Viral videos—you know them and love them. They’re infectious by nature, and have the ability to disseminate a marketer's message to large groups of people with lightning speed. The format is easy to ingest, viewership is growing exponentially, and you can easily target your specific customer base with a few simple tools.
Traditionally, viral videos have been dominated by large brand messages and low budget home movies. However, direct marketers are now using video as an effective way to reach their target audiences more affordably and with a higher level of data collection than ever before. Viral videos do not have to be relegated to site gags and celebrities. Some of the most traditional tools—such as couponing and direct product promotion—can be incorporated directly into online videos. However, these tools need to be used gently and cannot be in conflict with the basic tenants of creating and distributing viral videos.
So before you start the cameras rolling, keep the following rules for creating your videos in mind:
1. Production quality matters. While the majority of well-known viral videos are home videos, most consumer-focused videos have solid production quality. Doritos' Super Bowl ads were created on shoestring budgets by amateurs, yet still maintained solid production quality.
2. Entertain or engage viewers. Unless your product or service is so groundbreaking it already has people in a frenzy, you will want to deliver an engaging story in your video. Your goal is to have people talk about your company, product or service. So give them something they will remember and want to share.
3. Forget the clock. Unless your video will be shown on TV, don't limit yourself to 30 seconds. As long as your video is entertaining or engaging, viewers won't pay attention to time within reason.