Videos have a knack for capturing the attention of the digital world like no other media form can. Whether it’s a silly clip of a dog doing tricks, an eye-catching advertisement or a serious piece on current global events, videos have the ability to truly harness the attention of its viewers. Sometimes this happens to the extent that the video content spreads like wildfire, adopting the much sought-after “viral” label. A video that creates that much online hype is every digital marketer’s dream. And whilst these trends are typically anything but predictable, there are ways to help point your content in the right direction.
Here are 6 ways to help your video content go viral:
Make your video content unique to your brand
This is something that applies to brand videos, whether you want them to become a viral phenomenon or not. After all, if your video content does hit the big time you want it to carry a strong association with your brand. Whilst taking inspiration from current trends is a must, your content should always carry your brand’s unique stamp.
The first step to making video content brand-specific is to clarify the characteristics of your brand identity. This may sound simplistic to the point of patronisation, but a lot of video content fails due to its lack of company branding correlation. A good place to start is to discern which of the 12 brand archetypes your company falls under. The theory suggests that brands can be categorised as one of 12 personalities, with each encapsulating a certain company ethos and character. Doing this will help your video content strike the right tone. For example, if a brand fits into the mould of The Joker then it is likely their content will strike a more humorous mood, whilst those in The Ruler bracket may wish to deliver their messages in a less comical fashion.
You don’t want your video to disappear amongst the monotony of all other online content. This is your chance to stand out and create something different that everyone wants to experience. By sticking to your branding, not only will your soon-to-be-viral video content depict the right image of your company but it will pique the interest of those who aren’t yet familiar with you. As such, your content will bring intrigued parties to your website.
Think about what your audience is most likely to share with others
Your audience should always be a core consideration when it comes to creating video marketing content. And they should also be at the forefront of your mind when considering the shareability of your content. That is, you should not only contemplate what will make your content more appealing to your target market, but also consider how you could design footage in a manner that makes it more shareable among those viewing it.
Try and be empathetic with those who are watching your videos. What is it about your brand that they like? And what about your content will drive them to pass the messaging on? People are less likely to share a long form informational video than they are a short, snappy comedic clip, for example. The more likely your audience is to share your video content, the more likely it is for it to go viral.
Consider bearing what it is that usually makes a video popular. Various psychological theories point towards patterns in content popularity. People like to make quick judgements, they enjoy what is familiar, they rely on the opinions of others. Make note of these patterns and how they can influence a video’s popularity.
But the best way to discover your audience’s preferences? Get to know them better. Much of this can be achieved through creating and nurturing a community spirit among your followers. Engage with them to discover what their likes and dislikes are – both in relation to your brand and in general. Speaking of which…
Encourage and nurture a community feel among your audience
People now expect more from a company’s marketing efforts than glitzy adverts and catchy sales jargon. They want to feel included, valued, listened to. They want to feel as though they are part of a bigger picture. As such, brands have begun to adopt a community feel amongst their audiences. Whether it be through conversations in the comments sections or specifically mentioning individuals in a podcast episode, people love to feel that they are part of something.
When it comes to helping video content go viral, this inclusivity can prove a valuable factor. Use it to drop nuggets of interesting information about the video. Encourage viewers to share it among their friends. Hint at follow up installments. And of course, if your brand has a large, loyal following, the more likely it is that your content will reach a wider audience.
Elicit emotions from your viewers
Humans are emotional creatures. We make strong attachments with that which evokes an emotional response, whether in a good way or a bad. If you think back to the most memorable online videos that you have seen in recent history, it is likely that they were hilariously funny, gut-wrenchingly sad or immensely shocking.
Make your video content emotionally rich and it is more likely to become a hit with your audience, as well as the wider online community. But what is the most effective means of adding such emotional value to your content? Perhaps the best practice is to present your video in the form of a story. Storytelling has been a staple of society’s functionality for longer than living memory serves. In many ways it is what makes us human. As such, to present your content in story format is to make it more humanised and therefore more relatable. Research suggests that relaying information in story format makes it 22x more memorable than presenting it as straight facts. Much of this is thanks to stories’ ability to draw out emotional reactions from the audience.
