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You can always tell a company boss that doesn’t really understand video marketing and how it works. One major clue is when they come to the team and tell them “we need to create content that goes viral”. Well yes, of course, it is every company’s dream to create video content that captures the zeitgeist and enters the public’s collective imagination. But ‘going viral’ isn’t a sensible thing to aim for.
Firstly, it is important to note that video marketing content does not need to go viral to be successful. Many extremely effective campaigns never make their way onto mainstream news sites. And secondly, going viral is something that happens organically on the back of a piece of content offering something unique and interesting.
Therein lies an issue, however, in that not all of the videos that contain something unique and interesting will go viral, through no fault of the marketing behind it. So, no, it’s not a good idea to create video content in the hope that it will go viral, the reality is it probably won’t. It’s a much better idea to focus on creating ‘viral-worthy’ content.
The distinction is important: creating content that could go viral but is not expected to can give your team more realistic appraisals of success and failure. And also, if the content has features akin to the kind of content that does go viral, it can still have success on its own terms. Here’s how to do it:
Invest in the Right Equipment
Too many businesses attempt to conduct video content marketing with very limited equipment. Ultimately, while it might feel like this is a great way to keep costs down if you’re trying to go viral, you need your content to look great.
It is important to make sure that whoever is setting your budget is aware of the realistic costs of video content marketing. This can be a very effective way to get access to a new audience, but it does require money to get it started.
Some marketing departments assume that they won’t be able to afford an expensive new camera and other equipment relevant for content creation. In fact, new equipment can be acquired without having to break the bank. In fact, many camera specialists now offer a broader range of options such as buying second-hand or trading in an older model to reduce the cost.
Think About Platforms
When you are creating great pieces of content, it is important to think closely about where you are going to promote it. Remember that all of the social media platforms have their specialties in terms of demographics. Of course, there is some crossover, but they will also have their own dedicated audiences.
You need to think clearly about who your viral-worthy videos are going to be targeting. Doing so gives the chance to optimize the videos for the relevant platforms. Some platforms are extremely limited in terms of the time your content can be viewed, with others such as YouTube, it is virtually unlimited. So be aware that if you’re creating a YouTube video, it probably isn’t going to work on TikTok.
Another interesting example is that around 85% of Facebook videos are watched without sound. This means that you’ll need something that makes a visual impact without the need for sound if you want to market the video via Facebook.
Don’t Opt for Overly Long
Of course, as we have discussed above, video platforms like YouTube allow virtually any video length, but that doesn’t mean you should aim for lengthy videos if you want to be successful.
“For the most part, people on social media have short attention spans,” explains Jenn Chen of Sprout Social “you need to capture their attention within the first few seconds. Drive your point across quickly and succinctly, don’t drag it on if you don’t need to. This general practice tip does vary across networks and types of videos, as we’ll see later on.”
Try to conceptualize videos that tell a story in a very short time. And remember to compensate; the idea that you create will almost certainly be longer once it has been filmed and edited.
Think Outside the Box
One of the key elements of creating viral video content is having the ability to think outside the normal and provide something that is authentic, original, memorable, and unexpected. There are plenty of ways to deliver the ‘wow’ factor to audiences, but it really is important to focus on finding a type of content that is going to grab attention.
In fact, it is the first few seconds of the video that are the most important. This is the part where you draw in the viewer and keep them interested in what you’re doing.
One Last Point…
When we talk about the concept of creating viral videos on a budget, it is really important to consider exactly what that budget is. A modest budget is very different from no budget, and it is vital that your company understands the benefits of at least spending a little in order to significantly up the quality of its output.