However, as with any platform, there are some key best practices that you should keep in mind when you’re creating videos for sharing on LinkedIn. Be sure to follow these tips to ensure that you reach the most people and get more engagement with your videos.
1. Upload Videos Native to LinkedIn
The first key thing is to make sure you’re uploading your videos natively to the LinkedIn platform. This is because LinkedIn wants more video on it’s platform so when you upload natively (rather than sharing a YouTube link, for example) LinkedIn will push your video to more people.
To do this, make sure that you are clicking the video icon button and uploading your videos where you would type your post. Again, you don’t want to just copy a link and paste it.
2. Upload Custom Thumbnails
While videos do auto-play in the LinkedIn feed, a thumbnail still shows up while the video is loading. By default, it shows the first frame of the video. This is rarely flattering or eye-catching.
Instead, take advantage of creating a custom thumbnail and making it the very first frame of your video. You can do this by using any video editing software to add your custom designed thumbnail into the video as the very first frame and exporting. Now, when you upload your video to LinkedIn it will use that custom thumbnail to show users.
If you’re not sure where to start when designing a custom thumbnail, check out Canva.com. This is a great resource to easily create eye-catching thumbnails with their custom templates.
3. Create Custom SRT Captions
When you’re uploading videos to LinkedIn, be sure to upload custom SRT caption files. This is because by default, LinkedIn videos autoplay without sound. You want to ensure that viewers who might not have sound on are still able to watch your videos and understand what’s being conveyed.
Use a site like https://www.rev.com to have custom captions made quickly and easily. Then you can upload captions by simply clicking the small pencil icon that shows up when you upload your video before posting.
As with any platform, make sure that the content you are creating is formatted and optimized to get the most out of LinkedIn. Don’t just quickly post a video without ensuring that it’s properly formatted to capture attention and spread further.
If you have any other questions about how to use video on LinkedIn, how to create custom thumbnails on LinkedIn, or anything else video marketing related let us know in the comments!
It’s no secret that video is one of the most powerful ways to communicate ideas in an engaging way. You don’t have to look far to find blog posts and articles talking about how video marketing is where you should focus your marketing efforts.
So what does this mean if you are a biotech startup or pharma company? Does video make sense for you? If so, at what point should you think about creating videos?
How to choose a video that aligns with your company objectives
How to create marketing that’s relevant to the audience and gets more results
How to use video for recruiting top talent and raising capital
What type of videos are successful on YouTube?
How to build/hire a video team
Why biotech startups should be focused on marketing even if they are pre-revenue
Chris: CJ Thomas is the founder of Wondertree Media, a creative content studio producing video for life-changing brands. CJ, thanks for joining me.
CJ: Thanks, Chris. Stoked to be here.
Chris: I want to tell the listeners before we get started if they want to see a LinkedIn profile done really well, they should go and look at yours because it’s really well written.
CJ: I appreciate that.
Chris: Today, we’re going to talk about video strategy in general and then more specifically about video for biotech startups and how that can and should fit into their marketing strategy. First of all, video is continuing to grow in popularity, right?
CJ: It is, yeah. You don’t have to look too far to see these articles whether it’s on marketing blogs or Ad Age or anything like that, that talk about how important video is. And I think their common headline is that video is the marketing medium. Every year, its … We’re here January 2019. It’s funny, I feel like every year you see these headlines that say, “This is the year of video,” like video needs to be a part of your marketing.
I think, at least on my end, from what I’ve noticed, it’s no secret that businesses should be using video and it’s no secret whether it’s life science or whatever industry we’re talking about that video should be a part of the marketing strategy. I think with that being said, then it becomes a question of, “Okay, how do we use it properly though?” It’s not enough just to get a video up, call it good, and we’re happy, move on. We’ll see results. There’s a lot of factors I think that go into creating a video that actually will lead to ROI or whatever that desired outcome is.
Chris: It’s a great point. You might create one great video, but if it’s not doing the right thing, then you’re not going to get the results you want. How do you advise clients on strategy based on their different objectives and guide them to the right thinking around what kind of videos, how many, what the content is and so on?
