Viral videos are great, especially those that people heavily share and talk about.
Why do companies make them?
What can be achieved?
How dependable is the strategy?
Why Do Brands Make Viral Videos?
Sharing recently became an extremely valued metric. It is very hard to achieve but if successfully done, it will mean that you have resulted in someone completely voluntary sharing your product or marketing message.
Here are the most 7 common elements of viral videos:
- Something that is Relatable
- Something shocking or unexpected
- Reactions of people in certain situations
- Outright weird
- Challenging misconceptions or using social stereotypes in situations that are controversial
- Is a wish-fulfillment or fakes something that we wish was real
- Something amazing or/and compassionate.
Why do it?
ROI. These 3 letter of exactly why they do it. They often earn 5 to 10 times in direct media space and sometimes 100 if not more in indirect media space. No straight conversion ratios, no ad-blocking and most importantly you could be creating a trend that enables your potential customers to act as your evangelists.
How to Measure Viral Video Performance?
If you main objective is to drive direct response sales, an infomercial or promotional approach is best utilized, such as Dollar Shave Club, Squatty Potty and Knock. These quirky videos create a strong call to action to the customers.
Dollar Shave Club’s video almost single-handedly launched the now $600M valued start-up, driving more than 10,000 sign-ups, and more than $110K in the first 2 days. Squatty Potty’s did $15M in sales at the last time reported, with more than 550% leap in online sales, 420% leap in retail sales.
All these videos got massive shares and even got mentioned in the press, creating a tidal wave effect.
Video Growth Hacking
People don’t necessarily want to see and share product centric videos. The press as well will not usually feature a video with a heavy promotional call to action unless they feel that not doing so would mean them not being on top of what is trendy. They want to get paid for that, not give it away for free. This is why you need to ascertain if you are after a sales or brand awareness video.
There are cases though when a video can achieve both conversions and shares/press, like NordicTrack’s World’s Largest Treadmill Dance. Their primary goal was brand awareness, which was measured by the 60k+ social shares and 150k+ press features it garnered. Their main goal was to make treadmills fun.
By applying re-marketing though, they have been able to get a hold of a fair amount of those viewers and the video has now logged seven figures in sales with a more than 400% ROI and continues to convert every month.
Can we trust the Strategy?
Viral brand videos don’t always have to be expensive, for example ‘FirstKiss’, which were very simple and low-budget.
A great rule to follow is to always plan the budget for media spend. Try to have at least 3 times that of the production. There should be a plan for paid ads, influencers, video SEO and press outreach once you’ve crafted a concept with the most potential as possible to achieve your objective.
There you have it, if done right, viral brand video can be even more predictable and measurable a strategy than your common TV spot if you have the right people, budget, tools and testing in place. Shift some of the TV budget over to web video today!