Everyone wants a video that can go viral. A video so good that people will share it with their friends and before you know it your company’s video is a national topic of conversation. It’s easy to presume that the more people that watch your film the better it is and that’s right, to an extent. Most often than not you can remember a funny or entertaining commercial but can you remember the name of the product or service it was advertising? Can you remember the name of the person (or company) that made the most talked about viral clip of the year?
What is often forgotten about when producing online commercials is quality over quantity. Its important that your video gets lots of views, but its more important that those views are from people that will impact your business by either making a purchase, increasing your brand awareness, drive traffic to your website or share it with their influential friends and colleagues.
So with these factors in mind, how do you get people to share your film? Let’s look at five reasons why they mightn’t!
1. YOU DEFINITELY DID NOT HAVE ME AT HELLO.
According to YouTube statistics you have 11 seconds to capture the viewers attention, after this time most will click away from your content if its not considered engaging. However if you succeed in passing this 11 second barrier there’s a good chance you could keep viewers attention for up to 3 minutes.
So you need to start strong. If you begin your video with a boring account of how your business was established before you launch into an exciting advertisement of your shiny new product, chances are people are going to switch off and click elsewhere. Remember the Internet is full of distractions only a click away and your video has to compete with all of them so make sure you give your video a head start.
2. YOU MADE IT ALL ABOUT YOU.
Why should I watch your film? What benefit would it have for me? I don’t frankly care about how much you love your job and how online banking is your passion, I want to know why your service will better MY LIFE or I will lose interest and navigate to Facebook sure to never return.
Films that give an historical account of a company, or share a passion for a product or service are great for certain purposes and mediums, but if your aim is to make money and increase your brand awareness then you need to relate to your consumer.
Tell them what they want to know first of all, then they will ask you more about your company once they’re interested in becoming your customer. It’s not a hard sell film, but an explanation of how your company will fit into their lives and how much better you will make it. If your film doesn’t relate to your viewer then you may want to keep your commercial for conference room presentation where they can’t leave half way through!
3. YOU FORGOT YOUR VIEWER WAS A PERSON.
Humans make most of our decisions based on emotions. We often make decisions based on how were feeling, not just how we’re thinking. We remember things that impact us, we talk about them, share them with people will know and we often rarely forget them. The most successful films are ones that strike an emotional reaction in the viewer whether it’s happy, sad, funny or nostalgic.
John Lewis Christmas 2014 advert is a perfect example of this. It is a lovely sweet commercial that brings a child’s imagination alive (quite literally in the form or a penguin) and visually demonstrates his relationship with a toy who finds love at Christmas. I challenge anyone to watch the commercial and not immediately a) want a pet penguin and b) feel a bit touched by the sweetness and of the advertisement. With over 7 million YouTube views in the first hour of its release, the advertisement proved very successful and very shareable!
John Lewis could have gone down a very different path with this advert. They could have shown the glitzy lights of the high street, shopping bags and family fun perusing the store with the subliminal message John Lewis has everything you need for Christmas _ come to the store and see. But we all know that’s a lie, Christmas shopping is not fun and easy _ it’s busy, stressful and we often resent it! John Lewis doesn’t try to make an obvious statement. It doesn’t try to convince you that its store is the best store for your Christmas shopping.
Instead it connects emotionally with the viewer to reminds you, what Christmas felt like as a child, and extremely powerful emotional memory for many people. Associate those memories with John Lewis and you have a very good advert. Shopping isn’t mentioned once in the whole advertisement, not even shopping at John Lewis until the very end titles. Dare I say by the end of the commercial you’re even looking forward to your Christmas shopping just so you can share magical moments with your family at Christmas, and buy lots of toy penguins!
John Lewis spoke to our emotions and tapped into our childhood, that is why that video has been shared millions of times.
4. IT’S FAR TOO LONG.
Length is important when it comes to online films. This is because unlike TV where your viewer is more passively watching content, the Internet is an active medium that requires participation in order to work.
Therefore viewers/users tend to have short attention spans because online advertising and social sharing can lure their eyes away from your content very quickly. If your film has the sole purpose to inform the viewer about your company so they can make a decision then you have to be concise in how you deliver that message.
Be straight to the point, but also engage the viewer. Don’t include information in your film that can be presented better in text format such as location, how your were established.
Be focused on your mission and convey this is the shortest amount of time you need – be ruthless. The best shareable videos are 60 seconds or less but if they strike a chord with the viewer or are extremely entertaining to watch then you can get away with up to 3 minutes but rarely longer.
5. YOU’RE NOT MAKING YOUR FILM EASY TO SHARE.
Videos need to be seen, to be shared. Obvious but people forget to do many simple things to ensur
e their video can be easily found by search engines. These include among others, tagging your video correctly, adding the correct descriptions and embedding it in a prominent position on your website.
Don’t waste money on a film you spent a long time working on by hiding it away on the third page of your website – get it out there and share it! Social media is the most obvious choice for sharing your film with the masses but don’t forget about more traditional means too; e-mail campaigns to customers and partners, sharing it with sister companies and influencers, advertising on television and cinema and posting it on blogs. There are a lot of ways to get your film noticed but unless you get out there and share it, no one else can.
It’s easy to point out the reasons why a video won’t be shared, but harder to point out why it should be shared. Working with an experienced production company will ensure you make the best film, video or advert for your company and get you noticed.