Online Video Success Depends on Content Strategy

    March 13, 2007

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.