Hash-tagging your way to success

Make viral videos to land a job

Morgan Yobst, BU AMA Club

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Have you ever taken a silly video and published it on a social media platform? Then watch it transform from a few likes and shares to becoming posted on multiple accounts and reposted more than a million times? This is called viral marketing. 

Viral marketing is a method that marketers use to encourage customers to share information about the company’s products or services on the internet. The name refers to the fast spread of information from one customer to another. 

In the article, “The Hidden Secrets of Creating a Viral Youtube Ad” written by Gerald J. Tellis, Deborah J. Maclnnis, Seshadri Tirunillai and Yanwei Zhang published on June 6, 2019, they explain reasoning behind what tactics work and don’t work for a YouTube video ad to become viral or shared. 

They researched 109 different brands and 100 United States advertisers who all frequently used YouTube as advertisement strategies in 2012.

With the research they conducted, it is clear that ads that tend to become viral pass from customer to customer because the content is inducing optimistic emotional states. Advertisements that bring out these positive feelings inspire viewers to repost, share, or like the post. The usage of drama, plot, surprise and characters increases the percentage of sharing. 

The marketer’s results showed that companies must ignite the viewers with positive emotions that encourage sharing, maintain advertisements to “1.0 to 1.5 minutes,” use proper “brand placement,” and “usage of authentic characters.” 

A company should develop an intriguing base for the ad and include less celebrities and more infants and animals. Platforms like Facebook and Twitter take advantage of emotional appeals in ads instead of those found on LinkedIn.

Viral advertising is commonly used throughout YouTube. Companies like Dove, Evian and Chipotle launched successful ads that sparked emotions in viewers, leading them to feel a positive way about the campaign and share it. 

Any company can achieve viral advertising if they show humor, state an understandable message, and reach out to people’s sense of emotion. This advertising technique generates a potential sale through mass spreading from the online platforms that contribute to getting a product or service noticed. The customers view campaigns for products and services that mutual friends often share and can then decide to make a purchase from the brand or not.

Students attending Bloomsburg University with a degree in graphic design, marketing, advertising, or art could use viral ads to enhance their resume or student profile. By providing links to the ads, future employers can view what you created, the technique you used, and if it generated emotions.

YouTubers routinely create videos pertaining to different brands that can go viral so the company can generate profits. If a student works as an intern and helps advertise a video that goes viral, this can boost their resume. Using a hashtag with the video or picture you want to go viral can relay the message you want your customers to perceive. 

An example of a student who created a viral ad campaign for a small company is Jeffrey Harmon. In the article, “Meet the BYU Student Who Took Orabrush Viral,” Eric Markowitz talks about Robert Wagstaff, creator of the Orabrush Tongue Cleaner.

None of his attempts to offer his product to retailers worked. He took his invention to “a marketing class at Brigham Young University’s graduate school.” This program gave students the chance to conduct a case study on the company. Wagstaff’s product intrigued student Jeffrey Harmon. He told Wagstaff that he could sell his product, later creating a campaign for the tongue scrubber that received over 24 million views on YouTube and about 250,000 on Facebook.

Harmon saw a vision and went for it. When creating a campaign on social media for viral marketing, be original, apply to the viewers feelings and emotions, and include an attention-grabbing plot and exciting ending. 

Any student can take advantage of this type of marketing strategy to promote themselves, a school project, or for entertainment. 

Be creative and have fun because you never know if a video you make in college could secure you a job in the future.

Morgan is a junior Marketing major and member of the BU AMA Club.