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Shamitabh’s Social Media Marketing Strategy to go Viral: Hit or Miss?

February 7, 2015
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Recently released Dhanush and Amitabh Bachchan starrer Shamitabh might be generating great reviews from the audience around the world, but did its social media marketing and viral marketing team get their strategies right? Did they do enough to make sure the movie reaches out to the maximum possible audience?

What did they do right?

Firstly, The film was launched through an audio teaser. This was a new innovation in the field of Movie Marketing. It generated a good buzz around the industry and the number of hits tell the same story.

Secondly, Shamitabh’s marketing team mixed the two most cherished and happening topics in India. Cricket and Bollywood. They joined hands with Star Sports and launched Amitabh Bachchan as one of the commentators for the ICC Cricket World Cup 2015. Sounds like the perfect mix, right? Amitabh Bachchan in the commentary box for the India vs Pakistan game. He can market his movie to the whole country.

Thirdly, They created videos featuring Kapil Dev and Shoaib Akhtar commentating in their own voices and then taking a Shamitabh candy and Shamitabh mike respectively to amplify their voices into Amitabh’s voice. Again, interesting videos with the perfect mix.

All good until now. You’ve got good marketing videos in place. You’ve got the best people featuring in them. But..

Where did they go wrong?

1) Amitabh as commentator: It is “the dream” of any marketing team to have Amitabh, Cricket and The Cricket World Cup as their resources. But the India-Pakistan game is on 15th Feb, 10 days after the release of the movie. Not very effective for creating any hype now that the movie has been released and the reviews are available.

2) Optimum utilization of Youtube: They did not generate enough traction via Youtube. Not enough marketing was done on Youtube. But with Facebook videos on the rise, one cannot really comment on the virality of a video just by Youtube’s numbers.

The first video with Kapil Dev and Amitabh was released on 1st Feb 2015 on Star Sports’ channel with 230,000+ subscibers and as of today 7th Feb, it has a mere 8000+ views, less than 50 shares and 2 comments.

The second video with Shoaib Akhtar has performed even worse. Released on 1st Feb 2015, it has just 3500+ views, less than 25 shares and 2 comments.

But the same videos were very effective when posted on Star Sports’ Facebook page. They received enormous response. The first video with Kapil Dev and Amitabh was posted on 1st Feb and received 28,000+ views, 300+ shares and 50+ comments.

But it is the second video with Shoaib Akhtar which was the clincher. This video went viral on Facebook and has received almost 350,000 views, 5000+ shares and 500+ comments till 7th Feb. Those are some really good numbers for a small 40 second video.

All in all, the strategy was a miss in terms of generating the hype about Shamitabh. Their team could have done so much more on the Social Media platforms. But it is good to see Indian cinema catching up with the Social Media Marketing.

Here are some basic tips to make your videos go viral:

1) Keep it short: Nobody likes to watch and share a video which is 10 minutes long (unless it is REALLY good). The probability decreases. Keep you videos crisp and to the point. The current generation is a 140 character Twitter generation who like to see things which are short and simple.

2) Make it shareable/likeable: A user has a tendency to click somewhere as soon as the video gets over. Hitting the user at that time with the correct shareable/likeable tools will help your videos go viral. Just compare Facebook and Twitter in the case above:

The views/share ratio in case of Youtube is 140 whereas the number is just 70 in case of Facebook. Why? Because it is so easy to share anything on Facebook. The share, like and comment buttons are right there!

Similar comment can be made for the number of likes.

3) Write a catchy title: No campaign can ever go viral if it sounds dud. You need to create a crisp and catchy title to make sure it intrigues the user to watch the video. If the user is not intrigued, the video will never get views/shares.


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