Branded Viral Videos: The Secret Marketing Weapon of Branding Video


YouTube and online marketing video techniques have brought big brands to the digital world. Just as in the early days of TV advertising, big brands and small businesses alike are clamoring for a piece of the action. If a brand can grab the attention of enough people, and get shared among social circles, it can gain a large percentage of the market and increase its conversions in a big way. But how do you differentiate your message from the other thousands of messages out there? How do you make it something people will connect to and want to share?

Art or Science?

As is true of all of the visual arts, the creation of online branding video for marketing and branding purposes is more of an art than a science. This means that, just like in the movie or music business, people want a great story and they want to be entertained. True, they want to be informed too. But if your goal is to make your message go viral, get your corporate story out there and get it into as many hands as possible, you have to thank about how to also make it “shareable” and make it something others will want to see. You can do this in a number of ways, which we discuss below; but the main point to focus on is to find an important message you want to be associated with your brand and get it across in the most dramatic or effective way you can.

Companies Who Use Viral Video

Some companies such as Dove, Kmart, and Volvo have figured this out early in the game, and they’ll be the winners, because their ads will be the ones shared, viewed, and retweeted over the social media networks. And their branding videos will be seen by some of the 500 million visitors YouTube has visiting their platform each month.

The Provocative Edge

Brands can use music, clever production techniques, and other means to evoke emotion and connection among their viewers. These techniques have been used in literature and other media for years, with high success, and it is no less true in online marketing video. If you can evoke an emotion in the viewer, such as happiness, sadness, or surprise, your video is more likely to be shared. So, when you consider creating the perfect video for marketing purposes, think of the audience you wish to connect with and visualize what it is that they value. Remember, too, that it is not your product or service that people want. It is what your product or service can do for them. And, if you can connect your brand to an important cause, idea, or way of life, that’s the “wow factor” you want to shoot for.

A Popular Strategy in Branding Video Methods

How you approach your video marketing campaign is up to you, but one approach is to capture a positive message—one that will appeal to the masses-in a positive way that will incite action in the viewer’s mind. Topics such as “woman power,” “wealth generation,” and “solving world hunger,” for example may prove to be successful if you can somehow tie these global ideas in to your brand. Negative or controversial topics can also be addressed this way, such as the Chipotle company did recently with their “Scarecrow” short film message which tapped into the issue of responsibility and integrity in food distribution. This kind of corporate story, woven skillfully into the fabric of a branding video, will create an association of some global theme with your brand, which can do wonders for your reputation. So think big and see if you can come up with an image to associate with your company. If this is done right, it can pay off big for you in the long run.

Brand Visibility and Timing

Some brands choose to focus on the message they wish to reveal and to associate themselves with, and not reveal their brand until the end. However, this technique is considered a bit underhanded and is generally not the best practice. Google has a term they use often in their company policies and press releases, called, “transparency.” It involves the idea of companies revealing their true intentions up front in their various ad strategies, rather than being sneaky about it. Some videos appear to be short films for the purpose of engagement or entertainment, while they are really intended to be promotional for a specific brand.

This approach is often risky, but has proven successful for many at times, due to the way the message engaged the audience and promoted some idea that was well-received among the general public.

The Best Strategy in Viral Video Creation

The best approach to take, if your goal is to have your marketing video “go viral,” is to be honest and straightforward with your intentions, while focusing your efforts on some powerful message that is likely to be shared. Choose something that you want to be associated with your brand because once a video is viral, it’s hard to take it back! Most of all, include in your message a strong “call to action,” which is not too salesy but still encompasses the steps needed to turn your viewers into customers.

Finally, make it something of a “movie moment,” a touching, funny, or heart-wrenching “Academy Award” kind of message that will make people want to stop whatever they are doing in their busy days and share your message with the world. Once you do this, you will have succeeded in creating a message that will go viral and bring your brand to center stage. And that, after all, is what branded viral videos are all about!

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