For years, having a video go ‘viral’ has been the holy grail of Internet marketers and brand managers. It’s easy to see why. Imagine your video, and by extension your product or service getting millions of views – all for free. Thousands of people passing your video around the web and doing the hard work for you. If only it was that easy.The truth is that creating viral success is not easy, and depending on the brand, the definition of success can be quite varied. Is the goal to get as much exposure as possible? Sell a product? Engage a certain audience? This needs to be determined before the video creation process even begins. Here are some steps that will greatly increase the chance that your video will get wide exposure:
Step 1- Define success. Is the product or service one that almost everyone could use? Maybe your focus should then be driving as many views as possible. Is the product only applicable to extreme sport enthusiasts? Then the goal should be to reach that segment of viewers. Even products with mass appeal will benefit from being targeted to a smaller niche. As this niche shares with their networks, the mainstream masses will pick up on it as well.
Step 2 – Find a YouTuber that already has an audience. Hereâ€™s a case study. Our client Blank Snowboards came to us with the desire to release a viral video that would correspond with the release of their winter inventory. We had recently discovered Devin Graham’s YouTube Channel and thought his style would make a great match for the product. Also, his current subscriber base and audience was a good match for our target market. We reached out to Devin and he happily agreed to not only host a video on his channel, but to help shoot the entire thing. After some discussion we came up with the idea to do a snowboarding video on the Bonneville Salt Flats, a unique idea that would earn us some attention.
The shoot went smoothly and the footage is beautiful. The final video was released and currently has 600,000 + views and counting. At the time, Devin’s channel had 122,791 subscribers that were notified when he released our video. With this head start, our client can easily reach thousands more people with this branded video than they ever could on their own. Here is the video: https://vimeo.com/34309019
Step 3 – Spread the word. Leveraging a current YouTuber who already has an audience is a great way to start, but if your video is compelling enough you should see great success by spreading it yourself. Don’t be annoying, but promote the video through your social channels, send links to relevant news and blog sites and spend some time posting in forums. Put in some hard work and you’ll see results. The key here is to have a good video. Don’t try for viral, try for sincere. Take for example: http://vimeo.com/31455885
‘The Knife Maker’ is not by any means extreme, but it is a sincere story told in a beautiful way. People relate to it and are inspired, exactly the kind of content they will share with their networks.
Step 4 – Use paid media to get earned media. Through YouTube you can pay to run your video in front of other popular videos as a sponsored video. Here’s another case study. Anti Virus software company AVG created an extremely compelling piece of branded content:Â http://www.weprotectus.com/us-en/weprotectus
They then placed the video on other popular channels via paid placement. The video already has over half a million views, with just a small percentage of those being paid views.
Step 5 – Get the help of someone who’s done it before. A bit of a shameless plug here, but Star Moose would be happy to work with your brand to create a viral success. We’ve had success in the past and can offer advice on how to make a video go viral. We also have conception and production capabilities that can help your business create a video you can be proud of. Contact us today. We’d love to chat about how you can leverage video for your brand.