Some marketers have become hyper fixated on the idea of creating viral videos for their brands. After all, who doesn’t love the idea of getting millions - maybe billions - of impressions without a media buy. But here’s the truth: Viral video is something incredibly difficult for marketers to achieve. The mere fact the message is coming from a company can limit its ability to go viral. More importantly, the things that make a video go viral are not necessarily the things that make for a strong brand message.
Sure you can probably think of a few brand videos that went viral. But when you really look under the hood, most of them are the results of extensive PR campaigns, celebrity involvement, or strong brand affinity built over decades of traditional marketing.
That being said, our industry is full of amazing creativity. Maybe the video you’re working on right now will be the thing everyone is talking about tomorrow. But here are some things you can do to make sure you deliver on your KPIs if you’re not feeling the viral vibe right now.
Promote your content
This is not the same as buying followers or likes. Promoting content on Instagram or TikTok is like buying the express pass at an amusement park. It puts you in the front of the line to be shown to audiences who are most likely to engage with your video. You can keep your content more pure to your brand without having to worry about using trending filters or sounds, jumping on a current social conversation, or having to digitally press flesh to bring people to your post. Often, the money spent boosting content is less than the cost of investing in the resources necessary to make a video go viral.
Post more often
Instead of devoting time and resources to creating one big video that you think could go viral, produce several simpler (yet still relevant) videos. While each one might deliver smaller numbers, the cumulative effect can be a more connected audience with an increased likelihood to see your content in the future
Partner with an established creator
There are many social listening tools and platform marketplaces that allow you to find creators who have active audiences that are relevant to what your brand stands for. While we’ve all heard the stories of the millionaire influencers, a vast majority of creators can be activated at a budget most brands can afford. Plus, the cost of partnering with a creator can offset the expense of spending resources trying to game the algorithm. We’ll have a dedicated article on working with creators coming soon.
Bottom line: Don’t hinge the success of your social campaign on something very few brands have ever been able to achieve when there are proven ways to reach your audience.
Daniel Quentin Zuber
Co-Founder of 2113 Labs and influencer in trance music, cyberpunk, and vaporwave culture on Instagram and TikTok @therealquentinZ.