CJ: It’s sort of a cliché, but it really does start at getting clear on the objective which actually when it comes to videos is often overlooked. When we looked at video marketing and just producing video content in general, a lot of brands tend to think that if we just create a video about us or about our products or about what we do and we put that up, that’s going to be the catch‐all piece of content. And the reality is that every business objective is going to call for a different type of video. And the more we can get clear on what is the outcome that we want to happen, the better we can inform the actual creative and the type of video or the type of campaign that will produce.
For example, if a brand comes and they want to build more awareness and they want to reach a larger audience, and they’re coming and saying, “Well, we want to produce something that’s about our team or our product,” that might not be the best place to start because until you’ve already built that audience and you have their attention and their engagement, there’s no reason for them to care about your product ,or your team, or your service or whatever it is. In that case, we might think about creating some videos that are purely just adding value to the audience, or entertainment, or kind of resonating with what their concerns or their challenges are. It really starts with saying what is the outcome we want to achieve, and then who are we speaking to about this.
We all know the importance of understanding the audience when it comes to marketing. So that’s equally as true when you’re looking specifically at video as well.
Chris: I’m going to throw it out there for the audience that I have recently spent a lot of time on YouTube and not necessarily on a vendor’s side but when you’re talking about just value added to the customer type of content, I have been looking for a camera and then other accessories for a camera. And I cannot tell you how many videos I have watched on YouTube to gather that information. And that was all free valuable content and none of it actually came from the vendor, but that doesn’t mean the vendor couldn’t have done it. Certainly, they have their own videos but they’re fortunate to have influencers who create a lot of interesting content with their equipment that help sell it.
That’s one example. But on the other end of the spectrum, I see companies throw up any video they have on YouTube because they made one and, of course, sometimes that’s just where they want to host it so they can link or whatever. But with not much thought to titles and descriptions. They just throw it up so they can embed it on their own site and they’re missing the search benefits of having it on YouTube and having an accurate title and description filled with the right keywords and so on. When you’re going to YouTube, if you’re going to put videos on YouTube, what kind of videos make sense? That’s a long way getting around to that.
CJ: Obviously, YouTube is a very attractive platform. It is the second largest search engine in the world right now. But a big piece of it, like you said, a lot of companies are just, “Let’s repurpose our videos and post them to YouTube and hopefully that will catch some traffic.” And while of course, it is a great practice to … any videos you create, you might as well put up on YouTube. I’m a huge fan of promoting everything cross‐channel and really getting as much exposure as possible. When you look at the main purpose on YouTube, especially for brands, being building an audience and really catching that search traffic, it’s looking at what is working on YouTube. And as you mentioned, you looking for this camera, you’re probably not watching videos that are specifically about a certain type of camera from that company. You’re looking at videos that might be showing you what to look for or doing product reviews and comparisons.
Really on YouTube, what tends to be most impactful is if you focus on content that is either entertaining, educational or inspirational. And I think when it comes to the context of business, the educational tends to be one of the most common ways to go about it whether it’s tips or even a lot of brands and companies now are looking at content marketing and they’re producing blog posts. Well, if you have a member of your team who’s comfortable on camera and can deliver that blog post in a video form as well, then that’s something that can be really powerful on YouTube. But there are also the optimization factors of ensuring that you have proper keyword research and include that in your description and title tags. Simply, it’s really just deciding what is it that your audience is in search of, what are they actually searching for. And then using those kinds of key terms within your content making sure that’s actually adding value. I think a lot of times it can be this, “Here’s three reasons why you need to do this,” which is really kind of a secretive way of us saying, “Buy our products.” That doesn’t really work out so well.
It really needs to be something that’s valuable to them whether or not they buy your product and then, of course, optimizing and including that in description, the title and the tags. Those are kind of three big ones but there are some other elements, and I think it’s pretty easy to kind of do a little bit of research and find out what actually really affects your ranking on YouTube. It’s not quite as complex as Google, but there are some similarities and some key things that can be done to kind of help you rank a little bit higher on the YouTube pages.
Chris: What I really like there, you mentioned a few things. The first one being education, entertainment or inspiration. And in the podcast world, we use the same three phrases to describe what makes a successful podcast. Ideally, at least two of those if possible, and if you’ve got all three, great. I like that you mentioned the simple thing where if you had someone who is comfortable in front of a camera to do essentially a video blog or a vlog, something around your company that would provide value to people. Again, it doesn’t help your brand to be sneakily promoting your product. It has to be actual value.
