2013 was a watershed year for viral videos. Viewership of the musical video Psy - Gangnam Style raised to1.8 billion people by October 31 2013, on You Tube, shattering 2012 viral video record held by Kony by Invisible Children Inc with 100 million views. So imagine the potential spin offs from viral videos in the forms of brand visibility as well as returns on investment.
So what makes a video go viral? Tough question and tough answer, there is no sure shot recipe for making a video go viral. In today’s world, there are very few novel products, and marketing and advertising are based on differentiating between similar products. Creating a unique identity is the name of the game.
The first step is YouTube’s algorithm ‘Reference Rank’ that assesses the potential probability of the video going viral. This can start as soon as the video gets 10,000 views. In case the video does sound viable for advertising purposes, YouTube immediately contacts the original video poster with a profit sharing agreement.
The other crucial aspects for a viral video include messenger, message and the environment. The messenger can be market mavens, social hubs, or salespersons. Market mavens transfer the message through social hubs. The message is picked up by salespersons who further tweak it to make it persuasively sellable, and re-transmit on social hubs to further the Video’s spread. The message is the core factor because it has to be interestingly memorable, so that it is easily spreadable to wider audiences. The last but not the least is the environment, which encompasses the timing and context of the video launch. Associations with happenings on the news or events at that point of time, (viz. new movie release, political upheavals, gifting season, wedding season, major sporting events etc to give it an oblique connection) can spur the video’s leap to becoming viral. We have tried to outline some traits that can give your video strategy a boost.
The 5 Factors that Promote Viral Videos
Storyline: This is the crux of all videos .The story line may or may not be about the product itself, it is about ensuring viewer stays hooked on to the video till the brand name or the logo appears. Brevity is absolutely the key, as people’s attention spans are limited. The first few words of the audio, in conjunction with the graphics are of vital importance to grab eyeballs, and take viewers through the storyline.
Animation: Using humans for videos are slowly becoming passé. Animated figures allow more flexibility in movements. It can bring mundane items to life, creating a surrealistic sensation from the moment the video begins, hooking the viewer, until story the ends. Animation also gives true originality a new dimension, due to the 2D and 3D effects and the freedom of creativity.
Humour: Bringing about that raised eyebrow, a wry grin, or even peals of laughter is what makes a video memorable. Eliciting that involuntary and instinctive response is the ultimate goal of any marketing video. Anyone who has seen Tom & Jerry cartoons will know how it has used slapstick humor to regale people of all ages, since 1940. The ultimate aim should be to make the marketing video evergreen, eliciting instant response about the brand or product.
Keywords: There are no algorithms for humour, puns or even a great script. Optimizing titles and descriptions will ensure the video reaches a wider target audience as this helps both humans and search engines in finding the video. The title and description should contain the keyword phrases that people would use to search for your product/service while still being exciting. The description should contain maximized details without becoming a transcript. Finally, don’t forget to use a descriptive file name. You must use a keyword tool to guide your efforts. Did you know about the YouTube keyword tool? Have a look at the suggestions it generates when we enter the keyword phrase Viral Videos:
Seeding the Video -Once the video has been made you need to ensure that you put in a 100% effort towards seeding the video through promotion. This is an important step that most people forget. Unless you provide the initial thrust the video will not catch momentum. The Internet lends itself perfectly towards our efforts of promotion.
Use social media and promote the video through your Twitter, Facebook, Google+, LInkedin accounts. If you or someone you know are part of a related community then make sure you link to the video through those communities. Don’t forget websites like Digg, Reddit etc as well.
If you have the budget then spend money on marketing the video to the appropriate audience through Google Adwords and Facebook ads.
Have a look at this fantastic video MTS Internet Baby Ad which was released on 24 February 2014 and by 26th February it had already got 80,000 views on the MTS youtube channel. It combines all the factors outlined above. Storyline, based on the Internet generation babies that can swipe iphone screens when they are 1 year old. These babies are very comfortable with technology and this is the concept that have used. Next comes animation, the video has used a lot of graphics to make the baby come alive. Check out how the baby immediately starts interacting with the Doctors and nurses. Finally a rich does of humor contributes to the viral nature of the ad. Humor is the main ingredient of this video. Right from the time when the baby orders the nurse to give scissors to cut the cord, taking a selfie with the nurse, uploading its own social media profiles and guiding itself out of the hospital.
Bonus Tip #1 – Make Engaging Videos as Time Watched counts!
Apart from the above you should keep an eye out on the official you tube blog. In October 2012 YouTube announced that they had started adjusting the rankings of videos based on “time watched”, i.e. how engaging is the content. So make great videos that people will love and keep an eye on You Tube analytics.
Bonus Tip #2 – Hidden Cameras and a Social Cause
Using hidden cameras combined with a concept such as a social cause can also help your viral marketing efforts. In the example below SOS Village set up a hidden camera with a child at a bus stop in Oslo, Norway. They wanted to raise awareness of the children in Syria and also raise funds for the SOS Childrens Village as part of their winter campaign. The campaign launched on 19 February 2014 and within 1 week has already had 12 Million views and raised $300,000.
Bonus Tip #3 – Protect your Video Content
If you own a substantial body of original video content then you could apply for Content ID. The Content ID system helps identify your content on YouTube. This helps so that you can ensure you can monetize, track or block your video depending on the policy chosen.
Bonus Tip #4 – Have your Camera Phone Ready
Sometimes you don’t know what will cause your video to go viral. It could be a moment you capture by sheer luck. As an example have a look at this Twin Babies video that has generated 94 Million views in the past 3 years.
So we promised you 8 ways to make your marketing videos go viral, however we under promised and over delivered. As you can see we have ended up giving you 5 factors and 4 bonus tips making a total of 9 ways.
In creating promotional marketing videos, sales lead generation accounts for maximized ROI that is why we at Broadcast2World.com understand your needs. Have a look at some of the videos we have created for our customers across the world and see how we can help you.