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The Myth of Viral Video
By: Dwayne W. Waite Jr.
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Can video on YouTube and other platforms be beneficial for all brands? Due to the shift of consuming habits, the current wisdom would lean towards the affirmative. In the beauty industry, where tutorials and "realness" are taking off, the use of video is crucial in order to stay relevant. 

But how do videos in the beauty industry go viral? Is it solely based on the content? A recent study from research firm L2 thought about this question and decided to answer it.

Marketers these days are so caught up in building the highest quality content in order to drive consumers to the site that many of them (sometimes us included) forget that video campaigns or online content as a standalone are incredibly difficult to get to raise awareness and go "viral."

L2 would agree. The firm looked at the top beauty and hair care brands on YouTube, examined the ad-driven and organic results for each brand, and came to the realistic conclusion: though consumer-focused content matters, brands with the most-viewed channels and highest interaction have advertising elements to it.

L2 states that even though Chanel has over 160 million views, the brand reaches about half of those viewers through organic means.

The point? The way we look at video advertising, or "viral" video, could be more closely related to amplified marketing. Amplified marketing, in case you are unfamiliar with the term (since marketers have terms for everything), is where we take existing platforms to boost the awareness of another. In this point, the beauty and hair care industry uses in-stream video and online advertising to boost its online video presence. Then, with people finding them through advertising and sharing videos with friends, the "viral" notion starts to take shape.

In this ever-fragmented and cluttered world, it is tough for a brand's message to just go "viral." Chances are, the best messages will be tied to some form of supporting advertising. 

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About the Author
Dwayne W. Waite Jr. is partner and principal at JDW: The Charlotte Agency, a marketing and advertising shop in Charlotte, NC. He enjoys consumer behavior, economics, and football.
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