“How do I get my video to go viral?”, “I want my video to get millions of views, how do we do it?” These are questions I’m hearing less often lately as marketers and business owners begin to understand just how fleeting and rare explosive social sharing is. Unless you’re willing to put a significant ad spend behind pushing the virality of your video; branded video content just doesn’t go viral. Audience engagement is way more important than cumulative views for branded content anyway.
The fact of the matter is that right now over 300 hours of video is uploaded to YouTube every minute. Think about that. While you were thinking about it…another 300 hours of video footage just got uploaded. Of those, a tiny fraction of a percentage get over a million views. So how do you stand out in that sea of content?
Kevin Alloca, YouTube’s trends manager, gave a very clever and insightful TED Talk about “going viral” and silly web video. It’s only 7 minutes and it’s funny, watch it:
Kevin had a great quote at the end:
“Tastemakers, creative participating communities, complete unexpectedness, these are characteristics of a new kind of media and a new kind of culture where anyone has access and the audience defines the popularity.”
You can have 50 million views of a video by teenage boys but if ultimately the purchasing decisions for your product or service are largely made by female engineers in their 30s, how effective was it really? This is a frequent issue with Super Bowl ads where viewers recall the funny video but frequently don’t remember who the brand was or what they were advertising.
There is one simple thing to keep in mind when you are developing your online content strategy: the videos you are producing must be relevant to your product or service and to your audience. It doesn’t have to be wildly funny, it just needs to be attractive to the people who were searching for your content. Be targeted and creative in your core messaging and don’t worry about getting a million views. If it is engaging to the core audience who leverage the purchasing power around your product or service, then that is ultimately all that matters.