Viral YouTube Marketing Lessons from a WWE Wrestler

By Mark Ling
Viral YouTube Marketing Lessons from a WWE Wrestler


Hey everyone,

I've been a fan of WWE wrestling since I was 9 years old.

Whether you like wrestling or not, they do employ several powerful tactics in their marketing, from their storyline soap-operas, to their PPV selling methods and the way in which they market their merchandise.

However, this blog post isn't about the tactics employed by the WWE to 'hook in' their viewers and sell their merchandise.

It's about one particular wrestler and his quest to become a household name. He wants the WWE to 'push him' so that he one day becomes a star (and a future WWE Champion).

While many wrestlers wait for their opportunity, this guy is giving fate a push in the right direction by taking his marketing into his own hands.

His name is Zack Ryder. Even big fans of the WWE don't necessarily know much about this guy yet as the WWE hasn't done much to promote him.

However, he has a large internet following and has acheived more than 1 million viewers of his YouTube videos, without them getting advertised by the WWE (this is his own viral marketing efforts).

I couldn't stop laughing when I saw some of his videos, where he drops hints that the WWE is 'missing the boat' and has 'dropped the ball' with regards to promoting him. e.g. In the video below, you'll see him show the WWE as a spade, and him on a boat and then the spade 'misses the boat', later you'll see him trying to 'get over the fence' ... haha, classic.

Anyway, whether you find his humor funny or not is not important (I'm sure some of you guys will cringe), what is important is the impact that viral marketing has on drawing a crowd and on 'traffic'

He employs other psychological tactics in his videos, I'm not sure if they are on purpose, or if it has been thought out, but nonetheless they are effective...

One such tactic is the 'us vs them' approach to his marketing. He presents himself as an underdog, and the way he does it, it makes the majority of the viewers want to be on his side. And I can see it is working because there are dozens of forums all over the internet with people chanting and raving about the fact that the WWE should push this guy more.

Another tactic he uses is the herd effect, while making you feel like an 'insider'. He makes you feel like you are part of a community of people who watch his videos by referring to videos submitted by his followers (people try to become the 'Broski of the month') and by responding via twitter to his followers, etc.

Also, at the end of every video he makes sure people follow him on twitter, facebook and youtube, thus utilizing many different forms of social marketing. I love it.

Here's the latest Zack Ryder video:

So... What are the takeaways you can learn from all of this?

1. Viral marketing via video is immensely powerful and can be used as a strong promotional tool if done in the right way.

2. You want to have an angle or angles that make people want to tell others about your videos -> do something shocking, or be funny.

3. Utilizing 'us vs them' is a great way to get people talking and on YOUR side.

4. Interact with your followers, they'll like you more and tell others about your videos.

5. Capture leads by getting people to opt in to your email newsletter (Zack doesn't do this, but he does have over 109,000 Twitter followers, over 31,000 YouTube subscribers to his channel, and a huge Facebook fan following as well).

Finally, before signing out on today's post, I thought I'd show you another example of a great viral video (part of a series) that another person has used to market 'blenders'

I'm using this example below to showcase how video marketing can be used in a viral marketing sense in all sorts of niches:

I hope you enjoyed the above post, please post comments and suggestions for others to read.

Kind regards,
Mark Ling

Troy Todd 13 years ago
That's a good post Mark.
Not your usual techy type post, but it is very relatable..makes you think too.
Love the vids.
Scott Bobyk 13 years ago
Woo woo woo, those were some funny videos. Thanks for the post. Gave me a few ideas for my own marketing. Specially the last one. Blending an iPad? Makes me want to go out and by one of those blenders just to blend my old windows laptop after converting to a macbook pro.

Arik 13 years ago
That was a great post that is a great way to get loads of traffic humor and video people love it
Mark Aylward 13 years ago
Hey Mark
Although not a wrestling fan, the videos are catchy and the concept is pretty cool
TheNico0000 13 years ago
Thanks for the information, keep up the good work. Also checkout my site.
Thomas Green 13 years ago
Some very good observations here, thank you!
Kind Regards, Thomas Green
Winchel 13 years ago
This is what I call take your destiny in your own hands.
Very good post Mark.
Funny videos.
Be Cool

Chris/ 13 years ago
Wow...Super cool Mark...Gets me excited about doing Videos for my website proves to be a worth while thing & it is better then advertising!!! Thanks Mark!! - Eye opener broski!
eduardo garcia 13 years ago
thanks a lot for the video and the tips Mark :) The video of WWE Zack was funny!!
Sergiy Korniychuk 13 years ago
Hi Mark,
Great fun and very interesting to see how people find new ways to get traffic and create buzz about themselves. Perfect post as usual from affilorama.
Thank you.
The Marketing Hermit 13 years ago
Some of the best marketing are in places you would least expect... Check out the headlines and cover art from your favorite magazines such as Time, Newsweek, Glamour, Cosmo and the National Enquirer and see why their circulation numbers are consistently strong year after year.
Alexander 13 years ago
I did not like the blending og the Ipad :) it hurts to see it :) i guess that`s what makes if funny for some.... I see how this works as viral.
thanks for the post
johnalbrett 13 years ago
Great post Mark.

