In the last few years, creative briefs all over the world for marketing video requirements have probably featured one common word – viral. After witnessing the success of videos that have previously gone viral, every marketer wants the same effect for his or her own video. Well, who can blame them for wanting astoundingly high views, shares and social buzz from the videos? But is going viral, the only way to achieve that? Absolutely not!
Viral videos are the mirage that every marketer is chasing, blinded by the haze of severe competition. There’s no reaching that goal, because quite frankly, going viral isn’t a goal in itself. The quality of going viral is an effect of meeting the intended objectives of the video rather than a goal in itself. That is a very important distinction that marketers everywhere need to understand and accept. Once that is cleared away, businesses can then begin to focus on meeting some of the real objectives that videos should work towards. Here are a few.
The ability to resonate with target audiences is extremely crucial for every marketer. Without that, no form of communication is effective. Videos are no different. When videos resonate well with audiences, the urge to share it with contacts and circles of influences is greatly heightened. The result? Viral videos. In fact, Ivan the Ingenious feels the same way – take a look.
As a discerning reader, it is obvious to you that the market today is one driven by information. Gone are the days when competition was scarce and businesses could get away with messages that relied on clever lines and concepts alone. Now, the more businesses can provide information and fulfill needs of the TG, the higher the chances of a sale. In other words, videos also need to add some perceived value for audiences to sit up and take notice. It could even be something as simple as a entertaining comparison. For instance, the brilliant way in which Jaguar claims superiority over Mercedes-Benz in response to their previous video. Both videos build on a specific feature of the product which they deem as being valuable to their target groups.
In addition to resonating well with audiences, it is important to tap into the sharing aspect. How does one do this? Well, by ensuring that the video itself is share-worthy. Also, by ensuring that options for sharing the same are adequately available. Many a time, marketers forget that part, making it tedious for audiences to share the video in their social circles. Key to solving this challenge is by making the video easy to find (think keywords and search optimization) and then providing enough share buttons on the page to encourage viewers. When we say enough we don’t mean you should overwhelm the page. Choosing the right social networks buttons (not all of them) and also providing a shortlink is a great way to do that (for instance as with Youtube). Embedding the share button within the video frame is another option (Vimeo).
When you empower audiences with the possibility of replicating your video (one with a great message that resonates), you open multiple doors of possibilities. Want proof? Pharrel Williams’ music video Happy saw multiple replications from around the world (and even across organizations!). Similarly, a video called Harlem Shake did the rounds on Youtube , with almost anyone doing their own take on the same. Such videos are usually simple and straightforward to the point where there is no complexity in production for the audiences.
Videos that go viral don’t get that way by chance. It is logical and extremely important that there be a watertight strategy to distribute the videos. Merely creating and publishing videos doesn’t ensure that audiences will be able to find them. Discovery is crucial for any video before it can create the required impact and be shared across the web. When creating a distribution plan, be sure to include the social networks that are apt for your line of business rather than every available network.
The next time you write out a creative brief to create a brand video, open your mind and think beyond going viral. Work towards meeting the video’s objectives instead and watch your video get the recognition it deserves.