doubledawnwriting

Advice for better writing and marketing

Posts Tagged ‘social networking for business

Making Videos Go Viral

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I was watching the Celebrity Apprentice the other night, and the task was to create a viral video. The entire concept of creating something with the intention of turning it into an internet phenomenon suggests it’s a daily business practice.

Yes, social marketing includes YouTube. Yes, many a marketing plan tries to lull in potential clients with the use of video. But can you really create a viral video? Is there a secret mix of creativity and clever distribution that can drive millions of views to a single broadcast?

Neither the men or the women on Celebrity Apprentice really seemed to nail the concept. I will say, good efforts were brought forth by both teams. No blame can be appointed, because it’s a tricky task. We rarely see commercialized product endorsements on the top 10 list of global viral videos.

That doesn’t mean it can’t be done. It means marketing companies often fall short, but not for lack of effort. It’s the nature of the beast. They are simply too focused on endorsing a product. After all, that’s what they’re paid for.

Two Key Elements of Viral Videos

  1. Emotional Connection:   Viral videos are passed around by internet users who happen upon them and are compelled to click that share button. It’s an absolute, 100%, genuine, emotional response. Videos that trigger this reaction have touched the viewer in some way.

   It might be laughter, it might invoke our sense of outrage, it might make us feel sentimental. It might remind us of our past, or inspire us about the future. There are a few well orchestrated exceptions, but most viral videos are not created by a marketing firm. They are amateur. They are imperfect and sometimes barely in focus.

  1. Utter Lack of a Large Target Audience:    Marketing companies focus on brand imaging and target markets. Converting viewers into buyers is the name of the game. While they have some success within the intended audience, the true nature of viral videos crosses all the demographical lines.The videos that take the internet by storm, also take the owners of the clip by surprise. They were never intended to be online sensations. It was just a little something to share with friends, relatives or school chums. It’s daily life. It’s misadventures. It’s social awareness.Whether the video breaks your heart, makes you laugh until you cry or leaves you numb with horror, the call to action comes when you are instantly moved to share it with others.

How to Make a Viral Video

If you really want to make a viral video, brand promotion needs to be an afterthought. The most important element is to reach people. Touch them on an emotional level.

Go ahead and make the commercially branded, polished video to uphold your professional image. But when you’re done, take a close look at the cutting room floor. The instructional video about how to properly paint a ceiling is a great accent to a website. Yet the clips showing the paint tray flying off the scaffolding and splattering the walls and crew are a lot more entertaining to the masses.

Clever videos have been created using a series of bloopers and spontaneous moments that have drawn huge numbers of views. Adding a soundtrack just adds to the entertainment value (and saves you from bleeping any curse words).

Get Real and Get Inspired

Creating a viral video is not about thinking outside the box. It’s about thinking inside human nature. We can all relate to the mishaps and fallacies of life. Which little anecdotes do you share with friends and family? What are the classic, “I-can’t-believe-that-happened” tales that have been passed around for years?

Need some inspiration? Take a look at Urlesque’s list of 100 Most Iconic Internet Videos. Take note of the relevance, the emotional impact, the use of music and the play on pop culture. If you want to be a millionaire, take advice from millionaires. If you want to be an internet icon, study those who are already there.

How to Humanize Client Relationships for Long Term Business

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The world has become adrift in tweets, texts and status updates.  Clearly, the days of making a deal on a handshake have gone the way of the blue suede shoe.

While some aspects of business have changed, building solid and trusting client relationships has not.  In fact, the companies who make it to the very top are the ones that hone these relationships, nurture their clients and keep the lines of communications open.

What is Communication?

Yes, you can text a message or send a short tweet, but true communication requires more care than that.  A client still needs to feel validated and humanized.  If your communication doesn’t support this, you are treating a valuable client like a number, rather than a person.

What happens when you don’t humanize your business?  You can’t sustain long term relationships.  If you don’t add some personal flair to your business, you will fall victim to price wars, competitors and clever marketing tactics.

Creating an Honest Connection

Loyalty is a human emotion.  A client who feels validated, cared for and respected will not be easily lulled away by a lower price or special offer.  In the brick and mortar world, it’s the personality of the service provider, the sense of integrity and conduct that establish a connection to the client.

In the online world, this is a little trickier to accomplish.  That does not mean impossible.

Put away the sales pitches.  Every post, newsletter or tweet doesn’t have to be about a product or service.  It doesn’t have to be all business all the time.  In fact, it shouldn’t be.

You are What You Tweet

Using social sites to keep a connection with your clients is a fabulous idea, but don’t make it all business.  Take a look at your own social connections and see which ones catch your attention.  Who do you follow just for enjoyment?

Adding clean but entertaining posts, pictures and quotes on a regular basis (at least once a day), adds a much needed human element to your business.  Not only that, but these are typically the types of posts that attract attention and get passed along.

Consider your social marketing strategy the way you would consider taking a client out for dinner.  It’s an opportunity to open up a little and get to know what makes your client tick, laugh or bellow.  Social marketing is the perfect format to discover those personality traits.

Social is a Two-Way Street

Don’t forget to respond, follow and friend.  Building a relationship means you are taking the client into your business, listening and acknowledging.  No client relationship is solidified by blindly sending out posts.  You must also pay close attention to like, retweet or comment on interesting posts from your client.

You would never have a phone call or live conversation that didn’t allow the client to interject or comment.  Your online relationships should carry the same sense of respect.  Give a little of your time getting to know your client, and your client will give a little loyalty back to you.

 

Written by doubledawnwriting

March 6, 2012 at 1:06 am

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