A celebrity wears a shirt with a funny saying on it. A television show hosts a very obvious product placement. A video of a woman wearing a mask gains 75 million views in less than a day.
It’s the internet marketer’s dream: going viral. For those who make and monetize videos, it’s a dream come true, but the money flow doesn’t have to stop there. While ‘going viral’ is often focused on a person, that person is usually wearing or using something, and often the demand for that thing spikes the second that video reaches ‘viral’ levels. As an internet retailer, staying on top of these trends can easily result in sales many times over your usual if you have the right timing with access to the right stock.
As an example, recently a video of a woman wearing a Chewbacca mask went massively viral — it was shared across every social media venue, and within a few days became the most viewed Facebook Live video ever. You can probably guess what happened next: the demand for the Chewbacca mask skyrocketed, selling for up to ten times the MSRP on Amazon and Ebay with sales up 916,298%. Of course, this was such a dramatic leap in price and sales that the media reported on it, but not all sales increases are so dramatic — and they don’t have to be to gain you a profit.
Not every ‘viral’ piece of merchandise will jump from $40 to $400, but prices jumping 3 to 5 times their MSRP due to an internet fad is not a rare occurrence. Major companies spend millions of dollars trying to achieve viral marketing, but with cameras everywhere, memes spreading like wildfire, and social media making it so easy to share videos and images, most things that go viral are accidental, which can help spread out the benefits. Below are some tips to keep in mind to help you take advantage of viral videos, memes, and more.
Spend time on social media. You can’t see the next big thing coming if you never see what people are sharing. Take the time to see what your family and friends are sharing — if the same video or meme shows up five times on your dash, it’s probably worth taking note of.
Look at each video, meme, and photo with a seller’s eye. The mask was an obvious seller, but what about when it’s less obvious? Pay attention to the clothing and accessories worn by celebrities, and keep track of what big movies are coming out soon.
Pay special attention around the holidays. Sales increase exponentially around Christmas anyway, but if something happens to go even a little viral around the end of the year, it can quickly become a popular gift.
Know your restricted brands. Some brands are restricted for sale on Amazon and require prior approval to sell them; this was a problem many sellers ran into with the aforementioned Chewbacca mask, as Star Wars sales are restricted to those with approval. Do a bit of research to find out how to get approval, or stick to finding viral items that aren’t restricted.