Quick story: While I was enjoying a helping of pumpkin pie leftovers on the Sunday after Thanksgiving, I got a notification on my phone that one of my friends tagged me in a video.
Thanking my stars it wasn't another piece of chain mail, I was surprised to see it was a video showing off one of our VELUX Cabrio roof windows.
But Jiminy...the video had close to 3 million views and thousands of comments and shares attached to it.
Ironically being proclaimed as the "next best thing" since this roof window has been around for almost 30 years, the product was becoming wildly popular online.
Realizing what this could mean for our industry (your business included), I dropped my pumpkin pie and jumped on the viral bandwagon, yelling "FOR DAYLIGHT!"
As great as they are for business, you simply CAN'T make a viral video.
Anyone who promises they'll make your video go viral is not your friend. Phew, I feel better saying that.
Viral videos are a marketer's (and should be every companies') dream!
They're the fastest way to cut through all the clutter and noise of the internet.
But they are a being unto themselves.
Although there's plenty of shared commonalities between viral videos, science has yet to provide us with a formula on how it's done.
The only data points that explain how videos go viral are these: how does content make you feel and why do you want to share it.
The greater the intensity of these two points, the more likely people will share it.
That does a whole lot of nothing for us. I know.
Although you can't proclaim a video to be a viral video or wave your arms in front of the social media gods to make it so, there are a couple things you can do.
1. Make it matter. Make it worth it.
Trying to beat the system, fool the algorithm, and stump the viewer isn't getting us anywhere. And trying to hone in on the hype of viral marketing isn't the key.
Being authenticity and providing value is the trick.
As marketers, business professionals, and/or owners, we need to give, give, give, then ask.
Providing value to our consumers is important before asking them to buy from us or use our services.
When thinking about videos and how to use them, think of them as a way to start the conversation; to tell the story, inform your customer, and then drive an interaction—and not as a means to become a viral sensation.
Here's an example: Watch the VELUX CABRIO video. Did you notice that Andrea didn't ask the customer to buy the product at all? All she did was show how the product works in her normal day to day life, even saying hello to her chickens.
2. Make it good.
No, no you don't need to spend 50k on videography equipment or have Morgan Freeman do the voice over (although that would definitely help in my opinion).
Stay true to your brand and its identity.
Play on people's sense, whether that's with music or visuals, to illustrate the idea you're wanting to promote.
If you find that you don't have the means to create a video, partner with others how do.
3. Get it out there.
Don't bury your videos in some obscure place on your website. Get them out there.
Social media platforms, especially the ever popular YouTube, are a great start to broadcasting your videos and having people identify who you are.
But think about the platform in which you're using—the video you made to post on Instagram might not perform the same if you post it to Twitter.
Always adapt and strategize how different elements of the video perform on different platforms. It can be as simple as shortening the video or adding sound.
...my last point on the subject.
Videos are cool.
But don't just make videos for the sake of making them, or for the fleeting thought of getting them to go viral.
Sure, once a video of yours goes viral, it's easy to get caught up in the attention. But staying true to your brand's content will add value that will connect you to actual interested leads and customers.