Going Viral Is Not a Video Strategy

Going Viral Is Not a Video Strategy

Your audience will see it and want to become customers. So you post the clip on your company’s new YouTube page. This story is all too common for marketers. To come up with these kinds of ideas, seek out video production talent with a strong portfolio of narrative videos that grab attention. Create a program, not just a video Getting attention is a good place to start. Invest in paid social distribution Remember that great video from the intro that only had 12 views? B2B content gets boring when people make these common mistakes: https://t.co/deR5ty9wf8 pic.twitter.com/hM2LC0enlV We do this a lot internally at Contently with our Content Marketing Minute videos. Since each clip only runs 60 seconds, they play well on social, racking up hundreds of views every time we post. Instead, take the time to plan out a strategy that uses relatable, character-driven video, commits to consistency, and captures the attention of the right viewers with effective paid social. Video content takes time, but when done well, it can invite and engage new audiences and help your message stick.

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The budget came together, the shoot went smoothly, and the first cut gave you chills. You’re confident this great video will get people talking. Your audience will see it and want to become customers. Your customers will see it and want to spend more. So you post the clip on your company’s new YouTube page. You wait a few days to check the data and… your video got a whopping 12 views.

This story is all too common for marketers. Unfortunately, hoping to go viral is not a video strategy.

The online video space is a deeply crowded market. Everyone from big brands to middle schooler vloggers flood the space with content. Every minute, 400 hours of video are uploaded to YouTube. Marketers are taking notice of the boom, and they’re expected to spend $83 billion on online video this year just in the U.S. alone. That reality means your content will get lost without a clear video strategy.

How do you break through the noise? It takes an adjustment in thinking. The painful truth is that there isn’t a single, magic method of finding an audience. Television networks and movie studios spend millions trying to pull audiences in and they still miss the mark all the time. Did you catch Melissa McCarthy in Happytime Murders? Yeah, neither did anyone else.

Here are some nuances to think about to increase the odds your video gets seen by the right people.

Put people first, products second

If you want to get your message out there, the first thing you should do is eliminate bad marketing habits. Start thinking like a wise TV executive, instead, and ask yourself a simple question: Would a person really watch this?

We get caught up with target personas and product specs and optimizing for algorithms. Those factors all matter. But imagine your audience scrolling through their feeds and think about what would make them stop and watch. Then, consider what would keep them watching after a few seconds. Though it can be tempting to make a flashy video that runs through all the benefits and features of your product or service, our customers tend to see better results when they focus on the elements of good storytelling.

Determine how you can show your brand, product, or service impacting people’s lives. In other words, focus on characters. Let them guide the narrative. That way, your videos can strike a balance between being informational and relatable.

Eni, the global energy company, partnered with Contently on a video program to educate consumers who may not even know their lives are touched by the brand. For example, “Powering Mozambique,” the first documentary, told…