Some of the examples of my camera search, I’m watching videos now. I bought the camera. I’m watching how do I use this thing better, tricks to make this thing work better or tricks for video, tricks for low light, tricks for anything you can imagine. And I’m kind of hooked on that. And that’s just brand loyalty there, even though I’ve already bought it, it’s kind of imprinting the brand on my brain. The other thing I like about that idea is I’m guessing that you might help someone. Obviously, you’re not coming out to film a blog every week that a company wants to do that. There is a simple way that they can get set up to be able to create that kind of quick educational content on their own.
CJ: Absolutely. When it comes to creating content, it’s really a long‐term play. It’s not just we’re going to create these three or four videos and that’s going to help us. It can. There are certainly cases where one video makes all the difference and you see some real traction from that. But when it comes to getting the most benefits out of content marketing, aside from ensuring that you’re really just creating things that are of value to the audience, it also comes down to just consistency and frequency. So giving them a schedule where your audience can expect things on a regular basis and that you’re creating things on a consistent basis in getting a good amount of content out there that’s going to help build that brand authority.
But with that, that becomes a thing where you got to look at how do you lower that barrier of entry or that kind of required effort. When we’re working with clients, a lot of times the actual videos that we produce are a little bit more those higher end whether it’s brand promotional pieces or product release, or story‐driven videos that are evergreen for bigger campaigns. But when it comes to consistent content, a lot of times we’re just kind of consulting on the actual how do you figure out what you talk about, how do we implement it. And then when it comes to the actual production, there are ways to do it whether it’s as simple as getting your own little studio setup in your office or finding someone who might be a little bit more of like an entry‐level filmmaker who can just get those basics of getting a quality video for you that might not be the most sexy video.
A lot of times on YouTube, it doesn’t necessarily have to be. It just has to be really great content. Really focusing on that frequency and just making it as easy as possible and part of the workflow. I was actually speaking with a client today on the phone, and when we’re talking about content strategy and I told them that right now, because they’re really busy right now and they’re looking at facing a little bit of a slower time like, “Well, hey, this is when we want to get content marketing going.” I actually suggested, “Well, let’s try to get the systems and get everything going now while you’re busy,” because what happens is if you start content marketing while you’re a little bit slower or while, say, you’re revving up for a launch or new development, it’s easy to get going then. And then when things get busy, it’s like, “Okay, we don’t have time for this anymore,” like, “That was fun but we’re busy now. We don’t need to do this anymore.” But if you can really keep it going consistently no matter what phase your business is in, that’s when you’ll start to see those long‐term benefits start to build.
Chris: Yes, that is music to my ears as a content marketer. That’s why this podcast comes out every other week for the last four years, and it is definitely a long‐term game and I can’t emphasize enough as you say. You’ve got to be ready ahead of time and just getting in the groove of making that content when there is no immediate pressure. We’ll make it… You’ll find the pace where you can reliably create content on a schedule and keep it up. And you’ll see the value and make sure that you do keep it up when you get busy around the launch.
CJ: Definitely, yeah.
Chris: Let’s shift gears a little bit and talk about, because you mentioned this, small biotech companies. Imagine small biotech is pre‐revenue. They’re not selling products yet. They’re at that stage of their business and it’s an entirely different business than many others. What’s the opportunity there for using video?
CJ: As a video agency, we work with a lot of life science companies and a lot of them are startups. And for the startup, when you’re talking biotech, of course, we’re looking at pre‐revenue. They’re not necessarily commercial yet. They don’t have FDA approval, so there’s no revenue. A lot of times, I think, these startups can slide into that mode of purely focusing on, say, raising capital, bringing in talent and R&D which I think is great. Obviously, those are very key things to focus on pre‐revenue. But I think when you look at other industries, whether it’s consumer products or lifestyle brands, one thing that they tend to do right or at least the ones that are successful is they focus on marketing at the get‐go. Marketing should be a part of the conversation from the very first stage, from early product development because marketing can really inform product development and vice versa, and really understanding your audience.
