How to Use the Power of Video in Viral Marketing Campaigns

When SEO Help was launched at the beginning of last year it was my idea to request a short video to be made to help promote it. I remember, at the time, the publisher’s reaction was one of uncertainty as to the value of promoting a book on search engine optimisation and internet marketing with a YouTube video.

It took a couple of months of pestering before they agreed and ‘SEO Help Book’ was put up:

 Within a month it had over 2,000 views and SEO Help was dominating the best-selling charts in the US, the UK and Canada.

The fact that video helped SEO Help to do so well made it a lot easier to convince them that Online Marketing Help also needed to have a book trailer.

The video for Online Marketing Help was slicker and punchier and a lot more dynamic:

It is slowly aggregating views and hits and it is, judging by some of the emails I get from readers, beginning to feed into the book’s sales. What started this post however was a question I was asked on how a video trailer on a non-fiction SEO book could have such an impact on its sales figures and for that I will give you the same analysis I give on anyone marketing a product or a service who is thinking of creating a video.


Two Video Marketing Types Available

First, when it comes to videos you need to decide what it is there to do. If the video is to inform then you need to make a video which is factual, probably features you in some way and delivers a message about a particular product or service you offer with the sheer intent of telling your audience something they may not know and demonstrating your expertise.

One example is Daniel Ha, founder of social commenting system, Disqus, talking about it, via Skype on a YouTube Channel:

Another great example of a marketing video which demonstrates expertise is Anita Renfroe who, in a moment of inspiration, uses the William Tell overture to sing an extraordinary ode to the battle of motherhood and children, establishing in one fell swoop both her credentials as a comedienne and her claim of ‘Keeping it Real’. Watch the video (it has over half a million views on YouTube) and think that’s great marketing!

Then you get a video like The Old Spice Man commercial which registered over 30 million hits on YouTube and revitalized the brand for Procter & Gamble. This video has it all: fantastic writing, great novelty, knowing humour and sex-appeal to both men (the humour and knowing smiles) and women (Isaiah Mustafa’s chiselled abs).

Check out the Old Spice Video below and you will instantly get why it worked like magic for the marketing of Old Spice.

What your Video Needs to Have

The danger with prescription is that the moment I say you need to have two from the left column and one from the right and maybe three quarters of the one in the middle you will think that this really is all there is to it and you are set to go.

The truth is a little more prosaic. While it is true you need some elements in your video which will help your online marketing it is also necessary to understand that video, like SEO, and the detailed guidelines included in Online Marketing Help are just tools.

In marketing your business you are trying to do a very specific thing. Maybe it is to increase brand awareness. Maybe you want some new customers. Perhaps you need to cast your net wide on a trawl for new customer profiles and demographics. Or now is the time to launch a new product or offer a new service. The thing is whatever you want to do will also inform and in many ways shape the video you create. Having a ‘tool’ is not enough, you need to know how to use it in each case, to achieve what you want.

With this in mind it is perhaps time to see what the ingredients for a great marketing video are:

1. Keep it short – while there are videos which stretch to ten minutes or more and they do have a decent number of views by far, the greatest majority of videos are under the two minute mark. If you need to cover a lot you can stretch this to five minutes but if you go beyond that, the chances are that your video will have a massive hurdle to overcome straightaway.

2. Make it compelling – you may be making a video about the latest anoraks or the trendiest new kettles. It really does not matter. If you cannot get enthusiastic about it then your viewers won’t either.

3. Make it real – unless you have a sizeable budget and some people behind you, you will be both the brains behind the video and the face in front of the camera. Most people seize the opportunity to come across like second hand car salesmen. Resist the temptation and inject a measure of reality into what you do. Make it conversational and engaging. Create a structured beginning, middle and end, because it also has to have a narrative. Start with a problem and provide a solution.

4. Make sure it has value – you may go for a promotional video for your business or one which offers factual information. Either way make sure that your video actually has real value to offer to those who see it.

It’s all obvious, right? Yes, and that’s what makes it hard to explain all the bad videos that get made each day. If you are handling everything yourself practice, practice, practice and look at the video you have created not with the rosy-coloured glasses of the creator gazing fondly upon his creation but with the critical eyes of the potential customer seeing it for the first time and assessing whether it meets their needs.

Some Facts About Video and Internet Marketing

The latest statistics regarding marketing and videos show that the use of video on a website increases the average time visitors spend on a page by as long as two minutes.

The use of video on a page can increase your SEO pull by as much as 96% provided the video has been properly optimised.

The use of video in a viral campaign increases its chances of spreading across the web by as much as 75%.

Now that you know all this I hope you start planning your video