Social media marketing has opened a whole new communication channel to businesses, both small and large. As social media marketers, we vie for the greatest viewership, the best metrics, and the largest electronic word-of-mouth penetration. The near-mythical viral video is the holy grail of any online marketing campaign. About one-third of 1 percent of online video goes viral, according to Upworthy. Even if you do not get this level of Web penetration, adding high-quality video to your marketing mix generate sales leads, enhance brand reputation, and convert sales. You just need to know the components of a quality social media marketing video.
When to Go Pro
Professional videos are not always necessary to communicate your marketing message. At the beginning of the viral video craze, the product was often grainy and organic, being filmed on a cellphone or webcam. Justin Bieber made his original crossover into stardom with selfie style videos filmed on a webcam.
Stock videos like the ones that you would find on Shutterstock can be used to make engaging, dynamic videos without the cost of using a professional videographer. If you need something a little more polished but do not have the big budget to throw at a seasoned professional, film school students are a viable option. Full Sail University in Florida has a long list of graduates with Emmys and Oscars but they were students at one point.
It is not the look but the underlying emotion that makes a video successful on the Internet. Research published in the Australasian Marketing Journal (AMJ) has shown that your video can be happy or sad, funny or serious as long as it is emotionally charged. Marketing videos need to elicit emotional arousal to be successful and offer a chance at virility.
If you look at the Mashable list of the best viral videos of all time, you will see people dancing funny, a baby panda sneezing, and children being generally adorable. There is no uniform theme except that they all make the view feel strongly enough to watch and share the video.
Make It Social
By definition, a viral marketing video needs to be shared. The socialness of a video will define the speed in which it reaches peak viewership and the amount of referral-based sharing. To get the marketing penetration that you want, the video needs to be shared. There are many sharing plugins for your website videos but not all of them are the same. Depending on your needs, some share plugins stand out. From a marketing standpoint, your share button needs to be easy to use, support all of the major social media sites, and offer robust analytics. Monarch is a top choice with Shareaholic being right behind.
Make It Real
One video, even if it goes viral, does not make a marketing campaign but a bad video can kill it. The Internet has very little tolerance for fake emotion. Walmart created a series of blogs that chronicled the adventures of a RV couple as they traveled across America, stopping at Walmart stores in various cities. Though the couple was real, the blog was a PR creation. Once viewers figured this out, brand reputation dropped and the campaign became famous for being one of the worst of 2014.