Posted on February 28, 2019
In a saturated market, digital marketing has become all about trying to stand out from the crowd. As more and more small businesses get onboard with the likes of SEO and content marketing, it’s becoming increasingly hard to get your own content noticed.
One sure fire way to secure that elusive five minutes of fame is to create some viral content. Of course, it’s not easy. If it was, everyone would be doing it. It’s not impossible, though. All you need to do is come up with a piece of content that’s engaging, entertaining and easily shareable on social media.
In this article, we’ll look a medium that has the capacity to deliver all of the above qualities – video. We’ll cover a number of strategies for creating a viral video marketing campaign and also explore some quality tools that should help you create the maximum impact.
What is a viral marketing campaign?
Put simply, viral content is any piece of media that reaches the height of online popularity. You’ve likely encountered this at some point, usually in the form of a crazy video forwarded by friends or colleagues. The way the internet is structured has made this commonplace – tweets, texts, and status updates all have viral potential.
Videos make up a large portion of viral content, in particular, marketing campaigns put forward by large companies. The 2012 campaign video by Dollar Shave Club is a prime example. Although it’s now a few years old, the video remains popular – it has clocked up a massive 25 million views since it was created.
What’s special about this particular video is that it includes key features that customers love to watch and share. The campaigns are simple, relatable, amusing and have a one-of-a-kind quality to them that’s ideal for sharing. This formula for viral content is something we see consistently – people like fun marketing that tells a story.
Fortunately, you don’t need a huge team of marketing specialists to create your own.
4 ways to create a viral video marketing campaign
Although there’s no guarantee your video campaign will go viral, there are ways of making sure your content gets noticed and converts into benefits for your business.
Let’s take a look at them:
1. Define a strong brand presence
There’s no use creating a fantastic video, only for your new visitors to be met with an outdated website and disappointing social media channels. This is especially pertinent as social media is the place your video will be shared.
Viral content comes as part of a ‘package’, meaning it’s incredibly important to maintain your brand’s presence to support it. Your campaign won’t be taken seriously if you’re not well established elsewhere, as you need to be able to back up the image you’ve portrayed.
Scheduling tools such as Buffer will help you improve your social media presence as they make it easy to regularly update and keep track of your content. It’s important to become a regular tweeter too, as customers like to see fleshed-out profiles and interact with them directly.
Finally, take a look at your website and ascertain whether your sales funnel is strong and clear. An elongated ‘path-to-purchase’ may make potential customers switch off before converting.
2. Gain a clear understanding of your target audience
Although you probably want your marketing video to appeal to the widest audience possible, it’s important to ensure that you first engage your core audience. After all, they’re the ones who will begin the sharing process.
Ask yourself a few questions before planning your video. For example, what do your buyers care about, and what is it about your offerings they enjoy? A better understanding of these features will help you determine what steps to take next.
There are a number of ways you can better-define your target audience, such as the use of buyer personas and analytics software like Google Analytics. AllTop is also a great tool that finds popular topics and headlines from around the web, helping you identify the topics your audience are currently interested in.
3. Try not to be too promotional
In short, people don’t like the ‘hard sell’. In other words, if the content you produce focuses entirely on selling, your viewers are likely to switch off before they’ve reached the halfway point. Of course, you need to generate sales, but try to make your desired message clear rather than pushy.
When mentioning key features about your business, keep them short and to the point. This also applies to the way you launch your campaign. Don’t hit your audience too hard in an attempt to make content go viral, and definitely avoid constantly asking them to “like and share”. Ultimately, let the results flow in naturally.
Finally, remember that the purpose of your video is to show people why they should buy your products or subscribe to your service, rather than telling them that they have to. You’re a human being, not a marketing machine, and a more relatable and personal approach can have a huge impact.
4. Be sure to evoke emotion
Emotion makes the difference between a viral marketing video and a standard one. Viral campaigns tend to convey a message, whilst standard campaigns usually just attempt to drive hard sales.
The emotion you decide to convey could be anything – humour, joy, sadness, even shock. As long as it’s relevant in some way to your company, appealing to your audience’s emotions is a great way to get noticed, as well as making them more likely to share your content.
Adding an emotional touch to your video marketing campaign can be as simple as using an emotive storyline. John Lewis’ Christmas campaigns are a great example, and perfectly combine strong marketing and emotion. You can also think outside of the box and come up with something a bit more quirky – the drumming gorilla from the Cadbury’s advert, for example.
Digital marketing is now more important than ever, and it can be difficult to get it right. Reaching your target audience is no easy feat in such a crowded market, but implementing the power of a high quality, engaging marketing video could be the answer.
In this post, we talked you through the four key things you should bear in mind when attempting to create viral content. Let’s recap them quickly:
- Every good viral video has a strong marketing plan at its core, so make sure yours is up to scratch.
- Your content should appeal to your ideal customer, so a clear understanding of them is essential.
- Look to get away from the ‘hard sell’, and try to make your desired message clear, without being too pushy.
- Emotion is what separates promotional videos from viral ones – ensure yours has some feeling behind it.