Thanks to the emergence of digital technologies, the internet and social sharing websites, the face of global marketing has changed dramatically over the last twenty years or so.
These days, no company is going to throw huge chunks of their marketing budget at expensive, traditional advertising forms when they can produce a successful viral ad for a fraction of the price.
Virals, as the name suggests, have the ability to spread to millions of different people in a very short space of time, while their cost-effectiveness means that they hold considerable appeal for cash-strapped companies looking to create a marketing sensation.
So, how can you make a viral video capable of generating millions of online hits? As you may have expected, it isn’t as easy as it looks…
Don’t write an ad
Viral adverts aren’t like conventional marketing activities. The more you try to ‘sell’ a product or service in your viral, the less likely it will be to take off online.
Some of the most successful viral ads have only a very tenuous connection to the thing they’re designed to promote, but the fact that millions of people will be exposed to the associated brand is enough to guarantee their marketing success.
However, the ultimate aim of any marketing activity is to generate profits for the business so ensure that a viral campaign isn’t run in isolation with no follow-up revenue generating activity.
Do something different
Viral ads are all about thought leadership – no-one is going to share your video if it’s something they’ve seen before. While you may be tempted to follow a template set out by others before you, you’re unlikely to make much of a splash if you’re simply retreading a well-worn path.
Be visually engaging
Online video is primarily a visual medium, so if you want to keep your viewers watching until the end before reaching for those social share buttons, you need to do something visually bombastic. If your idea is suitably amazing, you’re likely to see that YouTube view counter creep up and up…
Invoke an emotional response
The best viral ads make people feel something – whether it’s the ‘aww factor’ of a cute animal, the jaw-dropping dynamism of an incredible stunt or the sudden shock of an unexpected scare. Doing something new, engaging and unexpected is a sure-fire way of getting people watching your video, sharing it with their friends and spreading it around the world.
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