As marketers, our goal is to create that one video asset that totally takes over the social world and gets shared millions of times. To accomplish this, we sometimes think, “The flashier the better,” thinking our videos need to rival the wackiness of RC Cola and Dane’s Cheese commercials to blow up the internet and get millions of views.
While flashy videos like this may hit it big, it may not match your brand, and it can be hard to differentiate your videos from other content creators all attempting to excite viewers with ridiculous dancing or wild visuals.
Don’t get me wrong, I have nothing against a goofy video to attract attention, when appropriate. But if being showy isn’t what your brand is all about, a solid strategy for getting your video and your brand in the public eye is to create simple, reliable, practical videos that solve real problems for consumers.
Other than Google Search, YouTube is the number one search engine—people turn to YouTube looking for solutions to their questions. And some of the most shared videos online are practical how-to-videos. When you provide real value to consumers, they are more likely to share it with others—the makings of a true viral video campaign.
Here are some examples for you to consider, along with some takeaways you can apply when producing your own viral video:
- Focus on simplicity: 25 Ways to Wear a Scarf in 4.5 Minutes!
This video, published by the channel Wendy’s Lookbook, lays out 25 ways to tie a scarf in just under 5 minutes. You probably already guessed the topic from the name, but that’s the point—the straightforward video title and content is what made this video reach almost 39 million views.
Simplicity is key to providing value to your viewers. People searching YouTube for answers to their questions usually do so because they are looking for quick, visual tutorials or explanations. Videos are much more easily consumed, so users expect videos to be straightforward, concise, and simple. Figure out a simple way to give viewers the information they need, then prompt them to share when they have acquired the value they were looking for.
Side note: simplicity doesn’t mean you don’t need quality production. While the concept of 25 Ways to Wear a Scarf in 4.5 Minutes! is fairly simple, you can tell the creator put in the time to each individual component to keep viewers engaged across the entire length of the video. And it worked for her—the creator has tallied up almost 39 million views.
A couple more examples of simple but helpful videos are the ones Xiklab made for the insurance company Troo. One is Self Care Tips in the New Normal which uses simple illustrations and sentences to keep the focus on the message. Uploaded in June of last year, the video reached over a thousand views soon after g oing live. The other is the simple but catchy By Your Side jingle which has over 2 million views on Youtube.
- Be an explainer: How to Tie a Tie (Mirrored / Slowly) – Full Windsor Knot
In our professions we often experience what is known as the “Curse of Knowledge,” which is when we take for granted information that we understand as professionals and assume is common knowledge to the public. Overcoming the “Curse of Knowledge” and descriptively explaining what may seem common sense or mundane, and doing so without being condescending, is key to a viral DIY or tutorial video.
How to Tie a Tie (Mirrored / Slowly) – Full Windsor Knot is a fantastic example of being an explainer. The creator doesn’t take for granted how complex tying a tie may be for someone new to formal wear, and without being condescending, explains in accurate detail not just the steps for accomplishing the task, but also gives definitions of the vocabulary he will be using throughout.
In so doing, the creator not only brings someone from not-tying to knot-tying, but also adds value for current tie aficionados. Even if what you’re explaining is common knowledge, you can always present it in a way that adds to the understanding of the viewer, whether or not they found what they were originally looking for.
- Educate Your Viewers: The Medical City and Troo Insurance
These days more and more people are going online to improve themselves. This includes learning from educational videos. But, hour-long lectures are not always the best route. Not only does it cost more time and money, but it isn’t the best in keeping your viewers’ attention.
Knowing this, we at Xiklab Digital helped create short but engaging videos to educate our client’s audience. The first video is for Troo Insurance about Stretching Your Budget to maximize your resources.
Then, for Medical City, they wanted to address children’s struggles during the Covid-19 Pandemic. How to help children cope with stress during quarantine was made to give parents quick but insightful tips. The audience appreciated this and it was shared nearly 50 times.
When creating videos, it’s not just about entertainment, for some people they look for value. What’s great about targeting that section of an audience is that they not only share your videos. But you are building trust and loyalty with them as a good source of information.
- Teach them a useful skill: RiteMed Guide Videos
RiteMed is a generics brand in the Philippines and is a subsidiary of Unilab, the country’s biggest pharmaceutical company. To grow the brand’s affinity with consumers on digital, Xiklab (formerly Mobext) created a series of videos entitled “RiteMED Guide” which comprised short videos that help people navigate the new normal, brought about by the Covid-19 Pandemic.
The videos have been a runaway success, generating many views on social media despite the short format and direct approach—the video series has generated over a million views across different platforms.
Here are some examples of RiteMED Guide videos:
456,540 views | posted Dec. 12, 2020
Practical na food option ang mga delata, matagal sila masira at madaling ihanda. Pero para mas bongga ang kainan, may recipes kami para sa delata espesyal. Panoorin ang video na ito para sa recipe at cooking guide.
663,00 Views | Posted Sept. 14,2020
Importanteng panatilihing malinis ang ating bahay. Pero dahil sa sitwasyon ngayon, may mga karagdagang steps tayong dapat gawin. Para i-demonstrate ang mga ito, gumawa kami ng video guide para sa inyo!
Posted by RiteMed: Gusto Mo Bang Gumaling? on Friday, December 16, 2016
With everyone wanting to go viral, it’s easy to lose track of why a lot of people go online to begin with. These days more people want to learn something new and be informed. If you focus on what your target market is looking for, you don’t have to go viral, because you are building your core audience. If you need advice on how to build your content plan, consider sending us a message. We’ll be more than happy to provide you with our recommendations.