The Business of Viral Videos

Viral marketing, also called viral advertising, refers to a marketing technique that utilizes unconventional means – like websites – in spreading information about a product or service. One of the best ways to do viral marketing is by creating video campaigns. Videos attract a bigger audience because they can be seen on practically every corner of the Internet, specifically on social media and video sharing sites. As these videos are shared across different sites and viewed by various groups of people, they become viral. To use a cliché, they “spread like a disease”. Thus, they are called viral videos.

A viral video is created for the purpose of Internet sharing via social media, electronic mail and video sharing websites. They developed into trending videos, which means they become extra popular online because of extensive spreading through different platforms. Most viral videos are amusing, entertaining and / or humorous in nature.

How the Videos Are Spread Online

Video sharing site YouTube is the most popular choice for posting viral marketing videos. Since it has buttons that allow for sharing on social sites like Facebook and Twitter, getting the videos across different niches and audiences is easy. These videos are then picked up by other websites and netizens.

Once viral, the videos appear on a video chart. This chart lists the most popular and most recently uploaded videos on YouTube. Some websites even have a separate section or page for their own viral video chart. It basically acts like a viral video compilation. Some people actually prefer browsing through the chart instead of searching through YouTube or other social media sites.

How Viral Videos Help Market Products and Services

There are four reasons why businesses should consider using viral videos to promote their products and services:

  1. Videos attract people. They are more interesting, visually appealing and engaging.
  2. Videos offer a definitive answer to what your product or service can do, as well as give a clear picture of what a customer will stand to gain by patronizing such product or service.
  3. Videos can be viewed multiple times, no matter what time of day; any day of the week. Thus, they create long lasting awareness for your brand.
  4. Videos attract more people to your website. And these visitors will find reasons to stay longer and explore the site.

Major Brands Using Viral Videos to Market Products

Some of the world’s most popular consumer brands have been using viral videos for product promotions. They use videos to introduce a new product or promote a campaign. Some companies even have a viral video series. Here are four enterprises that have made significant impressions with their viral marketing campaigns.

  • *Blendtec’s “Will It Blend?” viral video series started in 2006. The videos show the company’s product – blenders – blending almost anything, from golf balls to glow sticks to the iPad. Majority of their videos (more than a hundred!) have a million views on YouTube. The glow sticks video has the most views at three million. The “Will It Blend?” website has a chart showing their latest and most popular videos.
  • Red Bull is another company that uses viral videos to get their message across. Its “The Athlete Machine – Red Bull Kluge” video went viral in 2012. At present, it has more than 14.6 million views on YouTube. The video simply shows different clips of extreme or action sports, something that Red Bull is now known for.
  • Nike knows how to make good viral marketing videos. One of its most popular campaigns is the video that features NBA star Kobe Bryant jumping over a car – an Aston Martin, at that! – while wearing his Nike apparels. It has over 2.8 million views on YouTube.

How to Determine if it is Trending or Not

To find out whether a video has gone viral, you need to track the results by regularly monitoring several metrics or feedback (such as number of likes, comments and shares). Social media monitoring is one way of doing this. Monitor or follow different websites to stay updated with what is happening online. You don’t just track social media sites, though; you also monitor forums, blogs and news websites.

There are tools that can be used for video monitoring, which will make it easier for businesses to track the spread of viral videos on YouTube, social networks and other online portals.

Conclusion

Although viral marketing and viral videos can never go mainstream like traditional television commercials, they’re here to stay. One reason for this is their ability to capture the attention of a wide and diverse audience. Moreover, as their main means of advertising is the Internet, they are – in some ways – cheaper than traditional advertising. And lastly, since technology is here to stay, viral videos are here to stay, too. In fact, we may be in for bigger video surprises in the future!

California Wildfires – What to Do If You’re Forced to Evacuate From Your Home Or Business?

Additional Living Expense (ALE) Claims

HERE’S A SUPER IMPORTANT A.L.E. TIP!

Over the past few years, wildfires in the Western United States have been horrendous, displacing tens of thousands of people from their homes and businesses, and causing billions of dollars in fire damages. But what happens when the local authorities force you to evaluate when fire gets too close?