Presenting your video in the format of a story – try following the status quo, conflict, resolution story composition – adds an empathic element, which can make your content more striking and therefore shareable. For more tips on the matter read our blog on How to Grow a Brand Through Storytelling.
Have a solid video content strategy
Every good video series begins with a solid content strategy. Plus, the vast majority of internet traffic in this modern digital era is in the form of video content. As such, getting your video content right is absolutely vital. Failing to do so will not only weaken the basis of your marketing strategy but also restrict your video in terms of its ability to stand out from the vast crowd of competitors.
A content strategy is the structure around which you should look to construct your content. It isn’t restricted to the video’s content alone, but also the expands to the marketing content that compliments it. This includes accompanying copy, imagery and distribution tactics. Getting content out to the right places at the right times is very much a central component of any successful viral video. And all of this stems from a watertight content strategy.
In order to create a successful content strategy, start by answering the following four questions:
- What are your ultimate goals from creating this content?
- What are your audience after? (Covered above)
- How can your message both appeal to your target market and convey your business objectives?
- Which distribution channels will best suit your video content? (Covered below)
With a structurally sound strategy comes a greater quality of content. The better the content, the more likely it is to catch the imagination of the online world.
With almost 10 years of experience in the field, we offer professional advice on content strategy preparation and execution. Drop us a line for more information on this and the other services that we can provide.
Deliver your content on the right platforms
Unfortunately, marketing a viral video isn’t as simple as creating your content and plastering it all over the internet. Successful video campaigns are far more tactically thought out. Your content should have a strategy behind it that outlines the best platforms on which to deliver your fresh video content. When it comes to which platforms should be prioritised, this varies dependant on the brand in question and their respective target markets.
Social media is the obvious place to start. With the vast majority of online content sharing happening on social platforms, you’d be wise not to ignore their influence. But the question is, which social platform works best for you? This depends on a number of factors.
Consider respective follower numbers on each social account, but also bear platform demographics in mind. For example, research shows that Instagram is popular amongst people aged between 18 and 29, but not those in the 50 to 64 age bracket. Conversely, Facebook is popular among older audiences. Therefore, if your video content is aimed at older viewers, perhaps you should focus promotion efforts on your Facebook posts. Posting video content in the right places will ensure that it lands with the right people.
For more advice on promoting videos through social, read our blog on Using a Video Campaign on Social Media.
Beyond the world of social media, there are other effective mechanisms for delivering video content to your customers. Email newsletters, for example, are a valuable means of sharing your video content with the intention of it being passed on. Often wrongly overlooked, or considered a platform only ever used by older generations, email is in fact the preferred form of business communication for 73% of millennials. This just goes to show the potential that it has for carrying shareable video content primed to forwarding on to the next interested individual. And delivering your video content in a way that caters for easy forwarding is key to achieving viral fame.
Align your video content with current trends
One of the primary reasons for the success of any viral video content is the relevance that it has to the era in which it was released. Think of the hundreds of viral videos we witnessed in 2020 concerning COVID-19 and the resulting lockdown. The content was fresh, current and spoke to audiences across the globe who were sharing a common struggle. People want to consume media which they can relate to, so it is smart to focus your video content around events and circumstances that directly affect a large number of individuals. Sometimes it is more strategic to play off certain trends rather than try to set new ones.
Following trends extends beyond what is happening in the real world. You also need to adhere to digital marketing trends for your video content to achieve viral success. Make sure that you are up to date with what’s hot and what’s not. For example, current trends are seeing video playtimes become shorter and shorter as time goes on. Therefore, we wouldn’t advise creating a feature-length video if your hopes are for it to whip up hype online. We are also seeing an increase in mobile-friendly content and streamlined video production become the norm. Bear these trends and others in mind when deciding what to include in your video.
In terms of social media patterns, the popularity of story functions is skyrocketing. This is an excellent way of releasing tempting, eye-catching snippets of new content to your viewers. Video is also showing signs of taking over other social media platforms, such as LinkedIn, as time goes on. Realistically it is impossible to predict precisely what will happen. But by taking notes from current trends we can get a better idea of what might happen next (keep your eyes peeled for an increase in AR and VR content).
For more information on how to help your video content go viral, drop us a line.