Everything About Viral Video Marketing
Today, there are over 120 million videos on YouTube, and millions more on other web video services. With so many videos, how can you put together a video viral marketing campaign that people watch? The best viral video marketing campaigns can bring thousands or even tens of thousands of new customers to your firm's website, but the worst ones can push people away. Keep reading to find out how to make your video viral marketing fresh, exciting, and engaging in order to maximize your return on investment.
Viral Video Marketing: The Basics
Viral marketing just refers to marketing that expands its reach through word of mouth or social media channels, rather than by paid-for spots online or on television. When this kind of advertising works, it's great for your firm: it means that you're not paying for distribution. In essence, visitors to your video's web page, as well as social media networks, are footing the bill, using their time and hosting to put your message out there.
The reason that it's called viral marketing is that when your viral video marketing is successful, it will be “contagious”—people who see it will spread it to others, who will spread it to still others, and so on. The art of creating great video viral marketing depends on making your ad as contagious as possible.
Why Does Most Viral Video Marketing Fail?
One of the greatest advertising minds of the 20th century, Howard Luck Gossage, summed up his advertising philosophy this way: “People don't read ads. People read what's interesting to them, and sometimes it's an ad.” His advertising techniques included interesting, sometimes off-the-wall copy and promotions, including a giveaway of a kangaroo for Qantas airlines.
Gossage would undoubtedly have been a terrific viral marketer, because most video viral marketing fails when marketing professionals ignore his advice. People read (and watch) what is most interesting to them, without much concern over whether it's an advertisement or not. If you make an ad that's very interesting, such as Honda's “cog” commercial, which showed a Rube Goldberg machine to emphasize their precision engineering, people won't just watch—they'll tell their friends.
Not every piece of video viral marketing will succeed. That's bound to be true, even if all of them are great—there's simply not enough time in the day to watch so many videos, so people will inevitably gravitate toward some. Because so few law firms are currently using viral video marketing, though, there's still time to get in on the ground floor and be one of the pioneers that becomes talked about for years to come.
Beating the Odds: Making Viral Video Marketing Work For You
Since video viral marketing is all about making someone so interested that they don't just watch your video, they share it, it's absolutely critical to think of what clients really want. Some criminal defense attorneys have successfully used video viral marketing by making guides about traffic stops and what you should do if you are questioned or detained by police.
Sure, this kind of video viral marketing might not directly advertise for the firm's services (though they'll always emphasize calling a lawyer), but showing a competent attorney who knows what he or she is talking about gives your firm great name recognition. This kind of viral video marketing can also generate inquiries from the press or from groups looking to book speakers.
Give a lot of thought to who is representing your law firm through video viral marketing. If YouTube users see someone old, monotonous, and unengaging representing your firm, you probably won't have much luck (unless you were able to book Ben Stein). Pick someone who's genuinely interesting—the person at your firm who tells the best stories and quickly becomes the center of attention at social gatherings.
You may also want to implement some sort of giveaway using viral video marketing. Consider having a video contest, with voting through Facebook, in which the winner gets free legal services of some type. You can tailor this kind of video viral marketing to your firm's exact specialty area, and the best part is this: because potential clients are coming up with the videos, they'll link their families and friends.
Don't Make These Viral Video Marketing Mistakes
When you start your video viral marketing campaign, keep in mind that it needs to look different from what's already out there. One of the biggest viral video marketing mistakes you can make is finding out what a successful competitor is doing, then copying it. Just don't do it! The viral web thrives on the new and the different, and copycats are mocked more often than they're lauded.
Make sure that if you have any kind of giveaway or contest, that the rules are clearly stated and that you're prepared to give the prize you've advertised. Failure to do either of these things could result not only in potential lawsuits, but also ethics complaints—not the result you want, especially as a law firm, when you start video viral marketing efforts.
Viral Video Marketing – of the Future!
YouTube viral videos may be dominant right now, but the future may bring new video platforms with enhanced features, like better HD video support and even better cross-platform sharing functionalities. As 3-D television sets become more common, who knows—we may be just a few years away from the world's first 3-D viral video marketing.
The biggest thing you can do to make sure you're prepared for the future with your video viral marketing is to make sure that you're well-connected on all the major social networks. These kinds of connections will prove vital to running a successful campaign, and what's more, they can help you to find out about new networks you're currently missing out on. Your visitors can also use your social media pages to interact with you and create conversations. You can then use these conversations to know what your clients want, and use that information to create the next big viral video marketing campaign.