Earlier this week, Debra has a great post about creating viral videos as a way to drive links to you site. Now there's no doubting the power of video (just ask the founders of YouTube) for driving traffic and sparking interest, but I do still hear quite a bit of chatter about how hard it is to create a good viral video. Then I ran across a video this morning that reminded me you just need a sense of humor and a slightly varied take on something you're doing anyway.

I was on YouTube hunting down a particular video that had played at a church I used to attend when I lived in Columbus when I ran across this one.

I noticed the video only has a few hundred views so far. I'd imagine most of them come from people who attend the church or who were searching YouTube for "Vineyard" videos. I'll be interested to see how it spreads now that it's been posted somewhere.

The lesson here? If a church can create a video with viral potential and upload it to a social media site, anyone can do it.

All the team at Vineyard did was take the same old "here's how service runs here" message and creatively update it to represent the slightly different atmosphere of their particular church. And yet...they created something that was both welcoming and entertaining to their target audience and that has the potential to drive links and conversation online.

December 20, 2007

Jennifer Laycock is the Editor of Search Engine Guide, the Social Media Faculty Chair for MarketMotive and offers small business social media strategy & consulting. Jennifer enjoys the challenge of finding unique and creative ways to connect with consumers without spending a fortune in marketing dollars. Though she now prefers to work with small businesses, Jennifer’s clients have included companies like Verizon, American Greetings and Highlights for Children.


What a great production! I've not only watched it twice, but sent it on to three business associates and two clients. I'm soooooooo tired of the typical sales video with some talking head and his powerpoint slides. Just putting a video up for the sake of saying "OUR company has a video on UTube" is counterproductive IMO.

Think outside the box - be creative - make people chuckle as you get your message through and you've really accomplished what video is all about.

If a church in Columbus can do it - you can too!

Thanks for sharing - and keep up the great column! It's one of the few "must reads" that hit my email box every week.

Excellent example. A local church recently emailed a video they had created to the community for promotional purposes. The video was excellent but was hosted on their domain and I could not find the video anywhere else. Their web site was a one page "business card" site and there was no reply to the email I received. A stat counter on the page showed over 3K unique visitors. Apparently the only way to see the video was from the link in the email.

They might have been a success with their video mailing but they missed the boat with their real viral potential.

If you do make videos, please spend the few extra minutes posting that video to other video sites. A client recently posted a one minute video to YouTube and received over 5K views in less than a month. The same video received over 1,500 views on MetaCafe. The video I spoke of above had the potential to be seen by tens of thousands of people. It was awesome.

Don't waste the potential of hard work.

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Search Engine Guide > Jennifer Laycock > Old Idea + Creative Thinking + New Media = Viral Marketing Potential Part 1