There’s coverage in the ALE portion of the policy! I promise that the insurance companies are not running radio and TV ads, alerting their policyholders about THIS coverage!

Here’s a exact quote from the ISO homeowners policy:

“If a civil authority prohibits you from use of the “residence premises” as a result of direct damage to neighboring premises by a Peril Insured Against in this policy, We cover the Additional Living Expense and Fair Rental Value loss…..for no more than two weeks.” (1)

In a Homeowner insurance policy, you’ll usually see ALE coverage listed as Coverage D. Sometimes, it’s called Loss of Use.

Additional Living Expense (ALE) coverage is just what you might think it is. When you have a covered loss that makes the place you reside unfit to live in, and it forces you to spend more on normal operating costs than you usually spend, ALE coverage pays.

Your policy probably reads just like the following: “Additional Living Expense, meaning any necessary increases in living expenses incurred by you so that your household can maintain its normal standard of living.”

ALE covers things like:

a. Temporary housing, like in a hotel, an apartment or rental house. If you lived in a modest home, don’t expect the insurance company to pay for the finest hotel room in town. But on the other hand, if you lived in an expensive home, you should EXPECT AND DEMAND that the insurance company pay for temporary accommodations of like kind and quality. Remember, if you had a mortgage on your home, you still have to pay the mortgage payment while the home is being repaired. Lots of times the loss is severe and the adjuster knows you’ll be out of your home for weeks or months. The insurance company will save money if it places your family in an extended stay hotel, or in a short term apartment or house lease. In addition to saving money on rent, the insurance company can pay advances on Contents, and if you’re in an apartment or house, you’ll have a place to store your new contents, like furniture, clothing and kitchenware.

b. Laundry and dry cleaning. If you had laundry facilities at your residence, it will cost you more to get your clothes cleaned. The extra cost you incur is covered.

c. Meals. This is where many people misunderstand their claim. Certainly, if you cannot buy and prepare your own meals, you’ll incur higher food prices. But insurance companies won’t usually pay for costly steak dinners and high bar tabs. You’re going to have to be able to explain your meal purchases, so don’t go overboard. You’ll have to make an accurate estimate of what your family normally spends per month on food. That can certainly include restaurant meals that you normally buy. Just remember that ALE is paying for items OVER your normal standard of living. Keep METICULOUS RECORDS of your food purchases. If the insurance company places you into a temporary apartment or efficiency hotel that has a kitchen, they’ll stop paying for most extra meals.

d. Boarding costs for pets. Someone has to take care of your pets while you cannot live in your home. This is covered.

e. Increased transportation costs for all your vehicles. Do you have to drive your children to school, since your temporary accommodations are not in the old school district? That’s covered. Do you have to drive further to and from work? Covered. Do you have further to drive to doctors, dentists, ballet classes, soccer games, etc.? The increased cost is covered. Did I say KEEP METICULOUS RECORDS? Most office supply stores have automobile expense logbooks for sale for a dollar or two. Stop by and pick up one for each car you drive, and write down EVERY TRIP. Keep all receipts for every penny you spend on transportation.

f. Furniture rental for a temporary residence. You have to have chairs and beds and other stuff…even pots and pans, dishes and temporary electronics. However, don’t try to get them to pay for a 60″ plasma flat screen TV rental if you had a 27″ color TV at home.

g. Relocation and storage expenses. Perhaps some of your personal property was not damaged. Perhaps some was damaged, but the restoration contractor is cleaning and repairing it. Once it’s cleaned and repaired, it’s got to be stored somewhere until you can move back home. Covered.

h. Costs of telephone or utility installation at your temporary residence. This would include deposits that the utility companies might require. Don’t forget garbage pickup at your temporary place. It’s all covered. Even cable TV hookups would be covered if you had cable at home prior to the loss.

What if you stayed with relatives, and did not incur increased rent, and many of the other expenses shown above? Another scenario is that you just simply do not want to go through the process of documenting all of your extra expenses. The policy gives you the option to be paid “Fair Rental Value”, which is: “the fair rental value of that part of the ‘residence premises’ where you reside less any expenses that do not continue while the premises is not fit to live in.”

