Want to make a social media marketer cringe? Tell them, “We want you to make a viral video,” and watch them squirm.
In a world where brands are at war over the short attention spans of potential online consumers, it’s rare to stand out in the endless abyss of internet content and achieve that coveted viral status.
Not sure what makes a piece of content “viral?” Here — I Googled it for you:
Vi·ral (adj.) – relating to or involving an image, video, piece of information, etc., that is circulated rapidly and widely from one internet user to another.
On any given day, 350 million photos are uploaded to Facebook; that means 243,000 photos are uploaded each minute and 4,000 photos are uploaded each second. That’s a lot of puppy and engagement photos, right?
By those calculations, if a picture is worth a thousand words, then a video must be worth MILLIONS. It is estimated that by the year 2020, there will be almost one million minutes of video per second crossing the internet and, by then, 82% of all consumer web traffic will be video.
Need further convincing that video has taken over our lives and screens? Watching video accounts for one-third of online activity. Over 500 million (yes, that’s half a BILLION) people are watching video on Facebook every day (via Forbes), and that’s just one social media platform.
So, if you’re wondering why your perfectly crafted video showcasing your product has only reached 100 people, there’s a good chance it’s buried deep down in the depths of the internet.
If you’re looking to break through the clutter and achieve viral status, follow these 5 tips to create stand-out video content:
1. Make it relatable.
IT’S NOT ABOUT YOU. This is the stance marketers need to take when creating consumable content for their audience. Avoid being self-serving with your storytelling and instead focus on what your audience craves and responds best to.
When audiences circulate social media video, they are exercising deliberate intent to reach out and grab others’ attention. Moreover, audiences who view social media video circulated by their friends are most likely to enjoy and engage with the video because their friends have tastes similar to their own. They’re more likely to share a video of a mother dog tending to her puppies than your brand video. Sorry … I know you worked hard on it. Don’t take it personally — instead, make itpersonal from the get-go to reach followers on a deeper level.
2. Keep it simple.
Think of any viral video you’ve ever seen — what do they all have in common? They are raw, unpolished and typically filmed on a mobile device.
As social media marketers, we are many things, one of which is a content creator. When a video with no closed captioning, no fancy transitions and no b-roll goes viral, there are few things more frustrating to witness. My challenge for you is to take that frustration, table it, and instead use it as a lesson that sometimes less is best.