As a new, rapidly expanding viral-software company, Virool has already received much publicity as being a challenge to traditional PR and branding firms. As its name suggests, Virool’s premise is that it can turn its clients’ videos viral.
The focus in particular is on YouTube. But does it work? Well, at first glance things seem to be going well, if for no other reason that Virool has succeeded in making its own promotional video go viral: as of July 2013 it has succeeded in getting roughly five million views.
But what about clients? Virool does not produce the content, that is not what they are about. In other words, even a mediocre campaign will still be vitalized if that is the client’s wish. There is only one criterion for success – viewer numbers.
Software and Results
Virool’s software essentially allows a video to be sent across a network of sites and servers throughout the Internet, and the firm itself will expedite the initial transmission of the promotion video. With a current (and very rapidly expanding) potential audience base in excess of 100 million people within Virool’s reach, the scope for a video going viral is enhanced. If only a fraction of the promotional base sees something, it can gain momentum.
Of course, if the material being generated is rubbish, it is less likely to become successful, no matter how much ‘virality’ is manufactured into the process. In this sense the Virool technology is used as a manufactured process, not a creative one. It is not about generating a captivating piece of work per se, it is about using technology to manipulate the viewing capacity of the Internet. Virool is merely a contractor, it is not a primary producer of content.
Being a recent start-up it is too early to offer totally convincing data on the results. But so far Virool has processed just over 20,000 promotional videos. By exporting each of the promotional videos to certain Internet users based on implied characteristics (harvested from blogs, apps, Facebook etc) it makes it more likely that a person will click on a promotional video because it has been sourced to their interests. This sophisticated but affordable advertising technique ensures that money can certainly buy a client views.
There is some evidence of virality amongst some of Virool’s work, with views often increasing by large factors afterwards. But as yet nothing has broken into the mega mainstream, such as Gangnam Style or Kony 2012. However as no other commercial has broken into this viral space either, this may be harsh criticism.
The one major limit to Virool’s work is that it is so inherently focused on the videos, there is a risk that other aspects of publicity may be missed. This is more likely to be of concern to larger corporate clients. However given that Virool openly admits to focusing on videos, and given that its video-software is so effective, this shouldn’t really be a problem to any client. It should be possible for a brand to split its commercial options, if this is necessary.
As a company offering a service, Virool’s proprietary technology does not come for free. And by operating a pay-as-you-go-system, whereby a client gets out as much as he puts in, Virool is unlikely to have world-changing effectiveness if a brand doesn’t put much money into the viral campaign. That said, even the minimum sum has a quantifiable effect.
So does Virool really work? Pay $10 to start your campaign and you’ll see. And even if the service doesn’t boost viewership to what you were expecting, at least you know that your video content could do with some tweaking.
Don’t take our word for it! You can test Virool for yourself with these free $10 coupons we got our hands on. We only have a limited number available so only the first 20 people to use the coupon will be able to take advantage of the free $10 in Virool credit. After you’ve signed up for free, press the “make payment button” and select the “coupon” tab. Enter [viroolism] and enjoy $10 in free credit!