It’s been a perfectly normal day, not a care in the world in your Digital Marketing corner of the company until you go into a meeting and someone utters the most dreaded phrase any content creator can hear… “We should create a Viral Video!”
So it begins… for you next project you’ve been asked to create something that will instantly be an organic internet sensation while at the same time becoming bulletin board material for marketing agencies and advertisers everywhere. Good luck!
We all know this is a next to impossible feat. If it were that easy to get something to “go viral,” every company would have a “Viral Video Specialist” on their payroll. But don’t fret, this may be a daunting task but there are steps you can take to make sure that even though your video content may not be the next “Ship My Pants,” it can still be an effective tool to get your message across.
PICK A PATH, AND GO DOWN IT
One of the first mistakes content creators make is trying to accomplish too many things in one project. Is this video meant to be funny and sharable? Is it all about branding and product? Is it sales messaging? Sure, it can be all three… but if it is, I’ll bet it’s not doing any of those things particularly well. One of the easiest ways to find the correct path is to choose the end goal of the project and build backwards. This helps you define parameters and makes tossing out ideas that don’t fit much easier.
As anyone who’s worked in advertising can tell you, companies often get cold feet as a project starts coming together. If you set out to create a fun video that is potentially sharable, you may start worrying that there isn’t enough branding… or maybe we need to show more products! Before you make any changes, ask yourself, “Do those changes fit within the main objective you started with?” If not, toss them aside and keep going! Stick to the path and the goals you set at the beginning, and your project will be better for it in the end.
KNOW YOUR AUDIENCE
When brainstorming ideas for a video, it is an absolute necessity that you identify where and how your audience will be viewing the content. If you create a video before you know where it will air, you’ve already lost the battle.
Many channels are great for video, but many videos aren’t great for all channels. Take Facebook and Twitter for example. These are two HUGE platforms for digital video consumption, but your video will only perform well if it was created with these specific channels in mind.
90% of all videos viewed on Facebook and Twitter are done so with the volume turned off, and are typically only watched for 5-7 seconds. If you’ve created a video that’s heavily reliant on sound to get the message across, you’ve just failed miserably. Had you established going in to the project that this video would be a social media play, you could have avoided the 20-second opening monologue that nobody heard and the surprise ending that nobody made it to.
You wouldn’t take a TV spot with no dialogue and put it on the radio, so why would you take a YouTube friendly video and place it on Facebook? Know how consumers on each social channel behave and build content accordingly. After all, they are the ones you want watching your stuff!
THINK OUTSIDE THE COMPANY BOX
Yes, that’s a cliché, but what it means here is that it can be extremely beneficial to work with partners that aren’t associated with the company. People can get too close to the subject of a video, especially if it’s about their brand, and can easily forget that they are creating a video that is meant to please people who don’t have the same business cards they do.
Have you ever watched someone else’s home videos or vacation movies? Boring, right? An outside perspective can help you see a project with your audiences’ eyes, and not just make something that only the folks in the cubes next to you will enjoy. This partner can be a production company, a script writer, an advertising agency or even social media influencers. You’ll still want to create content that is delivered with your Brand Voice, but an outsider’s input can help you avoid “group think.”
While it’s true these tips aren’t your Fast Pass ticket to viral video stardom, they will help you get the ball rolling on your project and make sure you’ve got a good foundation to build on.
Create. Consume. Convert.
At Peak XV Marketing, an Indianapolis-based digital agency, our number one goal is to create a plan to help your business digitally own your neighborhood. We help pick the best digital marketing options for people to easily consume on online. When all the parts come together, you will have an effective digital marketing strategy without breaking the bank and see new customers convert.