And the more you market and see results whether you’ve been marketing proofs-of-concept or things like that, you can get more of an understanding and more data around your audience and what they really desire or what their challenges are and find that place of differentiation that can inform and ultimately lead to a better product. And also, really start to build those systems again so that way when you are launched and you are commercial, it’s not, “Okay, now, how do we market this?” We kind of already have these steps in play and those that foundation built from the onset.
Chris: Right. It’s a communication channel that goes both ways. You create a video and you put it out there. You get feedback on it and you’re telling stories so people are attracted to your business and they want to learn more. They can’t help … At some point, a real conversation is going to be started by this thing and people are going to start giving you feedback, “Oh, I love what you’re doing there or I wish it had this. I wish it had that,” right?
CJ: Absolutely, yeah. And I think the other key point here though for pre‐revenue is that one of the biggest things, video specifically is not just a marketing tool. We’ve worked with a number of startups where we’ll actually create videos for them as a tool for raising capital.
I’ve actually had a client who, they have a med device and they came to us. We produced just a couple of short videos that were from their trials where the product is actually being used. The device is being used and we’re showing the real‐time results proving that it works. And they’re actually using that in their pitches to investors and it’s really helping out. I actually had a conversation recently with the CEO and he was telling me, “Our first rounds,” because this was there, I believe their series A round. And they’re telling me that their first round, their seed round, they would talk to these investors and show charts, graphs, statistics. And no matter what they threw at the investors, they’d be met with skepticism. But when they showed this short one to two‐minute video that’s showing their device being used and showing that it actually works, by that time, the investors, they’re hooked. They believe in the product. That’s just one example of how video can be used aside from just marketing but as a tool specifically for biotech and life science brands to help them get ahead and get the edge.
Of course, there are some technical considerations when it comes to introducing video and a pitch to investors. There are some risks there and you definitely want to make sure your technology is dialed in. You don’t want any hiccups there but that’s certainly achievable and something that might make sense for certain companies. Even just for purely just recruiting top talent, we’ve used videos for things like that. As I said, it’s really not just a marketing tool. Video can be used for so many things on so many different scales.
Chris: And I think people should keep in mind that, yeah, if you’re shooting even a product video or you’re getting ready to make this marketing video or an investor video, that a lot of the expense that goes to you is just showing up with all your gear. And you’re on site and maybe there’s idle time between shots but shoot something. And then think about all the other ways you’re going to be able to use it down the road whether it’s B‐ roll or A‐roll and recruiting and all those other things that you can get a lot out of it for the time you’re spending on site.
CJ: Yeah, absolutely. I’m a huge fan of repurposing content. Again, as long as though we’re always keeping in mind our north star, that outcome that we’re looking to drive. But once we’re in there, and we’re actually creating content however we can repurpose it to ensure that we’re getting the most bang for the buck and getting the most results for the clients. I’m always a fan of looking at that. Chris: All right. Let’s talk about storytelling. Give some examples beyond what you just did which is a perfectly good example, but stories that companies should be told to get their message across and in an effective way.
CJ: Our motto is “show, don’t tell”. That’s the power of storytelling, is being able to show someone what you’re trying to convey and not just outright say it. One of my biggest pet peeves in marketing is when brands, and you see this a lot in the B2B space throughout these broad buzz words like, “We’re innovative, we’re disruptive, we’re game changers.” And that’s fine and those are great traits to aspire to but when you’re using that in your marketing materials whether it’s video or websites or whatever, it doesn’t really do much for the audience because, for one, we’ve heard those terms so many times.
We’re almost numb to them. And it’s kind of a cliché and there’s no proof. There’s no reason to actually believe that. That’s one example of where I think story is really powerful is, instead of saying that you’re innovative, try telling a story of a way that you’ve innovated in your industry or the way you’ve innovated on your products or something you’ve actually done that is innovative, and that will go a lot further.
And it might feel risky to say, well, we’re not outright saying that we’re innovative but that’s what we want the audience to know. But the beauty of storytelling is that it’s one of the oldest forms of communication and everyone can relate and that relatability is what we want to strive for. And so being able to really tell a story that supports what you want your audience to understand rather than just outright stating it really goes a lot deeper. And there’s science to why that works too. There’s science to why people get addicted and go on binges with TV shows it’s because of the story. The story hooks us in it. It keeps us interested.
