By adaptive - April 29th, 2014
Leverage, social impact and engagement – a great video may not go viral, but a bad one may leave a lasting mark.
Social media continues to be a mercurial beast that is in constant flux. Right now, people are consuming video on social with an appetite that shows little signs of abating. In the first part of this series we looked at why your business needs to tap into video to drive your brand. In this second part, we are looking at how best to leverage video for a successful campaign, what can potentially make a video viral and key mistakes to avoid.
Why is leverage important? Because when it is done right, it can transform a brand’s presence on social media. At the Advertising Age 2014 Viral Video Awards, Samsung took the honour of most viral brand thanks to well-orchestrated and strategic video campaigns that tapped straight into their target market. Their videos are lengthy and interesting, but deliver precisely the content their consumers want. The result is high levels of engagement across all other forms of social too.
“It is vital to have a strategy that’s built upfront into your campaign that follows on from the initial visual or video delivery and allows you to prolong or extend the campaign into other forms of communication,” says Richard Bosman, Marketing Manager, Toshiba Gulf FZE-SA. “This builds a conversation with the target market, rather than just talking at them.”
Eric Ziengs, Content Marketing rådgiver at Nochmal, believes that brands need to make use of the different tools provided by social media: “A simple tool on YouTube is annotations and these can be used to call users to action and you also need to allow them to comment,” says Ziengs. “If you do a live video on Google Hangouts, engage with viewers throughout the chat. A great example of this is Tom Merritt’s Daily Tech News Show that does so well people donate over $10,000 a month for the content on Patreon.”
“If you want to leverage your video properly, design your audience first,” says Marcus Cauchi, Sandler Training, “Find out who they are, where they are, what they are talking about and what their day looks like. Uncover what your competitors are saying to them and how your message can disrupt that and know precisely what you want them to do, say and remember once they have watched your video.”
Cauchi offers up five pertinent questions that need to be asked in order to create great video content that can leverage the brand:
- Have you made it compelling to engage with you?
- What conversations are your users already having and how can you enter those?
- Who influences them?
- What keeps them awake at night and what problems are they facing?
- Have you made it easy for them to connect with you?
A viral success
Of course every brand wants for their campaign to be the one that goes viral and travels to every dusty corner of the connected globe; the problem is that there is no exact science behind this phenomenon.
“There is no secret ingredient when it comes to making a video go viral and it’s important to remember that. No matter how much investment you plough into your video, viral can never be guaranteed,” says Charley Caines, Digital Account Manager at Tangerine PR.
However, she does point out that you can shift your brand closer to this social nirvana by following the trails blazed by successful campaigns. “Unpicking the structure and key themes of viral content, you can begin to observe trends which, nine times out of ten, will include an emotive trigger,” she adds, “This could be something funny, cute or shocking. So, when it comes to creating a video concept, keep the emotive reaction you’re trying to evoke at the top of mind.”
The most shared campaign of 2013 was one created by College Humor to promote the 5-Hour Energy drink. It saw 6.9 million social shares and took the afternoon slump to a whole new level of terrifying. It got people right in the neck and also pulled on the hot zombie trend that was running the airwaves with the likes of AMC’s The Walking Dead.
Ziengs believes that an inherent part of viral success is in making content shareable and feeding it to the right people and on the right networks. It needs to be easy for people to share your content and feel a part of the process. However, he does point out that it’s best not to dream of viral campaigns but to rather focus on micro movements that are targeted and reach the right people at the right time.
Martin Nurser, Vice President, EMEA, Qumu also doesn’t think there are any magic tricks for a guaranteed viral campaign but he adds three simple steps that can give your video the best chance:
- Produce great content that resonates
- Keep it shareable and make sure consumers can see it
- Use paid options – many viral videos have paid campaigns behind them and use other social media to increase exposure and introduce the viral effect
Ultimately the consumer decides if your video goes viral and all your brand can do is do its best to make this happen, which means avoiding some of the pitfalls of social video.
Mistakes to avoid
“Don’t dilute your final message with unnecessary or distracting visual elements and never insult your intended viewer – the consumer is not stupid,” says Bosman.
Indeed – patronising, poorly prepared and badly conceived video can alienate the intended audience as quickly as a well-designed campaign can draw them in.
Caines adds, “Don’t try and be ‘down with the kids’ as Generation C can instantly sniff out a brand that’s trying to fit in with its audience and isn’t being genuine. And don’t spam, use a drip feed approach across multiple channels instead.”
Don’t expect your video campaign to instantly go viral or believe that it is the ultimate in creativity and content. That decision is up to the consumer, and if you have spoken to them with engaging content then it is likely that they will react positively to your brand and video strategy.
“Don’t try and appeal to everyone because you are no Spielberg and you aren’t doing this to win an Oscar or break box office records,” concludes Cauchi, “You’re trying to get your audience to engage with you so be yourself, be clear and stay focused.”
Take a look at the video below from a Thai telecommunications company – it went viral because it had a message that resonated with everyone, no matter what culture or country.
Compared with the Hyundai advert you can see in second place on this Marketing Dive list, which makes a joke out of suicide. Both touch a chord only one does it with the kind of taste that makes for a viral success.
In the final part we will examine methods of measuring the success of video as well as uncovering some of the key tips from experts on how to get the most out of your video campaign.
[Image Source: Freedigitalphotos.net]
June 2014, New York
Become a social business: For superior marketing response, sharper corporate decision-making, enhanced innovation and a happier, more loyal customerBrochure Programme