As if it wasn't already obvious to me (working within this industry for many years), the power of the internet never ceases to amaze me. Correction, actually the power of MEDIA, period.
The other evening I was watching television without being online, which is pretty rare. It was a new program on ABC called iCaught TV , a weekly evening news-like program which explores the power of user-generated content – particularly videos. Interestingly, by featuring these wildly viral videos on television, it exponentially increases their popularity to an audience who may not be familiar with them already. After watching this TV show, it is easy to understand how people can become addicted to those types of sites.
What I also realized is just how powerful video sharing can be Ð for good or bad. One of the clips featured a law enforcement officer who accidentally shot himself in front of a classroom of kids he was lecturing on gun safety. Although he was a highly regarded and decorated agent with many arrests and accolades, all he is now known for is the one unfortunate incident. The show featured this agent speaking of how the video being put online has dramatically changed his life for the worse. It is frightening to think of your destiny being controlled by others, in this sense. For that exact reason, I am intentionally not linking to this video or story reference.
On a positive note, there was another featured story and video clip about how "the Internet Made Me Famous". This story showcased the amazing dance skills of one young man trying to achieve fame and national recognition. As soon as you watch the video, he is easily identifiable as the "dancer from the ipod commercials". A talent competition that he entered was filmed and the video posted online with a large volume of views. From that visibility, came offers from Hollywood for commercials and movies.
How does this all relate to Internet Marketing and your business? What more powerful a tool is there than this type of medium to demonstrate a product or services success or uses? Everyone loves a testimonial, but taking it to another level by way of video could cause some viral effects you wouldn't be able to "buy". Offering contests for the best user generated video demonstrating your product or featuring your service may put your brand marketing into a positive spin, for a very modest piece of your ad budget.
Think outside the box when it comes to alternative ways to get your name out there. Online videos can be entertaining and fun (also frightening as well), but if used creatively they could also be worthy of some great brand recognition and viral marketing.