There is no question that viral video marketing is a key strategy in the back pocket of every brand marketing online. How you can actually create these viral videos, and get them to spread rapidly, seems to be an all too mysterious endeavor. Most brands think it works like this:
- Dream up some ridiculous idea
- Hire a random celebrity who fits in the budget
- Share it on all their social platforms
And their viral video marketing campaign should take off. Unfortunately, there’s more to it than that. I’m going to give you a whole bunch of rapid fire points to consider, and throw in examples from actual viral video marketing campaigns. Let’s go viral!
YouTube is all about Timing, Timing, Timing
Viral video marketing can happen by pure dumb luck, and a good social media share campaign. But it happens easiest when you time your video for a good release day and time.
You can optimize this timing by looking at the YouTube Ads Leaderboards. There, you will find similar videos in your niche. Study the days and times that they are released on in order to optimize your release time.
Check out this video from Air New Zealand, the top video ad from October 2014. Did their release date of Wednesday, Oct. 22 help their video reach the top of the charts? A study of other similar airline videos will help you determine that:
Plan to blow it up in the first 24 hours
YouTube’s algorithm pays close attention to the first 24 hours of a video’s release. You need to have your plan in place well in advance in order to get the most out of those first 24 hours. Have tweets, Facebook shares, an email blast, and even some pins on Pinterest ready to get yourself out there in those first 24 hours.
Even better, start sending these messages out before the video is even launched. Building anticipation before the video is released helped Peugeot reach a wide audience with their hit viral video marketing campaign called ‘The Legend.’ Check out this Facebook status update where they first started hyping the video weeks in advance:
Plan to blow it up…AGAIN!
Eventually, your views will slow down. You will have reached everyone directly related to you, they’ll have shared it, and a few of their friends will have seen it too. You need to have a plan to kick it back up and reach more people. There are a few ways you can do this:
- Using your YouTube adviews more
- Reach out to your biggest fans and give them another incentive to share the video
- Add new content to the video that gets people excited about it again
Think of your viral video marketing campaign as a fire that will go out – and your plan to blow it up again as gasoline.
When the Madden Season video views started to lag, one of the stars, Kevin Hart, pushed it on his Twitter again. This helped light the fire under the video once more:
Madden season is the reason my hand touched your face…That time of year is finally here where I put you in … http://t.co/GRUFh06g29
— Kevin Hart (@KevinHart4real) August 26, 2014
Push your views hard at first
Having a plan to get those first few views is essential. You need an audience to do this, such as on your social media channels, but getting those first few thousand views can be the toughest.
You can try using one of our YouTube views packages for this. This way, when you get those first people going to your video page they won’t see a low number of views. Social proof will take over and they’ll watch the video!
Your other option here is to work hard with your fans. Give them incentives to share the video right away and get them hyped up before it’s released. How do you hype a piece of content before it’s released? By releasing a trailer, of course!
We all know what trailers are, and how to use them.
Write a great video description
Your video descriptions are a rich place to include keywords so that your video is found during it’s initial viral run, and years later. A good video description will do more than just hype your brand and provide a link to your website. It also needs to talk about what the video is all about.
Samsung went hyper topical during the iPhone bending scandal by creating a video which addressed how well their phones stood up to a little butt pressure. The video is great, but the description got people’s attention via keyword placement and an accurate description of what they were trying to accomplish:
Get even more keywords in your transcript
Every chance you have of being found naturally via YouTube’s search is an opportunity you need to take to truly do viral video marketing. The transcript of your video should be completely accurate to what is said in the video. Plan ahead to have a few of your keywords said in the video.
The newest Samsung Galaxy featured a video that said the name of the phone several times. This shows up in the transcript. They backed this up by also putting the name in the description as we discussed above. At least a few of the 30 million+ views that this video has to date were gained because someone did a keyword search for that name and found this:
Do you have any viral video marketing examples that you enjoy? Discuss them in the comments below!
Feature image via Volt / Shutterstock