Become Infectious. How To Make Your Video Go Viral

Viral Videos

Do you dream at night of being the next Star Wars Kid or discovering the next Grumpy Cat? Here are a few strategies to make your videos go viral.

Video Marketing and Promotion Tactics

Why should your small business be interested in marketing through a viral video? What will cost your company $50,000 to develop for TV, you might develop for the web with $500. In addition, getting your television advertising on a particular television show means you are advertising for a pretty specific market when online, the market is going to be infinite. On Facebook alone, you have 500 million involved contributors ages 12 to 65.

Promotional elements meant for web based use will be faster to produce compared to other media. There are not complex preparations necessary or legal documentation needed. Your business cannot develop a viral video however. You can only create an awesome video and hope that it goes viral. So, how does one put together an impressive video that has the potential to go viral?

Creating a Viral Video for Small Businesses #1: Extremely targeted content
Since you are a small business, you ought to already know your target market. It will be critical to start out by understanding who your projected audience is and what they are interested in, just like you would do when creating new merchandise. When you construct a video without any consideration of who will see it, you are wasting your effort.

Creating a Viral Video for Small Businesses #2: Do not lie to the audience
Awhile ago a viral video picked up well over five million visitors. It involved a man in a wet suit heading down a man made waterslide, launching himself on the air and ending up in an inflatable kiddie pool in a field. A few days after it launched, people set about pondering the feasibility of the whole thing. That caused the Mythbusters TV show to attempt the stunt. In the end, they proved the myth to be, a myth. The creators of the video eventually stated that the whole event was computer generated and took the video down.

The worst part is that consumers got hold of the fact that the video had been put together by Microsoft in an effort to make their brand appear “younger.” Considering the variety of undesirable commentary on YouTube along with the decision of the source to pull the video, we can assume the backlash was disastrous. Shoppers do not enjoy getting tricked. When making a viral video, state right away that the video is promotional.

Creating a Viral Video for Small Businesses #3: Customers don’t mind if a video is promotional, as long as they are entertained
Old Spice and Evian have videos that started on Television but became successful on the web. Both are visibly promotional yet also entertaining which means that potential customers are willing to watch them anyway. Dove’s campaign for real beauty is an additional viral video that has been obviously branded yet is known as one of the top 5 most powerful promotional viral efforts of all time.

Creating a Viral Video for Small Businesses #4: Use Emotion
The easiest way to persuade anyone to circulate a video to family and friends is to stir up feelings, whether it is making them laugh or sob. In addition to emotion, you can find other common characteristics throughout many viral videos — music, dancing, attractive women, Candid Camera-style pranks, babies and pop culture and political references. You must observe however that internet video is an extremely alternative method from television advertising, and something that is effective in a Super Bowl commercial may not work on the web.

As a company implementing video as a marketing strategy, you truly need to understand your marketplace and what would be of the most interest to them. The video should be smart and add to the virtual space, rather than interrupting it, which is often the effect of comedy or shock value. The best test is whether individuals outside your organization want to share it. Your video must not be an internal joke — it must have fairly general appeal.

Creating a Viral Video for Small Businesses #5: Make it Quirky
Predicting what will go viral is almost impossible, but a common characteristic of viral videos is “quirkiness.” There needs to be something new and different and maybe even a little weird to get the average individual to share a video. Consider Blendtec’s “Will It Blend?” videos — in which founder Tom Dickson grinds up iPhones, glow sticks and other items to show the strength of his blenders — it is memorable and highlights a great product in a really subtle and interesting way. And subtlety is key. Consumers are going to click away should your video be overtly promotional, so give them a reason to stay. The brand or products might be in the videos, but they cannot be in the forefront in an unnecessary manner.

Piano-playing cats, finger-biting babies, the Star Wars kid – many of us have viewed these viral videos on YouTube, chuckled and then distributed them to people we know. That’s exactly the response marketer’s desire from potential customers. Right now, more and more small businesses are finding out that creating an appealing video and seeing it go viral may just be the most cost effective, most efficient marketing they can participate in.

Creating a Viral Video for Small Businesses #6: Keep it short and sharp.
A video needs to be easily viewed by a multitasking generation. Make your video unique, edgy and provide a shock that makes people want to send it to family and friends. If your product will be marketed to an impatient market which has their cursor on the X, you will need to keep them fascinated. It is best to persuade these people early on, be interesting, not exceedingly promotional and don’t abandon your marketing message towards the end because they may have clicked away by then. The sweet spot for online video duration is 2:08.

Creating a Viral Video for Small Businesses #7: Do not devote a lot of time or finances.
The more funds spent putting together a video, the more viral it must be for your business to get a return on your investment. So make it cheap. Consider contacting the videography department at a local college and employing a group of students to help make your video. Often the hottest videos are far from the highest quality.

Another way of encouraging visitors would be to partner with a “professional YouTuber” who has a substantial following. They are going to charge a smaller amount than a professional crew and will probably yield significant traffic.

It is important to have the proper production gear (camera, lights, audio, background, etc.). If you are about to pay for thousands of dollars of high quality video equipment, make sure you have staff members that know how to use it. To cut expenditures, you might need to employ the service of a camera person to video tape you and spend the time and energy to edit it yourself. There are also a variety of video editors on Elance.

Creating a Viral Video for Small Businesses #8: Circulate it
When you have the video, it is important to get it out there. Friday at noon is the best time slot to launch a video — many people are just returning from lunch and if your video is among the most recent additions, you can get a lot of views at once. Upload it to web sites such as Facebook and Twitter, where sharing videos is both easy and anticipated.

Also contemplate releasing a number of videos. Test several types of content, launching it weekly and distributing everywhere. The goal will be to build a greater relationship with consumers through the use of engaging information, instead of hitting individuals over the head with obvious hard sales practices.

Bear in mind, going viral will not always generate money. A video may be watched by 5 million young adults, but if the merchandise is meant for the elderly, the views will not translate to actual sales and profits. Also, a viral video may not achieve very much for a geographically unique start up — viral videos often go beyond area, and video visitors in California will not do a lot to help potential sales for a small enterprise in Colorado.

Still not convinced? Here are several results which could compel you to contribute video posts to your marketing campaign:

* Internet video is considered the one advertising platform with a growth rate of forty to sixty percent per year. More common media, such as television and print, have level or decreasing growth rates.

* Internet video viewing is on the rise across all demographics. A greater video readership may mean you can target additional potential customers and turn them into purchasers.

* The Return on investment of getting face-to-face with customer eyeballs through the use of online video is significant, due to affordable development and submission expenses.

* A video is about 10 times more prone to land in the top 10 search engine rankings over articles on the same product, because search engines seek to broaden their results. In other words, videos get preferential treatment, and there is a much better click through rate compared to text articles because videos appear with a hard-to-miss thumbnail.

* Video is easily the most visceral and interactive form of social networking, which makes it the most beneficial and engaging marketing tool. People recall video a lot more than, say, a banner ad.

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