4 Tips for a Successful YouTube Viral Marketing Campaign

When it comes to YouTube marketing, a viral marketing campaign doesn’t just happen. There is always planning behind it. You can’t just rely on luck and a funny video, there is so much more that you have to do, and these 4 points cover the essentials steps to take.

YouTube viral marketing campaign steps

Present an image, not a product

How often do you share things on social media with your friends thinking ‘Wow, I bet my pals will love to watch this product placement!’ I hope it’s never, because that’s not how online networks work.

If you can’t directly advertise a product, what can you advertise? Simple: A brand. A story. An attitude. Gatorade knew they had a hit when they put together this video with the Williams sisters:

That’s one video out of many shared by Gatorade, and it has done better than many of their more traditional TV ads which they upload to YouTube. People want to sit down and watch a video like that. They want to share it with their friends and say ‘Hey, that Peyton is an alright guy.’

There are countless other ways that you can present an image instead of a product to center your viral marketing campaign around. The YouTube Ad Leaderboards are full of examples of them.

Viral videos are about emotion

Before anyone will ever share a video with their friends they have to feel an emotion. Brands have been using emotions to alter buying behaviours for …well, forever. But now those emotions lead directly to social media shares, more views, and the chance to have a viral video.

The emotions which you can tug on vary widely by the type of brand you are, and what the goal of the video is. Samsung wanted people to be happy and have a laugh:

Under Armor wanted people to feel inspired:

And I’d say Hyundai hit on fear + relief + laughter here:

The one thing you can say about them all is that you definitely feel something. They’re not bland, they’re not boasting of exceptional product features. They make you feel an emotion and that emotion leads to sharing and millions of views.

Social media marketing has to be a big part of your plan

Any viral marketing campaign worth its views started its virality on social media, not YouTube or any other video hosting site. Relying on SEO and your current audience won’t cut it. You need to push it on social hard, and with a plan in mind.

One step to take before getting too far into your social media plan is to use our YouTube views service first. This will help those who find you on social to be even more prone to view and share your video thanks to how they see it as already being successful. People like to get in on something which is viral before their friends see it. This means that if they see a video with a million views already, but their friends haven’t shared it, they’re be more likely to share it than a video with just a few thousand views.

With that taken care of, get ready to share your viral videos all over your social media so that you have multiple channels to reach new viewers:

#DearPeyton viral marketing campaign

Every share counts and is important. You never know when that next share will lead to a viral influencer getting hold of it and sharing it.

Also, notice how they built a hashtag into the campaign for both Twitter and Facebook. Thousands of people joined in on #DearPeyton and blew this viral marketing campaign up even bigger. Using social media to improve your viral video is all about using people to do your promotion for you. A hashtag can go a long way towards that.

You need a complete online marketing plan

No good viral video exists on an island by itself. Sure, getting lots of views is nice, but is it doing anything for your brand as a whole? Is it improving your YouTube channel?

Here are four important parts of your entire online marketing campaign which must match up with your viral video marketing campaign:

  1. SEO plan: Your video needs long term searchability so that, months from now when no one is sharing it, it can still be found through search. Pay close attention to how you describe your video in the title, description, and tags you use.
  2. Channel growth: Having one hit video and then nothing is pointless. Have a plan in place for getting subscribers, getting people to watch more of your videos once the viral video ends, and pushing for more social media fans.
  3. Hashtags: They are so vital that you’ll want to use them everywhere. They could be part of the video title, or appear at the end of the video, and using them on your website would help too.
  4. Website: Having a plan which embeds your video right on the homepage will help you get views in places where you normally wouldn’t, but why not do it? People on your website are already interested in you, and a good video could seriously improve your bounce rate.

The four points above show even more how important it is to have a complete viral marketing campaign from top to bottom. It’s not all about YouTube. It’s not all about social media either. It’s about everything working together to push your video across the entire Internet to capture every pair of eyeballs possible. Work on all of these things before you ever take your video live!


Feature image via Rawpixel / Shutterstock

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