How much would your house rent for? That’s the question.

You’ll need to make a comparison between your residence, like it was before the loss, and properties in the neighborhood that are comparable to yours. A good real estate broker can be very helpful in substantiating these comparable properties and the monthly costs of them. Once you determine the Fair Rental Value of your home, you must subtract expenses that do not continue during the restoration period, such as some utilities, garbage pickup, landscaping services or maid services.

Some insurance companies will still pay for extra transportation costs, relocation expenses, storage of contents and utilities in addition to Fair Rental Value. Some will make you choose either ALE or Fair Rental Value. Find out from your insurance company what they are going to do, and make your decision.

Go to the website listed in the Resource Box below and find the Resources tab. Download the ALE worksheet and make as many copies as you need. Use it as your guide to record and submit your ALE claim.

If your records and receipts were damaged in your loss, contact your utility companies, credit card companies and other creditors and get copies of the last couple months’ bills. You’ll need these records to confirm your normal operating expenses.

Finally: Don’t be surprised if your adjuster or claims examiner tries to disqualify some of your legitimate expenses. Don’t just accept what the adjuster says. If it’s a truly legitimate expense, FIGHT FOR IT! Go over the adjuster’s head to his supervisor. Keep fighting. Send them a letter that insists that they give you written denial of any legitimate expenses. Once you have that in your possession, call your state Department of Insurance (DOI) and register a written complaint. You never know what impact a DOI complaint will have on your claim.

(1) Insurance Service Office, Inc., “CPCU Handbook of Insurance Policies,” 2005.

Copyright 2008 by Russell D. Longcore

SuperCharged Secret 4, Credit Card Utopia

YOU SCRATCH MY BACK, AND I’LL BUY SOME MORE BEER!

Let’s just take a brief moment to recap:

If you’ve been following along on this journey with me, learning the 5 Super-Charged secrets to Credit Card Utopia, then you now know 3 very important things:

  1. You now know how to take advantage of zero to low interest credit card offers.
  2. You now know that there is safety in numbers, and you know the magic “Who’s Who” of the major credit card companies. You know that one of them, in my opinion, stands out for consumers.
  3. You now know how to take a low interest credit card with a rewards program, and convert it into a money making technology that could seriously improve your financial house.

With me? Good. These are all essential foundations that you need to follow in order to live in Credit-Card Utopia with me.

In fact, you would think that there’s not much more that can be done.

Side note: I hope you are realizing the power of this information.

It may seem simple, but are you doing it? No. So, be smart. Study this information, reflect on these insights, and move forward with them so you can truly benefit from this secret knowledge.

On to Secret, #4:

1) It’s very important that Utopians cover all bases, and leave no one behind.

The 3 secrets we’ve covered, really deal with those of us who have fairly good credit.

Now, if you don’t have “good” credit, please don’t discard these prior ideas.

I didn’t have “good credit” once. Who cares? How many people, small businesses, corporations, and large industrial countries, have said the exact same thing?

2) So, don’t feel left out.

Move towards Credit Card Utopia as a goal to move you into action.

Our website (and many other fine websites around the internet) can provide you with many, many resources to work on your debt issues, or your credit score issues, or whatever.

You might be surprised how FAST you can go from point A to point B.

(Here’s a tip: Don’t waste time. Find assistance. Don’t go at it alone.)

3) Getting back on track: Want a zero interest credit offer? Want a low-interest, no annual fee, incentive-based offer?

Well, if you’re struggling with credit or debt, then the first step is to tackle this issue from a different point of view.

Give up on Visa®, MasterCard®, and AMEX®…At least the “unsecured” kind, and at least for now.

There’s nothing wrong with applying, and trying, but if you’ve been turned down, there are other ways to go.

4) Secret #4, revealed in an analogy:

Do you live in a small town? If you do, you might have a small-town pub. Does everybody know your name? Does the bartender know you, and know the drink you like? Do you go into your pub after work, and down a stiff one, after a long day of working in the coal mines? Maybe it isn’t payday yet. Do you think the bartender cares? Of course not! He wants you coming in so he can move his inventory of fine beers and spirits. He knows you. So, what does he do? Let’s say this is the 1800s, and there’s no such thing as “credit cards” amongst our meager coal-working small town clan. What does he do?

