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Online Video Success Depends on Content Strategy

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Andrew Foote of Peppercom has some sage advice for firms looking for success with viral video and social media as part of their internet marketing strategy.:

Content is king in this game. More often than not, the quality of viral content takes a backseat to the marketing mandate.

Foote gives examples of how to get it right and how to get it very wrong. Dove’s Evolution video was a winner, but their recent Super Bowl Commercial effort sank like a stone under a deluge of negative comments.

The bottom line is that the message has to be exceptional, says Foote. I’d also add the importance of originality, authenticity and relevance. Don’t force a viral marketing idea because it sounds cool—make sure it jives with the demographic you’re trying to reach

For some reason when we are faced with a new medium we tend to throw all the PR basics out with the bathwater.  Social media is very much like live communication – it’s not a one-way, top down ‘push’ medium. You have to understand your sudience and deliver content that works for them. 

Yes, it was much less threatening to deiver content in the ‘old’ ways – no-one was talking back.  Social media tools make it possible for your audience to give you instant feedback – they’ll let you (and the rest of the world) know, in no uncertain terms, if you get it wrong.

Here are Foote’s tips for successul viral video online:

  • Don’t force viral marketing concepts if they don’t fit the brand essence.
  • Do your homework on what flies and what dies. Live the video sharing space.
  • Content is everything. Bring on producers who can push the buttons of buzz.
  • Take risks. Beware of corporate filters that will dilute the quality of the content.
  • Test it. If eight out of 10 people aren’t cracking up, memorized or amazed, head back to the drawing board.
  • Cast a wide net. YouTube is center stage, but don’t forget the other sites: Revver, iFilm, Myspace, etc.

    It’s stll about content strategy and delivering the right message to the right audience, via the right channels.

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