As a video professional, sometimes I get asked about how to make a video go viral or what the best ways to market with video might be. I recently came across a similar question on an online forum and quickly typed out five thoughts which I thought were worth sharing. They may seem obvious to most marketing professionals, but I guarantee you there are a few that always get left off the list.
1) Find the right balance between production quality and content. Most people underestimate the resources it takes to make video with high production quality, and then they try to excuse their lack of production quality by arguing that it doesn’t matter in the first place. However, if your video looks like it was shot on a knock-off iPhone and your audience can barely hear the audio, I guarantee you that you’re not communicating what you really need to communicate. That said, if your content is compelling enough and your audience targeting is on point, then sometimes your audience is willing to forgive a certain lack of production quality. Your video doesn’t necessarily need to look like it came straight off of a Hollywood backlot, but it should be clear and without distracting video artifacts. So finding the right balance is important.
2) Establish your target audience and your video marketing goals at the beginning, preferably before you even contact a video professional. Who are you trying to communicate to and what is it that you want them to do after having watched the video? A video with a brand awareness goal is going to be very different than a video with a strong ending CTA with purchases and conversions in mind.
3) Keep your content short and to the point. Use your viewing data to figure out what your audience’s attention span is and don’t exceed it. Not only will this save you money in the long run (because video costs are heavily impacted by runtimes), but it will also help prevent your audience from leaving before you’ve had a chance to bring home your message.
4) Understand your distribution platform. Youtube is going to operate differently than Vimeo, Snapchat, Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, and Twitch. Choose the most effective distribution platform for your content based on your marketing needs, and then leverage the specific nature of that platform to accomplish your goals.
5) Don’t expect your video to go viral without marketing support to get it in front of viewers and influencers. As a video creator, all I can do is make a quality video with what I believe is compelling content. But what really makes a video go viral is a combination of solid content, good timing/luck, and influencer support (an influencer being anyone from a Youtube/Twitter personality to a platform like FunnyOrDie). So if you’re just throwing a video out on Youtube and hoping it will rack up millions of views, it likely won’t. But if you’re putting it up on Youtube and then supporting it with a digital ad buy or influencer retweets, etc. then it will most likely do much better.
So next time you decide video is the way to go, keep this list in mind. Your content creators will thank you, and so will your campaign!