That’s why it’s so important and why storytelling is really such a buzzword right now. Going back to even content marketing, people are at an increasing rate cutting the cord as they say. TV is dropping. People are going to Netflix or Hulu and anyway they can really get away from advertising is a big thing. One of our big mental shifts in the thing that we like to look at when we’re working with clients is how do we make this video content that we’re producing for a brand or a product, how do we make that the TV show and not the commercials in between the TV shows? Something that’s actually interesting and engaging to the audience. Like I said before, it all comes down to understanding your audience and knowing them and knowing what truly matters to them.
Far too many businesses, I think, and I don’t mean to downplay other companies I’ve fallen to this pitfall myself sometimes but I think so far too often in business, we tend to talk about ourselves. “Here’s why we’re so great,” or “Here are awards we’ve won,” or “What makes our product so awesome.” And again, there’s no reason for the audience to care about that until we established that reason. And so it’s really starting with making the audience the hero of the story and making them the main character and really making sure that our marketing kind of all revolves around the audience and what their needs are. It’s kind of a long way to answering your question, but ultimately, it’s really the stories, that show don’t tell and are relatable to the audience that is most effective to brands.
Chris: Yeah, I don’t think we can hammer that home enough. That certainly has come up previously on the podcast. But you can’t say it enough about telling a story. People remember those things. They go deeper and it’s about making the audience the hero and not yourself. Let’s wrap up by … We had a previous conversation we talked about building marketing into the product, and really not every product can have marketing built‐in maybe like an iPhone, but making customer experience, starting that customer experience journey even before the launch, for example, of biotech is pre‐revenue. Talk about that and how video fits into that.
CJ: As I spoke to before, obviously, marketing should be a part of the conversation early on. For video specifically, some of the ways that video can be useful are, again, proof of concept. Sometimes, we’ll produce videos for a biotech startup when they’re at the napkin stage. We just have an idea that we don’t even have a prototype but we want to get proof of concept. Creating these videos and taking them to trade shows or investor meetings to get that feedback on the concept is really huge. And then there’s even more very tactical, ninja ways to where if you’re creating certain ads and you can kind of split test these audiences and these creatives to see what people respond to the most. And that can help inform marketing as well. I think it really is just kind of looking holistically, what is the purpose of our business really. What are we trying to achieve for this audience and how can we work from the onset to ensure that our communications are aligned and further feed into the actual R&D process?
Chris: Yeah. It’s never too early to start telling that story and getting that conversation started. I think all this has been hugely informative, and I’m going to recommend people visit your site. Can I put a link in the show notes? Where should people go to find out more about you?
CJ: Yeah, for sure. A website is a great place, just WondertreeMedia.com. And then if people want to actually click over to the Insights tab, that’s actually our blog. And there’s a lot more that kind of dives into being able to create content or look at how you can create more effective marketing messaging whether it’s a biotech or really any sort of business. There’s a lot of really great video and blog content in there. Just one thing I want to mention too as well for brands and businesses that are starting to look at actually producing video whether doing it themselves or hiring a firm is just understanding that kind of like we started in the beginning, it’s not enough just to produce a video. It’s really about understanding what is the video about. So, for us, 80% of the work is really before we even touch a camera. It’s getting crystal clear on the messaging and ensuring that that’s aligned with the strategy. Just one of the biggest pieces of advice that I give to businesses who are looking to hire a team or create video content is doing the proper vetting and making sure that somebody is in charge of helping out with that. We’re not just hiring, say, videographers or video team who understand lights and cameras which is amazing and can get you high‐quality content but ensuring that there’s that messaging component as well that’s accounted for.
Chris: Great advice. Well, CJ Thomas, thank you so much for spending the time with me today.
CJ: Yeah, you got it. Thanks, Chris. I really appreciate it and enjoyed the conversation.
When you’re setting out to create a new marketing campaign, website, or any other promotional materials one of the most important things you can do is audience research. In the old days, this was accomplished by compiling expensive focus groups and making a best-educated guess as to what the consumer ultimately wants.
