Making Your Direct Marketing Video Go Viral

This blog post that I wrote for Target Marketing Magazine covers seven ideas to get more views for your video and give it a shot at going viral. But before we begin with these ideas, you must remember that you can’t make your video go viral. Only the audience makes that decision. Today in Part 2, we’ll discuss seven strategies to distribute your video that includes reaching your tribe, shared media, owned media, organic discovery, earned media, paid media and retargeting.

#1. Reach your tribe. If you’re a direct marketer, you most likely have a defined list of customers. You can reach your customer through digital channels like email or social media. And if you don’t have a defined list, a video may be a way to start one! More on that topic in a future blog post.

But let’s discuss video distribution to your defined customer list of email addresses, Facebook page liker’s, those who follow you on LinkedIn, Google+, Twitter, or any other social media. These are all examples of where you have an installed base of customers or people who you have opted-in to follow you. Post your video on a landing page of your website and drive traffic to your video using email and your social media connections. Make sure you add an area for comments, and encourage commenting and sharing of your video. Facebook offers a great tool for setting up this whole commenting section. You just drop in some code they supply, and it helps spread your message on Commenter’s Facebook pages, and it won’t cost you a dime.

#2. Shared media. In classic direct marketing terms, you’d call this “friend-get-a-friend.” First, make sure you add social media share buttons on your webpage where you have posted your video. Encouraging people to “like” your video on Facebook means that friends see it and might click on it, too. Hopefully they add their comments and those social endorsements gain you more views. Encourage “retweets.” And in your email messages, enable your customers to email their friends to maximize a “friend-get-a-friend” viral effect.

#3. Owned media. You own your website, and we’ve established already that you’ll post your video there. Include the video in your blog. Or distribute an online press release with your video embedded. Or perhaps you have a bricks and mortar presence so you use an in-store display with a QR code that takes your in-store customers to your video. Load your video to YouTube, and optimize your video with keywords in the file name, title, and tags. Again, be sure to include a “Comments” area, like we mentioned earlier, and encourage people to participate and be sure to click the “like” or “share” buttons.

#4. Organic discovery. We’re now led to your video being discovered organically. In this instance, prospective video viewers go to a search engine to search a specific topic. Because you smartly optimized your video by researching keywords and key phrases, and including those words in the video file name you uploaded, title and tags, your video comes up as an option to watch. And because you wrote a title that not only uses keywords, but that exemplifies your direct marketing copywriting skills, the title is so compelling that people are eager to watch it. Now you’ll generate traffic from sources that were otherwise beyond your reach.

#5. Earned media. This is media that you “earn” with your trusted connections, perhaps influencers in your niche market, or word-of-mouth. This is where you ask people within organizations to post your video to their website or mention it in their blog. Obviously, for earned media to work there must be something in your video that will appeal to the tribes of complementary organizations or influencers.

#6. Paid media. Even if you have customers and a tribe that follows you, you can kick-start your video distribution through buying views. But you should be aware that buying views doesn’t assure quality. It’s just a way to amp up the view count. After all, if you’ve just posted your video, and someone sees that your video has been watched only a few dozen times on YouTube, the low count could convey that it’s not worth watching. So where do you find paid media? Pay-per-click using Google Adwords for Video, banner advertising, and other digital advertising channels such as YuMe, Tube Mogul, SpotXchange, are among the possibilities. One final point on this topic is to be careful of what service you pay for clicks. There are plenty of less-than-upstanding services out there who will take your money and inflate counts.

#7. Retargeting. Simply stated, retargeting works in up to two ways. First, in traditional retargeting, when someone visits your website where your video resides, but doesn’t respond to your call-to-action or buy something, cookies from your site are placed on the user’s computer. When you use a retargeting service, banner ads will display on other sites in an effort to bring the user back to your website. After all, if someone came to your site once, you have a chance through a retargeting program to get them to return. Second, if you use search retargeting, banner ads are served on networks of sites to users who have previously searched for a keyword, key phrase or competitor’s brand name. As a user searches and clicks on a site that isn’t yours, the user will be served your banner ad as they move through the web. This is still another way to get your online video in front of prospective viewers.

If you’d like a checklist of these points, and the complete list of resources mentioned above, along with others we didn’t include, send an email to me and I’ll get a copy to you. It’s free.

Please comment below with what has been your biggest challenge, or your greatest success, with online video marketing. We’d love to hear from you.

Gary Hennerberg

After a lot of years in marketing and sales, this is what I know works:

Stories sell. Think unique. Stimulate emotion. Close deals. And here are a few other gems from my new book, “Crack the Customer Mind Code.” Know the persona, interpret your offer and let your prospect give themselves permission to buy. That’s how the brain is wired. It’s how people think.

What else? When I’m not breaking down complex topics (or ones marketers over-complicate) into easy-to-grasp stories that sell, I crunch numbers. Manage projects. Write. Teach. Lead.