In the world of internet video marketing, most companies see “going viral” as the holy grail and the prize they need to strive for. It’s like the advertising equivalent of winning the lottery: crafting a marketing message that’s so well-loved that people voluntarily share it with each other by the millions.
Well, if you want a viral video hit, you have to do it through social video marketing. Viral videos don’t simply create themselves; you have to put them out there where people can find them and be interested in them.
Now, it needs to be said: Sad to say, you probably won’t have a video mega-hit like the recent Gangnam Style. The odds are stacked against you. However, even if you don’t become a worldwide hit, social video can mean big things for your online marketing efforts. However, there’s more to it than just creating a video and putting it online.
So, let’s take a look at some of the elements that go into a successful online video marketing venture!
Key Tips For Improving Your Social Video Marketing
YouTube once, share everywhere: While YouTube is a social site by itself, to really leverage your videos, you need to spread them around. Virtually every major social site allows for video sharing, so start posting Tweets and status updates about your new video to maximize the number of people who hear about it.
Have good music: It’s a little odd to think about, but good music is a big key to a hit video. It really is worth spending a little money to license a decent track of library music, rather than using a cheap synthesizer production. You might also want to hunt around websites such as jamendo for freely-reusable Creative Commons work.
Get interactive: Video doesn’t have to be a “sit back and watch” activity any more. Developers are increasingly using video plugin systems to enhance their content with clickable elements. You can add captions and commentary, include links to your website, run live news feeds, and more. If your video is fun to play with, it’s more likely to be shared.
Shorter is better: Online marketers argue a lot over what length of video is best for social video marketing. There are arguments to be made for super short (~1 minute) videos as well as longer ones in the 3-4 minute range, but unless you know for a fact your audience has an extremely long attention span, try to keep it under five minutes.
Make your point early: Since viewers often abandon videos before they’re done, you can’t slowly build up to a point. The main message of the video should be delivered early, hopefully within the first twenty seconds or so. Then recap it at the end, to reinforce it for those who stayed. (The popular Geico “Rhetorical Questions” line of ads are a perfect example of the last two points in action. Notice the structure is essentially Message-Joke-Message. They work.)
Look for crossover appeal: In our view, if you are truly aiming to go viral, then you must have crossover appeal. People outside your audience who have no interest in your product whatsoever need to be entertained by your video and want to pass it along solely for its entertainment value. It cannot be purely self-focused, or it won’t go viral.
Good social video marketing is the key to a successful video-based campaign. If you do nothing else, focus on making entertaining videos that clearly present a message. That’s the ground-floor basis for success.