If you read TechCrunch you may have noted the viral video of Modu (Disclosure: a portfolio company of my employer). Although i usually feed TechCrunch editors with some leads for stories on Israeli Startups this time this was not the case and i asked Erick Schoenfeld how he got the story
He simply received this video that teased him enough to write the post that provoked a lot of reactions and that was seen already more than 5300 times in less than 12 hours. The video does not really explain what the product is nor what the company does. But it is good enough (including their fantastic temporary site) to create curiosity and engage with readers
When used right, viral videos are really powerful. More than sending a PR or pitching bloggers/journalists. A similar thing happened with 5min.com a few months ago with their VC videos (that i am still being forwarded months after).
What makes a video viral? here is the question. there is no easy answer. but this is a video that has an inner trigger for action once your done with it. If someone has the answer please post it here.
There are two more usage made of videos (not always viral) by internet startups
Video Guide: explaining your users how to use your site in a video is something more powerful than any FAQ. Actually if you pay attention most new websites come with a ScreenCast or demo video. Making a good one is not easy but many tools out there enable you to do it for free.