Viral Videos Can Launch Your Brand

Karmin is having a good year. A really good year. Don’t know who they are? First, check out this video.

This is a talented young duo doing a cover version of a song by Chris Brown featuring Lil Wayne and Busta Rhymes. It’s catchy, fun, and very watchable.

As of this posting, this little video has garnered over 10 million views in less than one month. That’s a lot of views for something that’s being spread word of mouth.

Suddenly, this brand new musical duo has appeared on The Ellen Show, has performed with The Roots, and is getting attention from Entertainment Weekly. Yep, all this in less than a month.

Viral videos that capture the public’s attention are a marketer’s dream. Everyone wants their brand message to catch like wildfire on the Net and “go viral.” And yet, so few things go truly viral.

Sure, with good web analytics and other marketing tools, you can track the way a viral asset starts online, spreads through communities, and eventually goes truly viral. If you’re able to crack that code you may be able to use that knowledge to get good traffic for your next video. Or maybe not. Analysis of past successes do not necessarily guarantee future success.

Looking at the other videos in Karmin’s YouTube channel, you’ll see some videos that are getting a lot of views. Many are cover tunes, but several are original songs. Since this video isn’t their first, Karmin has many things for new fans (like me) to discover. Plus, they were smart self-marketers who already had a Facebook fan page, a Twitter account, and a half dozen other social web accounts. As everyone with a social account knows, this is good, but hardly a guarantee of viral success.

Certainly, good marketing can help a talented musician or any other brand to find an audience online. We also know that good marketing can help untalented hacks become famous.

Why do things go viral? Nobody really knows, since viral sensations on YouTube and other channels tend to be unique and incredibly rare. As a marketer, you can look for ways to make your brand message or assets to go viral. But, like the musicians in Karmin, you need to be ready for your encore.

So before you create that channel and start posting your awesome videos, are you ready if your video or brand message goes viral? Are your analytics in place? Is your next video ready to be uploaded? If you grab the Net’s spotlight, you need to be ready with your second act or encore. Otherwise, you’ll squander the moment. And the Net will move on to something else.