Today I want to share with yu how to create a viral video for small business based on the biggest viral videos by different businesses. Online video advertising is actually one of the best ways for small businesses to advertise and get exposure because it is very cheap. What will take you $10,000 to create for TV, you can create with $100 for online.
Another advantage is the unlimited market you have at your disposal. Placing your tv commercial on a specific program means you are promoting to a very specific market but online but there are 500 million facebook users that come from anywhere between 12 – 65 and segment, class a to e.
Advertising materials for online use is also faster to produce than for Above The Line (TV, Radio, Print and Billboard) because online videos don’t require much then you don’t need to prepare long or take a lot of time in producing it.
Let me just get one thing straight. You can’t create a viral video. You can only create an awesome video and hope that it will go viral. This leads us to the next question. How do you create an effective viral video for a small business?
Well, today I’ll give you 4 tips (more tomorrow):
Tip #1: Make Your Material Very Specific
If you’re a small business, chances are you know your market well. You have no excuse for not knowing how they behave and where they are. If you don’t know, there is something wrong with you that no amount of advertising can solve.
Inspired bicycles that sell, you guessed it, bicycles, created a video with Danny MacAskill going around the city on his bike through different terrains, mazes and situations. Knowing that their market is usually the same market that likes alternative bands, into the “emo” genre, and wanderers, they picked out a great song from a new band and filmed Danny for several days while he does different bike exhibitions alone.
They got more than 3 million hits. For a bike store with less than five outlets, the brand exposure is priceless.
Tip #2: Don’t Lie To The Audience That Your Video Is To Promote Your Brand
Last year, the waterslide viral video got more than 5 million hits. It involved a guy in a wet suit going down a manmade waterslide, launching himself on the air and landing in an inflatable kiddie pool in the middle of a field. It was awesome.
Several days after it came out, when the awesomeness subsided, people started questioning the feasibility of the entire thing. This lead to the ever-loveable pair Adam and Jamie of Mythbusters to test the myth to finally put it to rest. Long story short, they proved the myth to be, well, a myth. The owners of the video even confirmed that the entire thing is CG.
The worse part is that people got hold of the fact that it was produced by Microsoft in their effort to make their brand “younger”. Based on the number of negative comments on youtube and the decision of the source of the video to take it off youtube prove the backlash was bad. Consumers don’t like being tricked. If you are attempt to make a viral video, be honest from the beginning that the video is branded.
Look at how Dress US! Did it. They are a small online store that sells clothes. They did an interactive video that allows you to dress one of two women. It was clearly branded but more than 1 million people picked a girl to dress up. For a small brand that had to produce the video for less than $200, 1 million hits is equivalent to $100,000 media budget.
Tip #3: They Don’t Mind That A Video Is Branded As Long As It Entertains Them
I am sure you have heard of OldSpice and Evian. Both videos started online (TV) but became giants online. Both are clearly branded but both are also entertaining and amusing so consumer didn’t mind getting immersed in their brand. Dove’s campaign for real beauty is another viral video that was clearly branded but is acknowledged as one of the top 5 most successful branded viral campaign of all time.
Boone and Oakley is a small advertising agency. They wanted to start doing digital projects so they put their website on youtube. An advertising agency is hardly a company you want to know about much less getting on their site and to browse it. But the Boone and Oakley youtube video got more than 3 million people to visit their site because the concept was new and the execution was entertaining.
Tip #4: Be Interactive When You Possible
You can click on youtube videos that will lead you to other videos, Google Earth allows you to put photos for more detailed street views, there are share buttons so one click will put your material across different social media sites. Use all these properties whenever possible.
You can do a choose your own adventure on youtube, ask people to find your product using google earth, ask the consumer to post photos (this is an old trick though), and many other activities out there. Even if your business has a very captive market, you can still use these online properties. In fact, it will be better for your brand.
Imagine asking your ten of your clients to play a certain game in exchange of a macbook air? One telecommunications supplier did that. 90% of their clients ended up logging on to their site to play a golf game for one week to win the macbook air.
Come back tomorrow for part 2.