I am a WWE fan but not a Zac Ryder fan. It is interesting to note that when Dwayne (The Rock) Johnson launched his fan page he had over 2 million fans overnight; not surprising for the millions . . . and MILLIONS of Rock fans around the world.

What sacrilege to the iPad. But I get your point, smart video and viral marketing????


Chris Johnston 13 years ago
Amazing post.
Creativity knows no bounds.
These guys are tearing it up.
Keep it flowing.
Jeff Cutts 13 years ago
Hi Mark,
Thanks for the very informative Blender Video, a very impressive ad that has gone viral, I would love to see how it changed his conversions.
Personally I would have put Google in the blender, as that would create a level playing field for the other search engines!

Google slapped Jeff
Linda 13 years ago
Here's an ad that just went viral for real estate agent on Gold Coast, Australia - using the old "sex sells" for a marketing slant:
Ross Scott 13 years ago
Hi Mark,

Interesting example.

Here is another one I have came across. 330 Million views in only two years, all done by one Russian women. Not sure how she does it though. 15 million on this one video alone.

The traffic to her website could be better captured via a newsletter and facebook. About 6 months ago she was heavily pushing fat burning furnace but looks like she might have her own product now.

Debbie 13 years ago
There are lots of great post on this blog. This one is one of the funniest post I have read this month
Chris and Susan 13 years ago
Great blog post and it just goes to show that we really do need to 'think outside the box' Loved the videos and got some great ideas from them. Just great. Chris & Susan
Louise Lewis 13 years ago
Is sex or humor the best angle to use in video marketing?
Mark Ling 13 years ago
@everyone Thanks for the comments, I think I might have to do something big to try to be Broski of the month. I have my thinking hat on :)

@Louise I think shock, humor and anything that stirs the emotions is best. I think sex can go viral, but less likely unless it's a celebrity.
Scott Lovingood 13 years ago
Amazing how two very distinct businesses (Wrestling and Blenders) can both use the same techniques to connect with people they have shared interests in.

To me that is the true power of the internet. Allowing us to connect with people around the world that we like and want to support. Great article with how to use social media the right way.
Phil Elmes 13 years ago
Don't know if I can get as outrageous as our wrestler friend, although some of my students might disagree.

The blender guy is great!

Thanks, Mark
best online trading 13 years ago
I totally agree with this statement that "Viral marketing via video is immensely powerful and can be used as a strong promotional tool if done in the right way." because many of us utilize video for various purposes. Thus, if you associate it with your business, huge probability business success is at your way.
Hammock 13 years ago
The end of every video he makes sure people follow him on twitter, Facebook and you tube.
Whether you like wrestling or not, they do employ several powerful tactics in their marketing, So it's good and power full.


Hammock 13 years ago
The end of every video he makes sure people follow him on twitter, Facebook and you tube.
Whether you like wrestling or not, they do employ several powerful tactics in their marketing, So it's good and power full.


Daniel Zuflucht 13 years ago
Thanks Mark,
it`s really cool stuff
Benjamin 13 years ago
Some non-wrestling fans may not understand some of the content/punchlines of Zach's videos (ie: can't get over the fence, Internet Champion parody of Intercontinental title, his general TV character, etc), but for those who know what he's talking about this stuff is TOP NOTCH. I stopped watching WWE for their competitor's show (TNA/Impact Wrestling) almost 2 years ago, but even I will watch these highly entertaining minisodes.
Nyla Crystal 13 years ago
Great ideas! You really nailed the reasons why some videos go viral and why some are viewed 4 times. I'll have to incorporate some of these ideas into my next belly dance video.
Mary L. 13 years ago
I really love your posts!
Create buzz and get traffic it is not an easy work but creative people always find the way to become what they are dreaming of.
Although I am promoting zulutrade, a forex autotrading platform which means it is a promotion for a service and not for my self think that I can apply some of your tips in my videos and make it sure that everyone will follow me on twiiter and FB. :))
Thank you again for inspiring us.
YouTube Marketing 13 years ago
Woo Woo that! Zach you're really doing it the right way. You are setting a standard for creating the demand. You will be a star. Keep those videos coming, they are hilarious!

Good luck!
Business Plan 13 years ago
Thanks for all this information. And the videos make it more clear and attractive.
Jester Freeman 12 years ago
This is a nice post. For a popular wrestler, it is really easier to make viral videos compare to ordinary people. Celebrities are usually the ones who are currently in the limelight when it comes to viral videos.
wwe raw 2013 full show 11 years ago
Great ideas!