The secret of sharing

The secret of sharing

Long gone are the days when a viral video is all it takes to make a brand or product famous. In fact, the bar of what it takes to ‘go viral’ continues to be raised. A video of a pelican chick taking its first flight (with a GoPro camera strapped to its beak) has notched up almost 5 million YouTube views but a dog dressed as a spider achieved impressive 142m views. That is 142 million pairs of eyes engaging with the content…

With leverage like that, it’s understandable why creating a video in the hope of hitting the top 10 viral charts is so appealing. We’ve come up with our list of top tips on creating content that people want to share. However, it comes with a health warning not to put all your eggs in one basket: video should form part of the mix of marketing tools and not relied on to singlehandedly communicate your brand message.

1 Explore – Do your research. Uncover insights and brand truths that can help you tell the best story. Then explore to see whether what you want to do has been done already. Don’t be deterred if it has, find a way to give it your own stamp.

2 Be relevant – The most engaging videos relate to their audience in some way. Do you have a message that will resonate with your audience; will it make them feel you understand them? Are you offering a solution or inspirational message that will make it easy for them to remember you?

3 Create, don’t copy – The most shared videos are ones that are filmed in a way that hasn’t been seen by your audience before. It could be a different angle you shoot from, a different animation technique, or even a different camera. Always look to invent something new and try not to conform.

4 Context is everything – The most clicked on videos are the ones that relate to the moment (or frame of mind) the viewer is in. Look for the topical events that are happening throughout the day, month and year and create video that fits into this moment. Never underestimate the value of being at the right place at the right time.

5 Less is more – The most viewed videos are short form. Make your video short, snappy; snack size if you like. Time is precious so your viewer shouldn’t have to sit with your message for more than a minute. To avoid your audience switching off without understanding your message, make your message brief.

6 Keep it simple – We can all fall foul of trying to squeeze in too many messages into one broadcast. It’s better to create a series of short messages than bombard in one video.

7 Hit the right notes – The most engaging videos have engaging music. A soundtrack makes a video sing from the rooftops. It also makes it memorable. Choose wisely and your audience will be humming your brand song in their sleep.

8 Speak ‘human’, not ‘brand’ – Tone of voice is key to engaging your audience. Say the wrong thing and you’ll lose them. Put yourself in their shoes and speak like them. Don’t be a robot.

9 Smile and the world smiles with you –  People like to laugh. Our research shows that funny content is likely to have a greater impact amongst adults who have interacted with a brand via YouTube (42% vs 22% average). Give your audience something to smile about and they will in turn smile when they think of your brand.

10 Make the content drive conversation beyond the video – End your video with an action rather than a finishing statement. Invite viewers to engage with you beyond the video. Consider inviting them to create their own video content, write a comment or even enter in a competition. Make your video work hard for you.