Going Viral? Better Call Dr. Mario!

Two weeks ago a very silly idea that got out of hand was launched from our office onto the web. After a lengthy debate in the office, the Media Heroes team donned our best plumbing outfits and jumped into go-karts to decide once and for all who was better, Mario or Luigi.  Here is the result:

Aside from having the most fun making this and having an awesome team bonding experience, we wanted to use this as a viral video experiment.  What is the best way to get a video hitting a HUGE amount of views?  What works, what doesn’t work?  Save yourself the time and struggle and get some more streamlined ideas to viral video marketing below!

Why did we do this?

I think it is important to go through why we created this video. With any marketing it is essential to start with key objectives. Ours were creating branding for the company, proof that we could make viral videos and helping the culture of Media Heroes. The Media Heroes Brisbane video production team swung into action and everyone in the team jumped on board to lend a helping hand!

Branding

We wanted more brand recognition outside of Queensland, as a growing company we will soon be Australia wide. This is a truly fun place to work and highly creative and each of us are genuinely concerned about getting the best results for our clients.  By creating this video production you can see the fun and creativity behind the brand that we have whilst getting the best results for our customers and spread between our friends of friends.

Another main objective for us was to strike the balance of making something enjoyable without being too corporate.  If the video is too corporate, people will see it as false and have a negative reaction towards it.  Balance is essential.  It was also very important for our partners, Kingston Parkway & Disguises to get the best coverage from the video as well.

Proof of concept

Viral marketing is undoubtedly a tricky beast.  Millions are spent every year to get videos, concepts and brands out there.  Only a small percentage of videos get over a hundred views and a tiny amount become something like Gangnam Style.

We wanted to show to our clients as well as future clients that we had successfully run viral marketing campaigns and would be able to reliably deliver if they wanted to try viral marketing as well.

With the Mario video we wanted at least 70,000 views at the end of the videos life, no small feat, but in the first 2 weeks we have already achieved over 11,000 views!  Good work!

Culture

At Media Heroes, not only do we want to create the best websites possible, we want to make sure our designers are having fun along the way.  Happy designers make good designs and are more productive.  Simple. By regularly doing fun stuff like this we ensure we bond and also show everyone outside Media Heroes that it is a fun place to work at!

Eventually with the correct viral results we hope that companies will sponsor us to do free viral video campaigns for them in exchange for the Media Heroes team getting to do some fun and amazing adventures and activities (hint hint!).

So what have we learnt? What are the results? What are the key things that we would do in the future, what has worked and what would we do differently?

Results

In less than two weeks we have had over 11,000 views, on platforms spanning Youtube, Facebook, Vimeo and much more.   We have had over 160 Facebook likes, 83 comments and 53 shares and are on page one on Youtube for “Mario Kart Real Life.”  All in all, this is a huge success and much better than we originally expected at this stage of the project.  These results did not come easily however, there was a lot of planning, implementation and follow through to get the video naturally getting hits on a day by day basis.

3 Keys to going viral

With a head full of marketing theory from my previous blog post: The Keys To Viral Video Marketing. We had a clear plan to sending content stratospheric. The 3 areas that we have found most prominent to getting the best results are:

#1. Content is king

Firstly and primarily, make sure that your video content is funny, engaging and punchy! People are not going to share something that does not get an emotional response from them, regardless to how well it is seeded, how good the video production is or any other factors.

If it isn’t funny, shocking, amazing or strange it doesn’t stand a chance.  Luckily here at Media Heroes we are all of those things so all we had to do was point a camera on our regular shenanigans! Getting the right content that will resonate with right people, such as Mario Kart, will go a long way.

#2. Promote interaction

The more people interact with the video, the more people are likely to share it and the more people get involved with the thing itself. We no longer live in a world of passive media, newspapers and TV allow no interaction as they shout opinions on the world at you.

The web is a lot more active, everyone has an opinion. Give them something to discuss. With our video, asking “Who is your favourite Mario Kart character?” created discussion, drove output and in turn helped more people see it.

#3. Seed the video in the best way possible

The best results we had were from sites that have an audience who have interest in the content we had produced. Kotaku, Australia’s premier gaming blog wrote a piece about our video after we had reached out to them.  We had over 1000 views and 29 shares from this article alone.

Another proof of great placement is with Streetfire – a car video site, where we have had over 3500 views.

If you can get a blogger to put up your video on their site that have an interest in your subject matter, the result is immediate. They have already built a niche audience that is interested in what you have to offer. Treat bloggers with respect, don’t spam them, take the time to learn their names and only request a post if you think their audience will enjoy the video. From two successful outreaches we have managed to get nearly half of our viewer base. We are roughly working at around a 5% success rate on our outreach at the moment, but I am sure as we develop relationships with key figures this will increase significantly.

What’s Next?

We are super happy with the results that we have had so far: 11,000 views in 2 weeks is stunning, but we are still a long way off our overall target.  In regards to paid views, we have spent roughly AU$400 and this has generated 4000+ clicks, equating to under 10 cents per click.  Meaning around 36% of our clicks are paid. Not too shabby for a minimum outlay.

We had theories set in place to get the video up in rankings; the next step is to push the areas that are really working. We’ll continue to interact with blogs to increase the seeding effect and also encourage interaction with the video. Once the seeding is complete over the coming couple of months, the high natural search volume for Mario Kart videos will keep increasing the views on Youtube over time and we hope to edge ever closer to the elusive 70,000 mark and maybe beyond! After that, we’re already mulling ideas for the next video and we’ll see where the next one takes us!