Viral video — are you the expert?

It started with a simple question.  Do you viral video?

Let’s wrap up our discussion on the phenomenon of viral video and its many purposes. 

We’ve culled through the stats that show the rapid rise of viral video viewing, we’ve talked about how some companies are using the medium to just get in front of as many people as possible and we’ve also looked at the educational aspects of the medium.  In the last installment, we also talked about how some are using video simply to be heard over the din of marketing messages.

One of the other applications/goals that seems ideally suited for video is demonstrating an expertise.  While writing a white paper for your website or even sharing your PowerPoint slides will allow you to share your expertise, it lacks the emotional connection that a video can give you.

Matt Dickman, from Fleishman-Hillard, has really established himself as a social media tools expert by producing a series of videos in which he dissects a particular application or site.  In the example below, he introduces his subscribers to Utterz.


The beauty of what Matt has done is that he’s become our tour guide.  He makes his audience comfortable with the new tools. He explains them in language that everyone can understand and he takes the time to lay some groundwork before he dives in.

With his series approach, we also make the assumption that he knows a lot about ALL the web-based tools out there.  Does he?  I don’t know, but he’d sure be one of the first I would ask. He’s proven to me that he’s an expert in this field.

How could you use viral video to spotlight your expertise in a way that’s both compelling and something people would want to pass onto their friends/peers? 

How could you use viral video to showcase your skills if you wanted to be the on-air talent?  How about if you didn’t?

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?

8 comments on “Viral video — are you the expert?

  1. Drew –

    I completely agree about the quality of Matt’s videos. They’re essential tools for marketers out there that haven’t yet made the leap into the digital pool… Why they haven’t done so, I’m not sure. But hey, we’ve all used Cliffs Notes of some kind at some point, right?

    However, I’m not sure I would necessarily talk about expert videos, general marketing videos and viral video in the same breath. Especially when we consider the top 5 viral videos from the past year, with their combination of spot-on creative concepts, excellent marketing work, production value AND viral seeding tactics, I feel like we’re really talking about drastically different things.

    For an underdog marketer, thinking about how to “go viral” is less important than thinking about the concept, content and production of the videos that are going to be online. And for me, the very term “viral” makes me shudder. It implies a built-in expectation that a single video is going to shoot to the front page of YouTube and attract millions of views in a short period of time.

    Just like with blogs–and any online marketing activity–the keys are frequency and consistency of concept, content and production value. And a realistic set of expectations!

    Thanks for the run-down of online video. Have a great weekend,


  2. Kris Cahill says:

    I like Matt’s personality and way of communicating. He is showing how very simple and easy it can be for someone to do this. He comes across as honest, relaxed, and inspiring, which in itself is educational. He is offering good information as well.

    I also agree with Clay here about the quality of video being important. I know, as an artist using video to show my work, that it has to be great. It’s just not worth showing something that doesn’t allow my art to shine. I am about to embark on creating new video content for promotion, and while I love the wide array of video available, I know the good stuff stands out.

    This is a fantastic time to get this all going, and to use it for marketing. Wonderful post, thank you.

  3. These videos are a wonderful resource, and also another way for him to market himself. A great idea all around! I have many clients getting into the viral video game, and they’ll love these. Thanks for sharing!

  4. Clay,

    As is true with any marketing tactic — you need to start with the end game. Why would we do this? How will we define success? How does it translate to dollars?

    I agree with you…while the videos that fly at speed of light velocity are fun to watch — in most cases, they aren’t making the register ring.

    Some of the videos we explored in the series probably don’t get a lot of laughs but boy are they smart marketing.


  5. Kris,

    One of the truths about video that I really dislike is that some people can just never get comfortable in front of the camera. So they come off stiff and unlikeable.

    Matt, on the other hand, demonstrates how powerful it can be when a person does get comfortable in front of the camera. The guy you described…honest, relaxed and inspiring IS Matt Dickman.

    Imagine the leg up on his competition he will have if we’ve already decided that about him.


  6. Matt,

    As you know, I’ve been a fan of your video work for a long time. You let it be very real and genuine. You work hard to make it easy and understandable. And the end result is a great benefit to your readers and you look as smart and generous as you are.

    A win/win if there ever was one!


  7. Terra,

    Be sure you check out Matt’s whole series on his YouTube account. They’d be an excellent show and tell for your clients on how to do it right.


  8. Lewis,

    Exactly — you don’t want the marketing tool to outshine the marketing message. Video is a great vehicle for delivering content for many people. But to your point — just because it is cool and “new” doesn’t mean it is the right choice for everyone.


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