Many viral videos often happen by accident, not by design. Videos are posted to YouTube by the casual videographer with a little social network promotion, but the intent is to just sit back and see who watches. Every now and then such random videos go viral – attracting millions of views from around the world very quickly. It makes news headlines, is circulated through social media as the newest discovery and creates a flurry of wonder over why and how it got all this attention (Justin Bieber?). Most of the time a viral video is no more than pure entertainment. We all need a good laugh (Mentos & Coke Fountains) or some inspiration (Susan Boyle). When a video comes along that fills that need we are more likely to watch it and then share it with our social networks, who, will then share it with their networks. If you are a business, a non-profit or an individual with something to share your main goal should be identifying your audience, their needs and the networks that will get your video circulated. Going viral, on a global scale, is not the goal.
Your Audience and the Relativity of Going Viral
Not every video is meant for a global audience or even a national one. A small clothing business may choose to highlight its spring line by creating a series of fashion demo videos such as scarf tying, color combinations and accessorizing. This small, brick and mortar operation may only conduct sales in-store. It will use their online presence to stay connected to their customers by sending them useful information about fashion and how their product ties in with that information. Hopefully the information is dynamic enough that it is shared and results in a draw into their store and, ultimately, some sales.
View Quality, as Defined by Your Audience, Counts More than View Quantity
A video is not going to help your business just by posting it on YouTube. Video is another tool in your marketing arsenal to help make your audience aware you exist. A small clothing business with one or two locations in its home state is mainly concerned with targeting an in-state audience. The fact that their videos are viewed overseas does not do anything for their domestic sales, especially if this small business does not do overseas commerce. What matters more is that the video is circulated in areas within close proximity to the place of business. The video should be
- posted on the company’s website in a conspicuous place;
- sent to existing customers in e-blasts;
- posted on the company’s social media such as Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn pages
YouTube has a great statistics feature that not only shows when and how many views a video has but also location demographics right down to the state it was viewed. If a business really wants to know if a video made a difference, offer a small discount to anyone who purchases something and mentions the video. The point of the video is to draw more people to your business. You are not going to get a sales conversion from global viewership if you are catering to a much smaller demographic. Build and market your video to your target demographic. Two hundred views from your target demographic means more than two thousand from anywhere else.
The Needs of Your Audience
Now that you have defined your demographic audience you need to figure out what their needs are and how a video can satisfy that. More often than not, the biggest need is for that of information.
Product demos are a great way to give your audience a 360 degree real world view of the product. Keep the information centered strictly on product how-to and product characteristics. Talk about materials that create the product, do a walk through of product setup, and cover all the ways the product can make the consumers life more efficient.
If your product is more service oriented or instructional, consider filming a short lesson. Ask each instructor to film a short demo video that can be posted and shared via the internet. What you are giving is the opportunity for the consumer to experience your service and decide if it is a good fit.
Do not burden the video with weekly sales information. People do not want to be sold something. They want to know if it will meet their needs, will it last and how it works. Let this timeless information be the main objective of your video. The most important company information you can include in a video is how a customer can contact your company to inquire about the product.
Sales information can be added independently in the webpage, tweet or post. This method allows the video to get more mileage by keeping the content timeless and relevant to the product. The video can be worked into temporary sales campaigns or used in other marketing without additional editing.
It All Comes Down to Networking
A video is another tool in your marketing arsenal; a proxy that allows you to represent your business, product or idea to the masses when you cannot be in multiple places at once. Video can only do this if people know it exists.
- Start by making it known within the network you have such as your website, social media, chamber of commerce and e-blasts.
- Remember to repost the video periodically, especially if it fits in with various marketing campaigns. People will not see everything you post the first time you post it. It may also not be relevant to some viewers during the first posting but will be on the second or third posting.
- Ask your current followers to share the video with anyone in their network who may be interested.
It is important to let customers know they can get the best price from you. Video marketing is another form of customer service that also let customers know you are the place to go for solid product information. Both types of marketing require frequent exposure to be effective. Persistence and patience is key.
In an economy where the consumer wants assurances on the value of their purchase it becomes more important than ever for a company to show consumers where the value is well before a purchase is made. The mission here is not to post a video that is an overnight global sensation, but to produce a video that meets your audiences needs and makes it easy for them to tell their social network that you can meet their needs as well.
Copyright © 2012 Digital Design Digest