Luckily, the internet has opened up a myriad of ways for us to gain valuable insights into our target audience without spending tons of money or even having to have an existing audience.
Still, many people are not taking advantage of the free tools that when used properly can help you get that edge for your marketing to create a more compelling message that drives the desired action you’re looking for.
Here are two of our favorite “ninja” ways to research a target audience and really learn about their online behaviors, challenges, desires, lifestyle, and even the way they speak about your industry.
Facebook Audience Insights Tool
Audience insights is a great tool that Facebook offers to advertisers that utilize the platform. However, the good news is that you do not need to spend money on Facebook Ads to utilize this tool. All you need to do is set up a Facebook Ad account (which is free to set up) if you don’t already have one.
Audience Insights is great because it allows you to find out some really valuable information about the audience that you’re looking to reach. You can learn about things like:
Basic demographics like age, location, and gender
Lifestyle information like relationship status, job roles, and education level
Audience interests like publications, influencers, brands, etc
Online behavior including the devices that your audience use
All you have to do is open up the Audience Insights tool, then start adding interests, job roles, and any other information that you already have on your target audience. Then Facebook Audience Insights will show you valuable data gathered from Facebook users.
Be sure to watch the video above to learn how to use the tool and see some examples.
Review Sites (Amazon, Yelp, etc)
Another great way to learn about your target audience is by looking at online review sites like Yelp and Amazon.
You can look at not only your own reviews but also the reviews of competitors or other products/services that your target audience may use. By spending time reading reviews left by your target audience you will gain a lot of valuable insight into what their challenges, pain points, desires, and frustrations are.
The other really great thing about reading review sites is that you begin to learn the language of your audience.
As marketers and business owners, we can sometimes fall into the trap of creating our own “sexy” language of what we think our audience wants to hear. We use phrases like “innovation” or “technologically advanced”.
However, as humans, we resonate stronger with people (or brands) that look and sound just like us. As you are looking through reviews on your products or related products, be sure to pay attention and take note of the phrases that people are using to describe their challenges or the benefits they are seeking. These will be powerful for you to keep in mind when writing copy for ads or marketing materials.
Audience research can actually be a lot of fun when you start to get real data and information that will help inspire new ideas for content, advertising, and even product development. Take advantage of these tools and let us know how it works out for you!
What one thing do all of the best stories ever told, having common that you can actually take and implement in your marketing and advertising to get more results?
The world of marketing and advertising is largely focused around this question of how do we capture an audience’s attention and then maintain that attention over time.
What if I told you that there is a common characteristic shared among all of the best stories ever told, whether it’s through books, television shows, and movies that you can actually take and implement in your marketing and advertising to get more results.
All great stories have one thing…
What we’re talking about here is the importance of having conflict in your marketing and advertising. Simply put, conflict is the challenge or obstacle that needs to be overcome or the question in the viewer’s mind that they have to continue watching or continue reading to find out the answer.
It’s important to remember that conflict doesn’t always have to be this big dramatic catastrophe. Again, sometimes it’s as simple as a question that you put in the viewer’s mind.
Why is conflict so important for you to use in your marketing and advertising?
When we use conflict, we can guide our audience to where they should put their attention. This is because as humans we usually pay attention to things that need answers or needs solving.
Here’s a perfect example. One of the most popular television shows in recent history is Breaking Bad. How boring would Breaking Bad have been if nothing bad ever happened to Walter White?
Nobody would watch the show.
How to implement conflict in your marketing
At the simplest level, start by thinking about what challenges or pain points that your audience faces that your product or service actually solves. Starting with this rather than just coming right out the gate with your features and benefits is going to make your marketing more engaging and more effective.
Even better, this is where story comes in for your marketing and advertising. Let’s say you’re doing client testimonials. Nobody wants to sit and watch or read somebody speaking point blank about how great your company is. But if they start with a story about a problem that they faced or something that stood in the way of them getting what they want and then how you actually helped them get there, that’s going to be so much more relatable to the audience and again, hold their attention because they want to stick around and find out what happens.
What we’re doing by implementing conflict is we’re creating what’s called “open loops” in the viewer’s mind. This is what piques their interests and keeps them engaged so they want to find out what the answer. At this point, you will start to see higher engagement rates, longer watch times, and ultimately better results.
