quality production, a bit longer in length and usually not going for the funny bone.  Their purpose is very utilitarian — to teach.

Long time reader/commenter to this blog, Scott Townsend is the Marketing Director for United Linen and Uniforms in Bartlesville, Oklahoma.  They service the tri-state area of Kansas, Arkansas and of course, Oklahoma.  So why would they use video?


Again, this is not going to win an Oscar.  I think lots of people shy away from some of this new fangled media (podcasts, video etc.) because they compare their budget and abilities to the high end variations and dismiss an opportunity that they could seize.

Assuming you have a certain level of production quality — using video this way is an effective way to do a couple things.

  • Educate your consumer.  Some things are easier to understand if you can see them.
  • Convey a product truth.  In this case, that it’s easy to re-load the dispenser and odds are if she can do it — so can your employees.

What do you think?  Can you see how using video like this might serve your customers?  Or are you in the "high end, big budget or no go" camp?


Other posts in this series:
Do you viral video?
Viral video – are you looking for a lot of eyes?
Viral video — are you trying to educate?
Viral video – are you trying to be heard over the noise?
Viral video — are you establishing yourself as an expert?

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