Everybody dreams of having a web video go viral. It used to seem like pure luck, but now we know there are things you can do to make it much more likely. The right formula and use of YouTube could make it happen for you.
The success of viral campaigns like the Old Spice ads means more and more people are seeking to invest in professional web video production. Spending on online marketing campaigns has risen by 22% in two years, reflecting the growing online marketplace and changes in customer behaviour. Affluent customers now spend over 40 hours online per week. If you can reach them through a trusted site like YouTube or Dailymotion, you could see purchase intend increase by more than 14%.
Going Viral – Have a plan
Successful online video production always starts with a plan. There is never any guarantee that you can make your video go viral, but with the right techniques you could boost your views by enough to make a difference. These 10 elements will help you get started:
1. Be Shareable
Is your web video shareable? To make people want to pass it on to their friends, you’ll need to make it something they can connect with emotionally. Try to make it entertaining, useful or relevant. You could share practical information or address a topical issue and try to get people talking. Pay attention to what people are sharing already and think about how you could take a similar approach with your own online video production.
2. Making Conversation
YouTube videos can be the next best thing to one to one conversation. If you speak directly to your audience they’ll feel a connection with you, making them more likely to pay attention in future and beginning to generate loyalty even before they’ve made a purchase. Video blogs are a great way to do this, especially if you give people a chance to respond and share their ideas.
3. Generating interactivity
Many people make the mistake of seeing web videos as one way forms of communication. In fact, YouTube is more like a social media site. If you take the time to get to know some of your followers you can engage more effectively and other viewers will also find your videos more appealing. The most effective way to get people to take an interest in you is to show that you’re taking an interest in them.
4. Being consistent
One of the big secrets of successful online video production is the big idea. If each of your videos revolves around the same idea, you can build up a consistent video brand that people will get to know. Keep your schedule consistent too by publishing regularly, so people know when to look for your next video. Try to keep the some tone and point of view in everything you publish.
5. Finding focus
Defining you target audience and finding out more about them will help you to reach them more effectively. YouTube Analytics is a great tool for finding out who’s watching your YouTube video content and what else interests them. You can use this to plan your programming strategy, but you should always keep checking it and adjusting what you do to suit it. Creating different personas in your videos can help you to reach different audience segments.
6. Keeping it going
Video content that develops over time is far more effective than one-offs, but if you’re going to keep it going, you’ll need to make sure you have the resources. Think carefully about your capacity now and in the future. You’ll need to budget for costs but you’ll also need to make sure you can consistently access production facilities and any actors or presenters your audience gets to like. Make sure your central theme is something you can easily build new videos around without running out of ideas.
7. Making it available
Viral videos need to be easy to find. YouTube is the world’s second largest search engine and knowing how to take advantage of that will put you in a much stronger position. Using Google Trends can help you keep track of what users are looking for and adjust your content accordingly. Pay attention to the videos that pop up on the right hand side of the page when your video is playing. This will help you work which trends YouTube thinks your video fits into.
8. Making it accessible
If you get it right, you’ll keep acquiring new viewers. You won’t want them to miss out on your earlier web videos, so develop a strong call to action that directs them back to the first one. People should be able to pick up and make sense of your videos at any stage in the series but still want to see what else you’ve published. Use annotations or links in the description that goes with your video to make this easy for them.
One of the fastest ways to draw attention to your video content and build a fan following is to collaborate with existing YouTube stars – people who have built up big fan followings. They could be celebrities in the wider world but they might be ordinary people who have just become popular online. By connecting with them and persuading them to promote your YouTube videos, you can reach a big, established audience of people who are used to the site and know how to do things like commenting, favouriting and subscribing. Look for collaborators who like your products or services and are enthusiastic about promoting them.
10. Inspiring your audience
Really successful web video production begins with love. If you’re passionate about what you do, your audience will see that in your videos. You’ll also find it easier to maintain your enthusiasm over time and keep on engaging with viewers. When you’ve established a successful strategy like this, you can give it a boost sometimes by spending a bit more money and investing extra effort to make extra special videos. Your established audience will then give them a good chance of going viral.
Finally here’s an update at the end of 2015 with a link to some of the best viral videos of 2015 according to The Daily Telegraph