10 tips to get a campaign to go viral

imageCustomers pay agencies to create campaigns and their brief is to get these campaigns to go viral and get everyone talking.  Think about the Old Spice video that gained phenomenal views, interaction and sales after its launch at the Superbowl last year? Remember too – the Evian video with roller-skating babies? All were very successful for the brand resulting in increased awareness, impressions and sales.

Marketers want to create compelling and original content that goes viral.  The most successful campaigns have been with video and interactive campaigns.  With marketers getting clever with their online ad placements, the cost of getting wider coverage for your video based campaign is going to come down.  Videos are shared across Facebook and Twitter, mentioned on blogs and added to emails. The challenge is getting the video to go viral in the first place.

Well there is NO guaranteed way to get a video or any other content to go viral, but based on some of the best viral campaigns, I’ve seen, here are some tips to try to get your campaign video to go viral:

      • Seeding.  Don’t just use YouTube for your campaign.  Seed your video in other places where it will be picked up by other online viewers.  There are many different video hosting platforms – more than just Vimeo. 
      • Emotional.  Tap into peoples emotions.  Whether it’s cute babiesamazing achievements, human discomfort or erotic imagery, remember to make the emotional connection
      • Sex sells (see the Kylie Minogue video which was banned for being too raunchy.  It got great visibility for Agent Provocateur
      • Put the user in control.  Remember Subservient chicken, Elf Yourself or Tippex?  All of these involved audience participation.  You told the chicken what to do.  You determined whether the hunter shoots a bear, or dances with it.  You created those dancing Elves.  It was fun. you passed it on to your friends and they passed it on to their friends.
      • Have strong visualsThe Dove Campaign for real beauty was used as an example of how distorted our perceptions of the beauty industry have become.
      • Give it a catchy tune.  The United breaks guitars video went viral very quickly due to its song.  Think how many other songs stick in your brain – even when you don’t want them too
      • Make it amazing.  The Will it Blend videos have increased the company profits fivefold and made an unlikely superstar out of the CEO
      • Make it realistic.  T-mobile have a channel in which almost every video goes viral.  From the images of the Royal Wedding party dancing to singing to passengers arriving at Terminal 5, they’ve got lots of the elements to make their videos go viral.
      • Give focus.  This Transport for London video urging people to look out for cyclists certainly made people look again.
      • Consider Multiple formats.  The Compare the market campaign and the Cravendale milk campaign both have a co-ordinated TV, YouTube, Twitter and Facebook presence. This gives as wide as possible visibility to the campaign and ensures sharing across all the different media formats.

Don’t forget to hire a set of talented, creative, innovative and resourceful people on your team who are flexible and adaptable.  And be prepared to spend your budget to get a quality end product. But most of all – don’t forget to measure, measure and measure your success…

 

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