Viral videos get millions of views but do they really help companies grow? Contributions to the revenue stream are possible when the videos connect with people that use the products or services. Without that connection, a video is little more than entertainment.
It’s hard to remember that the real objective is to sell products and services when creating videos. The allure of virality is too strong. After all, do a few thousand dollars of sales really compare to a million views?
One question I’m asked on a regular basis is, “why aren’t my videos viral?” Here are my top ten answers:
- Your target audience is too small. If the only people in the world interested in your video are your parents, don’t expect millions of views.
- You didn’t optimize for search. The search engine bots don’t read “video”. Add text filled with good keywords so your videos will show up for the right people. (Don’t bother if the video is for Mom & Dad. Send them an email with a link.)
- Your videos don’t fill a need. Viral activity happens when people share content with each other. If there is nothing in your video worth sharing, nothing will happen.
- Your PR campaign didn’t work. This usually happens because there ISN’T a PR campaign in place. Contrary to social media lore, reporters don’t spend their days scouring YouTube for videos. (If they did, nothing would ever be reported.)
- Your videos are too long. People have the attention span of a gnat these days. Keep videos under four minutes to maximize the exposure.
- Your videos are boring. Yep, that’s right, BOOOORRRRRING. Of course it’s almost impossible to make some topics exciting, but give it a try.
- You are unlucky. Odds are that you’ll win the lottery or be struck by lightning before you have a viral video. Buy a ticket, get a lightning rod, and make a video. You might as well cover your bases.
- You didn’t hire the right SMEE (social media expert extraordinaire). There are people who promise that they will make your videos viral. So you know, those promises aren’t really guarantees, they are more like wishes. If you think that you need a SMEE, read number four again.
- You don’t have cats and dancing babies in your videos. It’s a sad but true fact – cute and funny are requirements for viral videos. (Gross and disgusting works too, but who wants THAT associated with their brand?)
- You aren’t making and posting videos. The only true guarantee for viral videos is that you won’t have one if you don’t post one. To win it, you have to be in it.