So go ahead and give this a try for yourself. When you’re looking at a new marketing campaign or a piece of copy, ask yourself, what’s the conflict here? Is this enough to pique the audience’s interests and does it ultimately lead to our key message to what we’re trying to deliver? As always, let me know your thoughts in the comments. How have you used conflict in the past? Be sure to share this with a friend.
One of our clients who owns a successful business called me one day to tell me that one of his videos had gone viral. I can remember the excitement in his voice as we spoke on the phone.
He was thrilled that one of his videos finally caught traction and achieved “virality”. The short 25-second video which was a comedic piece had gained over 1,000 organic shares within a day or so of posting.
But can you guess what impact this had on his business?
In fact, most of the attention and comments were coming from a country that he didn’t even serve.
Of course, this was a one-off case. Maybe you sell internationally and you would love to get the extra attention no matter the region.
But there is a better approach.
Should you aim for viral?
As a video focused company, it’s not uncommon for clients to come to us with the hope of making a video go viral. And we completely understand. In this noisy internet world, it’s more important than ever to do things that will make your brand stand out and help gain awareness.
However, in many cases, viral is not the right goal. First, let’s look at some numbers.
There are over 4 million hours of video uploaded to YouTube every single day. And that’s just YouTube! Not to mention the millions of videos be posted to Facebook each day. Of those videos, only a fraction of a percent actually go viral. And those videos typically have nothing to do with a brand. They are cat videos, fail videos, memes, ect.
Aside from the fact that virality is usually a matter of luck, synchronicity, and magic fairy dust, going viral typically doesn’t have much impact on your business. Or at least not enough to justify the number of hours and attempts it would take to actually have a video go viral.
What should you focus on instead?
Imagine you were presented with two options.
Outcome 1 is that your video will go “viral” among 1 million people who may or may not be likely to purchase your product or service. They may not even be close to your target market or in a country where they can buy.
Outcome 2 is that your video goes “viral” among 1,000 people who are much more likely to purchase your offering and are qualified to buy.
I want to be clear. It’s not about thinking smaller and lowering your goal. It’s about specificity and making sure that your video objective is mapped to your business objectives.
Choose a more targeted approach.
While outcome 1 might feel better because it reached 1 million people, that’s just a vanity win. Over the short term, outcome 2 will get you more immediate purchases. Over the long term, a good sized group of those 1000 people will become fans and advocates of your brand spreading awareness even further.
It’s important to ensure that every video for your business is tied to a tangible goal. Whether it’s awareness, recruiting, or direct sales.
Rather than focusing on going viral, get more specific on a small group to go “viral” among that will become customers and loyal evangelists. This is why it’s so important to understand your audience.
3 Tips for how to create more shareable content
It is still a beneficial exercise to look at what it is that makes a video viral. Although there are many factors that go into a video achieving virality, here are 3 critical elements that you can apply to your content creation strategy:
The first key trait of creating shareable content is relevance. Is the content relevant to the target audience? So how do we go about creating relevance? Well, you can check out websites like Google Trends to do a quick search and see what topics might be trending in your industry that are getting more traction and ultimately going to be more relevant to the audience.
But it doesn’t always have to tie to this big trending topic or news article, sometimes it’s as simple asking, what common pinpoints or challenges or experiences will the members of my target audience share and relate with?
2. Emotional Response
The second key characteristic of shareable content is that it elicits an emotional response, whether it’s anger sadness, laughter, nostalgia. It’s these emotional responses that inspires your audience to share this content with their community.
The third and final thing to consider is the distribution plan. Believe it or not most viral ads or viral pieces of content still have an initial push to get them out there. Whether it’s paid advertising or media outlets, so what you want to think about is what key platforms or avenues or key people can you reach out to and give your content an initial push.
You never want to put a piece of content up and then just hope that people find it.
Consider these elements when creating any content for your brand, not just video.
In conclusion, when setting out to create a video or marketing campaign, choose the goal that is most going to help your business. Then use that as your north star to guide the creative and strategic decision making. If you want to go viral to build awareness, go a level deeper and ask yourself what group of potential true fans you want to go “viral” among.
Let me know your thoughts in the comments and feel free to share with a friend.