Agencies like to say they offer content marketing services without specifying what the service entails. But we think you should know what you’re paying for. In this post, we’ll go over one of the sub-services that fall under the content marketing umbrella: video marketing. Understanding how the process works can help justify the spend, so we’ll get pretty detailed! We’ll also cover some companies that are rocking video marketing and share some tips on how to make your videos go viral.
What is Content Marketing?
Before we get into video marketing, we want to make sure you know exactly how content marketing is defined.
Content marketing is the creation and sharing of online material that encourages interest in the company’s products or services without outright promoting the brand.
It can include everything from videos to blogs to social media posts, and usually encompasses a combination of all.
You may not realize it, but you probably already have some content marketing going for you. If you have any articles on your site that are related to your niche industry but don’t necessarily have a hard sell, you’re well on your way to content marketing gold. If people are visiting your site to be informed or entertained, that’s content marketing.
Video Marketing that Rocks Your Socks Off
A couple companies that have already done an AMAZING job with their video marketing campaigns are J29 Creative and Crema. These guys cover videos about their company and the services they offer in addition to instructional videos and advice videos.
J29 Creative is one of the companies that really knows how to reach their target audience.
They do an AMAZING job building a community on social media and sharing their content through their social media accounts. Instead of just sharing through their own pages, they join Facebook groups for Kansas City business owners/entrepreneurs and share their content through these groups. They’re targeting people who actually have a need for this information—those who don’t have the funds to hire an agency yet, but still want to incorporate video marketing into their business model. Just because these viewers aren’t clients YET doesn’t mean they won’t remember your videos and request your services later down the road.
They also created a Facebook group, Social Media Dojo Kansas City, to network with other Kansas City residents, share social media ideas and solve problems.
Crema’s video thumbnails do everything right, telling the viewer what they can expect from the video (title overlaid on image), maintaining a consistent color scheme, and incorporating unique graphics in the background. You know before you even click the link that you’re about to watch a high-quality video.
They do a great job adding animated text to their videos, incorporating subtitles for those who are hearing impaired, and using actors that aren’t camera-shy. Crema’s video on making a Thanksgiving Dinner doesn’t have much to do with their brand, but it’s entertaining and shareable. People want to see that your brand has a personality, and these types of videos prove that they have something to offer.
How to Go Viral
There’s no guarantee that your video will be a hit, but there are some tactics you can try out to see if your video’s ‘virality’ is boosted. In addition to actual content, you’ll need to do a stellar job promoting your video and getting the right people involved. Promotion occurs outside digital channels as well; Get employees to spread the word about your video, or reach out to micro-influencers in your community asking them to share. Kansas City’s major, Sly James, frequently promotes organizations and people on Twitter that are helping out KC. Why not shoot high?
On top of getting influencers to share your stuff, get influencers to star in your videos! Influencers don’t have to be celebrities. Find someone who’s an expert in your industry, or ask someone who’s previously been featured in a viral video to appear in yours. Then, ask them if they can share the video through their channels as well. This may be a pricey venture, so use your connection to see if you have a friend of a friend that went viral as a child.
Crank Up the Positivity
Normal people have RBF. Talk show hosts don’t. In fact, you might wonder if people like Ellen DeGeneres even know HOW to frown. This is due to a strange phenomenon: we enjoy watching upbeat, happy things. The most shareable content has a positive or upbeat note. You might embody this in your videos by explaining the story of a successful team project. What people enjoy the most are stories about overcoming an obstacle or doing something good for someone (ie: Oprah’s giveaways, Extreme Makeover Home Edition).
Inspire Your Audience
In addition to being positive, you should try to incorporate inspirational videos. These could be underdog stories of success or stories of standing up in the face of adversity. This video featured on ABC News does just that. They had teachers from Oak Park High School film students as they told the student how important and appreciated they are. The video’s title “Teachers Tell Individual Students How Special They Are, Tears Ensue” appeals to our natural inclination toward tear-jerking stories. Happy tears really are the best, which is why ‘What Would You Do’ is so universally popular.
Sometimes I feel like a grandma when my younger siblings talk about the latest memes or dance moves that have suddenly picked up popularity (really? dabbing?), but it’s important to stay up-to-date with trends if you want to create a viral video. Join Twitter to see what’s trending in the political sphere, and watch TMZ to get the latest celebrity updates. If you don’t have time to scour the web for trends, subscribe to one of these News Aggregator websites.
Spoofs are the best way to monopolize on trending topics; tailor a popular video to your industry and see what happens! No matter how much you might look down on the masses, they’re the ones you’re trying to appeal to. Make sure the topic is in line with your brand though—it would be weird if Bank of America did a video about the Kardashians.
Stir the Pot
If you want your video to go viral, you need to do more than just publish and share. Interact with your fans to encourage loyalty after the video hype wears down. You want them to like you (the producer) just as much as the video to gain a long-term following. You can interact with your audience by answering fan questions, addressing topic requests in live webinars and staying active on the corresponding social media accounts. Responding to YouTube comments is also a good way to answer questions.
Employ Young Talent
Who doesn’t like cute kids? Unless you’re Oscar the Grouch or Scrooge, you probably have a soft spot for the little minions. One way you can monopolize on their natural appeal is by featuring them in your videos. You can use websites like GIGSalad to find young talent in your area, or take a leaf from AT&T and go off-script. Let kids talk naturally about your product/service and see what hilarity ensues. Framing a video as an interview with children can be hilarious when you have some chatty toddlers in the mix. ETRADE’s baby commercials went viral and didn’t even require that the babies say anything—they incorporated brilliant voice-overs. Just make sure you go over state labor laws first!
And a Quick Break…
Just for fun (and to give you a break from this long read) we’ve included a list of some of our favorite viral videos. Notice how each video is completely different; one involves an unscripted child, one comes directly from a brand and a couple make it big because of a catchy song. Make sure you come back and finish the read one you’re done!
- Charlie Bit My Finger
- Pants on the Ground
- Here It Goes Again
- Always #LikeAGirl Ad
- Escaping Baby Pandas
- Potter Puppet Pals
If you’ve released a video but notice that no one is commenting, there’s a trick that can help get the ball rolling:
Ask employees to be the first to comment on the video, or comment using your personal YouTube account.
If you really want the comments section to explode, stir up controversy with your comment. A simple ‘nice video!’ isn’t going to create a conversation, but bringing up how a hot topic issue relates to the video will. You may have to create multiple accounts for commenting in the beginning. Don’t be afraid to delete comments that take it too far, but keep in mind that controversial comments can sometimes bring even more traffic to your video.
To learn more about how you can implement your own video marketing campaign, check our part 1 and part 2 of our Video Marketing for Dummies series. In these posts, we cover proper equipment, optimizing videos, writing a script, and more! If you’d rather leave it to the professionals, contact us to learn more about how our contact marketing services can benefit your business.