If you’ve even glimpsed at social media this summer, you’ve seen hundreds of ice buckets being poured on your friends’ heads.
It’s pretty much inescapable.
If you’ve read “Contagious: Why Things Catch On” by Jonah Berger, you’ll recognize that this brilliant philanthropic campaign hits on four of Berger’s sixSTEPPS that drive all of us to hit the “share” button. It created Social currency, utilized Triggers, played on multiple Emotions, and was incredibly Public.
However, what’s most striking is how much of the campaign’s success is owed to its effective use of video as a medium. I doubt the virality of the Ice Bucket Challenge could have been attained through a tweet, status update, or Snapchat.
Consider these two facts:
1. YouTube is 20 times more engaging than Facebook.
2. One minute of video has the effect of 1.8 million written words.
Here are five key methods for pulling off a great video marketing strategy:
1. Make Engaging Content
This one sounds obvious, but your content must be excellent for people to watch it. Above all, it should be authentic and add value to the viewer. People are tired of watching the same sort of ads run repeatedly, so consider how you can create content that people choose to watch, not ads that people are forced to watch.
Related Class: Video Marketing & YouTube 101
2. Know Your Audience
In traditional media, there’s a distinct gap between a brand’s message and the viewer receiving it. Even if you don’t have a driver’s license, you’ll still see car commercials during the nightly news.
With the rise of branded content, companies can create a meaningful message that will be viewed by a very specific audience. YouTube is the second largest search engine behind Google, creating opportunities to provide a meaningful viewing experience for someone actively searching for information on how to use your product or for product reviews.
Refine your target demographic and focus your messaging to reach that audience with content that scratches exactly when and where they itch.
3. Collaborate With YouTubers
Let’s face it: YouTube is incredibly crowded. Rather than try to elbow your way through the most crowded marketplace on earth, find people who have already found success making videos about your target topic and befriend them. YouTubers devote time and energy to planning their videos to maximize engagement and audience retention.
4. Align Your Message and Creator
Be careful when choosing a YouTuber to represent your brand. Not all views on YouTube are created equal. You want to work with creators whose views come from the audience you want to reach. Knowing which YouTubers appeal to that audience is critical.
5. Foster Dynamic Relationships
YouTube is foremost a community of people, which means you can’t buy participation in the same impersonal way you would other advertising inventory. You need to develop healthy and authentic relationships with creators and fans alike if you want to succeed. The better you communicate your commitment to the success of your YouTube influencer partners, the more enthusiastic and authentic the content they create for you will be.
As native branded content takes on a bigger role in digital marketing, it’s time to take video marketing seriously. In 2014, digital advertising spend is expected to hit $137 billion — an annual increase of 14 percent. With all this growth, it’s time to plan your strategy around digital video efforts to maximize your opportunities in this space. Believe me, your bottom line will thank you.