Right! He runs you a tab.

No interest rates, no worries, no big deal. He runs a tab. Why? Because he knows you’re good for it, and he’s moving inventory. He doesn’t care about the interest, because he’s making a profit off the sale of his beer. He knows where you live, and he knows you’ll pay him back in a few days when you come in for a drink after you get paid. It’s a virtual certainty.

Now YOU, the small-town beer drinking coal worker, you’re perfectly fine with this. The drink costs you the same whether you had cash now or later, and the bartender runs you a tab, in exchange for selling you more inventory. Everyone works together.

You scratch my back, and I’ll buy some more beer.

5) This concept of free “credit” provided to purchase inventory, is not a new concept.

As you can see, it’s been around for a long, long time. However, in modern times, it has tremendous application for folks with “poor” credit issues.

The secret is that you buy merchandise (On stuff you already need, or are already buying) almost exclusively from merchants willing to give you credit at low to no interest.

So, while you think you are in a tough position with credit issues, you actually turn it around, and allow it to become consumer buying power.

Only shop with merchants that scratch your back.

With me?

6) Now, where do you find these merchants?

Well, in the real brick and mortar world, it’s not that hard.

You can start with department stores, gas cards, furniture outlets, electronics stores, jewelers, and a variety of other stores that you may do business with.

I can’t guarantee, of course, that they’ll approve you. But many of these merchants run their credit departments in-house, and like our bartender, they’re interested in moving inventory.

So, I wouldn’t take one “no” to mean that everyone will say “no”. Not true.

Many of the larger corporate chains do not offer low to no interest rates. But almost ALL of them offer huge discounts on initial purchases as incentives to get started.

As of the writing of this article, for example, JCPenney® and Target® both offer 10% discounts on “new accounts”. In addition, most of them do offer zero interest when balances are paid off each month, and some of them offer different plans to meet different customer’s credit situations.

Also, look to no-interest incentive specials that are going on for many larger-ticket items. Televisions, Furniture, etc.

You’ll also find many deferred-payment incentives that you can use to your advantage, or that you can utilize as a no-interest situation.

You just have to shop around. They are out there.

7) Now, what about cyber-space? Is there a place to take advantage of this back-scratching secret in Silicon? Actually, YES! There is. Check this out:

Many shopping portals online have realized the advantage of working with “poor” credit customers, and tailor-making a shopping experience that fits these specialized needs. We’ve listed several at our website, but of course, you can find them at any search-engine or at other reputable websites around the internet.

In a nutshell, the shopping website offers a membership card for making purchases on credit. You go to the online mall, make your purchases for things you would already buy anyway, and build or rebuild your credit score. The shopping portal helps you out by reporting your credit activity to the major credit reporting bureaus, which in turn, improves your credit history.

In addition, the membership benefits often times include such things as travel discounts, rental car discounts, and FREE credit reports.

They almost always advertise guaranteed credit lines of up to $7500, and incentives for joining can include free merchandise (such as a free DVD player), or a merchandise voucher.

Look for 30 day money-back guarantees, and look for no annual fees, and yes, look for “NO INTEREST” on the credit.

Most of these sites will require an upfront membership fee, but then they immediately turn around and provide a merchandise voucher. For example, one portal charges $150 for the upfront membership fee, but then immediately provides a voucher of $200 for merchandise at their site.

Because their customers generally have a history of poor credit, they do sometimes require an initial payment, or “down payment” on purchases until a relationship is established, but hey listen. So what? If you have credit issues, then you have to start rebuilding credit relationships somewhere. It sure beats Layaway!

What a creative way to solve this problem. Everybody wins.

You scratch my back, and I’ll buy some more beer!

Meanwhile, you’re moving closer and closer to the pearly gates of Credit Card Utopia!

We’ve enjoyed providing this information to you, and we wish you the best of luck in your pursuits. Remember to always seek out good advice from those you trust, and never turn your back on your own common sense.

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