Viral video marketing has nothing to do with putting a video up on YouTube and optimizing it and increasing the views. Viral videos are about engaging with your audience to such a degree that they feel the desire/need or urgency to share it with their network.
Viral video can provide a superb opportunity for companies to engage with a whole new audience in a relatively inexpensive way, which is why lots of companies use this medium. But without amazing content you will not have a genuine viral hit.
Here are five tips to help you along the way:
- Discover your audience – To help create a viral video production you first have to understand what makes your audience tick. You should have a clearly defined description of the type of viewers you are trying to reach. Further to that, and more importantly, you will need to find out what they are talking about to their friends, how they are talking, e.g. slang they might be using. Online videos can be conversation starters, means for self-expression, a way to associating with a particular peer group and so on. Producing a viral video that ticks these boxes because it is perhaps entertaining, relevant or has meaningful impact, could be perceived as being of high-value in your target audience and has more chance of being shared.
- Choose your viral bait – Once you’ve established what makes your audience tick, you have a better chance of working out the viral bait that will elicit action and turn the viewer from passive to actively enrolled.
- Do not dilute your bait – To stand out in the crowd of millions of uploaded videos there is no point being quite funny, if funny is the bait you have chosen. You need to get to the extremes of being funny if your video is to stand out. To get someone to share something, you want your viewer to fall off their chair as they laughed so much (ideally without injuring themselves – or maybe not!)
- Expose yourself to the largest possible audience- I am not encouraging streaking here, but adopting a similar strategy to streakers who made an impact on the human psyche is not a bad thing. To make an impact as a naked streaker, you would naturally choose a nationally/internationally televised event e.g. the 100m final at the Olympics. Back in the viral video marketing world it can sometimes be difficult to predict where the viral activity will kick off, but uploading virals to services like TubeMogal, or YouTube’s auto-tweet, or Twitvid are great tools to start with.
- Work that G-Spot – Okay imagine your video is out there, and there is activity going on and people are sharing and talking about it. You need to be able to track where that activity is happening. This is your G-spot and will tell you which keywords people are searching to find your viral video. You can then use this data to start highly targeted ‘paid-search’ campaigns for instance, driving even more people to your video and potentially exposing them to other areas of your business.
People have written whole books on viral video marketing, so my tips only really scratch the surface. Please do watch out for more of my articles on viral marketing in the near future.
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