5 Tips To Creating An Effective Viral Video Marketing Campaign
This is a guest article written by Eric Guerin. Eric Guerin is CEO and Executive Producer for SmartMarket Movie, an online marketing video production company specializing in word-of-mouth / viral marketing videos ending with a call-to-action.
Viral marketing sounds like something you may be stuck in bed with for a few days maybe with a stuffy nose, and a fever...but it doesn't have to be. Did you know that every minute over 10 HOURS of video are uploaded to YouTube . Think about it... 10 HOURS ...while you were just thinking about this...another 10 hours just got uploaded to YouTube ! So how do you make your viral marketing video stand out? How do you get it passed on to others without you asking (hence the going "viral")?
Here are 5 tips to keep in mind when creating a viral marketing campaign for your online video:
- State Your Objective - Before you hire a video production company or pick up a video camera...why are you making the video? Like any other marketing endeavor online or offline you need to have a plan. Part of this plan should also be tracking the effectiveness of your campaign - whether using a website analytics program to track the video views or using a service like TubeMogul where you can accurately track the viewing statistics from a number of video sharing sites through one panel - you'll want to know how effective your viral marketing video is and having tracking systems in place will help simplify this process for you.
- Be Yourself - Viewers respond to originality, so do what comes natural. Be inspired, make it memorable and capture the viewer's attention. Don't make your message too "salesy". You can increase your brand recognition with a very clever video without ever having to give a sales pitch. A sales video without a hook story will be watched once and forgotten but a video with a hook that captures the viewers' emotions can get passed on endlessly.
- Keep it Short - Online video should be shorter than 3 minutes to be effective. Most of the pieces we produce are between 1 and 3 minutes in length. If you have a ton of ideas - make a series of short videos instead of one long one. It will only help to increase your brand recognition. A great example of this is the Blendtec Videos . They have created a series of videos titled 'Will it Blend?' that have been a hit all over the web and a new video is released weekly. Since starting this series in September of 2007 their videos have had over 30 million views and their online sales have grown by more than 500%.
- Write A Good Description - Video-sharing sites let you create "tags," which are words that describe your video. These tags, along with the title and description, are how your video will get searched for and located on video sharing sites. Search engines like Google have recently added video to their search results, so optimizing the metadata around your videos is increasingly important. The more "relevant" metadata you add describing your video, the more likely someone is to find your video. Remember to be accurate, don't place your video in the "comedy" category because you think it will get more views...especially not if it is about file compression algorithms which would probably do better in the technology "category".
- Increase Your Online Profile - Now that you've launched the video online. How do you let people know about it? Embracing social media platforms as part of your communications mix is an integral first step. Blogs, social networking sites (such as LinkedIn , Facebook & Twitter ) and video sharing sites (such as YouTube , MetaCafe , Revver & DailyMotion ) are where consumers spend a majority of their time online and where the greatest opportunity for online engagement exists. Where applicable, send bloggers a link to your video or comment on other people's blogs and include a link to your video there, as long as it is relevant. By relevant I mean don't add a link to your video about your kitchen gadget company to a blog about a non-profit school. Don't spam bloggers with comments adding your video link if it adds nothing to their blog.
Most importantly, add the video to your website, make it part of your email marketing campaign, add a link to the video in your email signature, add it to your blog - if someone sees the video on YouTube and then views it again on your website...this only helps to increase your brand recognition.
Here's an example that we utilized for ourselves using word of mouth or viral marketing as a self-promotional piece in a B2B environment with measurable results. Last September I was named by a regional Business Journal to their 40 Under Forty list. So to celebrate this we created a funny movie poking fun at myself. We set very clear goals to:
Increase our brand recognition within the region served by this Business Journal.
To open a discussion which would hopefully lead to a working relationship with the Business Journal.
First, we sent it to our contact at the Business Journal to get their "blessing" before sending it out to our e-newsletter subscribers. The Business Journal's editor-in-chief called us within 15 minutes to say that it had already been forwarded around their entire office and they wanted to show it at the awards banquet the next night with over 500 attendees. At the event the owner of the Business Journal (and several other regional business newspapers) came up to me and asked if they could send it out on their e-newsletter to their list of over 5,000 subscribers.
Within about two weeks after the event our e-newsletter subscriber list doubled and from that event we have created videos for two of the event attendees, we produced videos for all three business journals owned by this company and have all three business journals set up to resell our online marketing video product. As with any word of mouth marketing campaign, it needs to grab people's attention and be easily passed on. We include a call-to-action at the end of the video on our website video versions which simplifies this process.
Although these tips won't guarantee the success of your viral marketing campaign, this will at least give you the tools to get started in the right direction. So put down the Menthol VapoRub - a viral marketing campaign won't require a trip to the pharmacy. Just a shot of creativity and a "call me in the morning".