Let’s Get Viral, or How to Use Viral Videos in Marketing

In these hectic times when all companies have gone online, it is vitally important to make your brand stand out. Every minute, 300 hours of video are uploaded to YouTube, not to mention five billion clips shared to Facebook and Twitter daily. How can one reach the greatest number of potential customers within the shortest time possible and get noticed in all this endless flow of information? The answer is: get viral. Today we will throw some light on how to use viral videos in marketing.

What makes a video viral?

The concept of ‘virality’ of a video lies in its ability to ‘self-replicate,’ or rather, to get the maximum shares in the social media. On average, to become viral, a video needs to gain over 5 million views in a 3-7 days period. In this regard, it is clear that not every video commercial can do that. Videos do not get viral overnight by sheer luck as they used to do several years ago. Today campaigns require careful planning to be able to reach as many viewers as possible, and there are certain strings that are pulled to ensure that videos are particularly suited to social media sharing.

Advantages of using viral videos in marketing

  1. Social sharing
    The first and perhaps the most important advantage is that social media will actually do almost all the job for you. Internet users will spread the word about your product and market it better than any conventional advertising campaign would ever do. Of course, we all know that social media sharing is absolutely voluntary, and there is no way to buy the internet users’ attention, but if you choose the right kind of content for your marketing campaign, your conversion rates are likely to soar. Just imagine, video content generates 1200% more shares than text and images combined.
  2. Conversions
    Viral videos have higher conversion rates than regular commercials. A video recommended by a friend garners more trust than the one seen on TV or a certain website. According to the statistics, customers are 64-85% more likely to purchase a product after having watched the video recommended to them by someone they know.
  3. Reach
    Viral videos also give you an excellent opportunity to target a specific audience. Now you do not have to play your commercial again and again to ensure that it reaches your potential customers. Just share the video with a small group of target viewers, and if they like it, they will share it with other similarly-minded people increasing your brand awareness.
  4. Cost
    Such videos cost less. Of course, you can spend any amount of money you can afford, but there is no direct correlation between the cost of making the video and the number of shares it gets. Some really successful viral videos were low-budget. What is more, you do not have to pay for hosting your video on YouTube like you would do if you choose to advertise your product on television.

Tips to help your video become viral

Make it short

Despite some remarkable exceptions, most viral videos are 20 seconds to one minute long. Some marketing experts even recommend breaking longer videos into a series of shorter portions that will keep the viewer engaged.

Be content-conscious

Try to market your product or service in a very subtle way. Concentrate on the message of your video rather than what it tries to promote. Most people do not like aggressive advertising, and will hardly share such videos with their friends and family.

Make it emotional and relatable to the audience

Study your target audience and think about the problems they face: what topics may evoke strong emotions in them? Remember that to become viral, a video should urge the viewer to share it immediately. Love, compassion, admiration, or, perhaps, anger, shock, or homesickness if a video triggers one of these emotions, it is likely to become a success.

Use some humor

There is no secret that funny videos are shared more often than serious ones, so why not to use this feature? Remember, good jokes never get old!

Combine uncombinable

To make sure the viewers remember the video, try contrasting things that typically just do not belong together. Do not worry if your video seems a bit unusual weird clips often become viral.

Add an unexpected twist to the plot

Keep your viewers glued to the screen and craving to know what comes next. The more subtle and tricky the plot, the better.

Use a well-known trope or a meme

Make a reference to a well-known story or a meme. The sense of familiarity will comfort the viewers and evoke the desire to share the positive feeling with someone they love. Besides, you can add new details to the story to create a humorous effect.

Involve a celebrity

Most people are fascinated by celebrities and trust their opinions when it comes even to everyday choices. If engaging a famous person is a bit over the budget, consider adding a funny parody of a celeb to the video script. It will surely blow the audience away. However, make sure you comply with copyright.

All in all, to make your video go viral, you must hit the right spot. Make a video that will tap into your audience’s most intricate feelings or get them puzzled or amused, and you will reach out to the ad-blocking millennials and other sophisticated users. As 46% of marketers plan to add video to their marketing plans in 2018, the result is definitely worth the effort the marketers put in their viral video campaigns. For example, see how Wells Fargo has managed to bridge the generation gap, strengthen the family ties, and advertise its banking app to almost 12 million viewers all in a 15-second video.

Five videos that have gone viral in 2018

Posted at the end of January, this super short 15-second video has got 53 million views… So far… There is something oddly satisfying about watching this couple unboxing their Purple mattress, which is probably the secret to this video’s popularity. The viewers may also be attracted by the ‘first-hand experience’ they get from it since the video features a regular family couple in the comfort of their home.

Starring award-winning actresses Winona Ryder and Elizabeth Olsen, this video campaign celebrates femininity, explores the themes of feminism, body positivity, and diversity, as well as defeats cinematic cliches. It is fresh and up-to-date, which is probably the reason why it has garnered almost 22 million views in less than a month.

What if the popular cloud voice service Amazon Alexa loses her voice? Who is going to play your favorite music, give you some cooking tips or inform you about the weather changes? Well, the engineers found some replacements, namely, Cardi B, Gordon Ramsay and Sir Anthony Hopkins. However, what they do turns out to be a total mess. This funny and touching video exploits a bunch of internet memes and boasts of engaging a careful selection of celebrities. No wonder that it has got over 46 million views.

This official teaser advertising Samsung Galaxy S9 phone is a vibrant video showing the evolution of the camera, with Samsung Galaxy S9 being the top of the ‘evolutionary tree.’ The video is dynamic and spectacular, which has obviously contributed to its popularity and let it gather more than 14.5 million views getting to the top ten viral videos at the end of January 2018.

When Tiger Woods returned to the Masters after a three-year break following a string of injuries and scandals, Nike decided to celebrate his coming back with a new commercial, where the entire Tiger Woods’ career was condensed to an emotional 1-minute video account. The storytelling technique used in this video is probably the key to its success. The campaign has gained huge support in social media, and the video has topped the viral video charts since the beginning of April. The commercial was viewed over 4.5 million times in just a week.

To sum up, making a viral video has never been easy because you have to rely solely on the strength of the content to attract viewers. Although we can never predict how many views and leads our videos will eventually make, they are worth all the effort. There is nothing better than sharing a remarkable video with your current and potential customers and see how it gains traction.

Let’s Get Viral, or How to Use Viral Videos in Marketing

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