Here are four strategies we recommend to help our clients achieve the elusive goal of creating “viral content.”
So your CEO tasks your team with creating a “viral video” as part of your marketing plan for 2019. You know that viral content can take time to catch on, everyone is trying to create it, and your CEO is looking to you to make it happen. Vela Agency has helped our clients face this predicament before, and here are a few tricks we’ve learned for creating viral content.
- Define viral status.
It is very important as a marketing team to establish realistic goals for what the word “viral” means for your business. For an embroidery video, you can expect the audience to be smaller than for Taco Bell. If you have a small business, successfully saturating one ZIP code may be a reasonable goal. What’s most important is that your content reaches your target market and boosts sales.
- Create and promote compelling content.
I have yet to see an advertisement that’s gone viral … even Super Bowl ads, which get plenty of views, aren’t really the sort of thing that people share in their social media feeds, write reviews about or send links to in emails.
I remember when Blendtec first shared its Will It Blend videos of blending destruction. Those videos were amazing. Every time Apple came out with a new device, Blendtec would blend it, usually to powder.
There was no evidence that these YouTube videos would be an effective way to get people to purchase an $800 blender. However, the content was so unique and interesting that the younger YouTube demographic picked it up, shared it and brought it to the attention of Blendtec’s target audience. As the concept caught on and Blendtec saw the ROI from its videos, it began to invest more in its storytelling to keep its audience engaged.
When you’re planning content with a goal of reaching viral status, ask yourself:
- Would I share this?
- Would I watch or read this to completion?
- Would my target audience share this?
- Is this a compelling way to share my brand story?
- Invest in Influencers.
In these digital times, we are all publishers. Those of us who are willing to spend a little more time on the content we publish and be more deliberate in its creation can build a following. The fan base for a blogger or vlogger may vary in size but a quick peek at a site’s analytics will show:
- How many hits the site gets each month
- How long people visit the site
- How frequently people visit the site
These numbers, along with a scroll down the influencer’s Facebook posts for engagement information, can quickly qualify an influencer who is relevant to your topic.
Influencers provide great opportunities for brands with great products. These individuals have a wider reach than the average consumer, but their endorsements are equally effective. To help your campaign go viral, offer influencers special opportunities such as:
- Behind-the-scenes tours
- Early access to new products or services
- Access to corporate leadership
- Unique experiences
When you offer influencers such opportunities, let them find the story they want to tell. This can motivate them to create compelling content that works hard for your brand.
While these opportunities can be more affordable than hiring a traditional celebrity for your next TV commercial, there’s a caveat: If an influencer doesn’t like your product, he or she will be honest about that in a review.
There are lots of ways to work with content creators. If that’s the way you decide to go, consider working with an advertising professional to source the influencers, make the pitch, finalize the talent contract, coordinate the details and assist with reporting.
- Make your content easy to share.
This may seem like common sense, but it’s an important step to achieving success. Posting your content to the appropriate social media outlet is a great first step, as is putting some paid dollars behind your content ensure it gets seen. Here are a few other ideas to consider:
- Send an internal email with the link and ask your employees to view and consider sharing it.
- Send an email to your existing customers featuring the content, and if appropriate ask them to share it.
- Send an email to your supplier partners featuring the content and ask them to consider sharing it.
- Add a contest to the promotion. For example, offer a product giveaway to a few people for sharing or commenting on your viral content.
- Include a link to the content in your company’s email signature while the campaign is relevant.
- Share your content on multiple channels and remember to post updates on the content as appropriate.
Whether it’s a personal goal or a directive from your leadership team, creating viral content requires strategic groundwork and thoughtful execution. Often the assistance of an agency partner can help you identify opportunities and bring the project to completion.
If you’re planning viral content for your brand, call the strategists at Vela Agency for assistance. We’re here and ready to help!