Why ‘going viral’ shouldn’t be the main goal of your video

Posted In Business & Trends Written by Alexandra Maesen

Why ‘going viral’ shouldn’t be the main goal of your video

Seeing how much attention viral videos get, really makes any marketer dream. Just imagine your video getting that many views! Before you know it, you have a new goal in life: making a ‘viral video’.

Here’s why that shouldn’t be your main goal.

1. You have to get really lucky

Going viral is not an easy thing to do. In fact, only a precious few videos actually make it. 72 hours of video are uploaded to YouTube every minute, and according to one study only 0.3% of those get more than 10,000 views. 

Yet too many marketers focus all their attention on finding the ultimate secret to a viral video, setting themselves up for disappointment. Because there isn’t one.

Of course, you should always aim to reach as many viewers as you can. There are many tips and tricks to help you do that. Here are just a few examples:

  • Use humor.
  • Keep it short.
  • Make it relevant.
  • Make it memorable.
  • Use emotion.
  • ...

Just keep in mind that the odds are stacked against you.

2. It won’t pay the bills

You get the picture: going viral is not a very realistic goal. Of course that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t aim for the stars. Just that you shouldn’t spend all your money on building the rocket.

Especially since a viral video won’t necessarily make you any money. Even if you do get a million views, will all those viewers buy your product or pay for your services?

For almost all viewers watching a viral video, the company behind it is not actually relevant to them. They have no interest in what the company has to offer, they just want to see the video. If you want your viewers to convert, a viral video isn’t your best bet.

3. It’s not very efficient

The only people you need to reach, are your target audience. And to get their attention, you’re much better off creating a targeted video.

By researching your target audience, you can figure out what kind of content works for them. Better to capture the attention of a select group of people that you know will be interested, than to get everyone’s attention just to find out they aren’t interested.

Also, focusing all your efforts on making your video go viral can get in the way of your message. For instance:

  • Adjusting your tone of voice to appease a broad audience might result in alienating other viewers.
  • Addressing a broad audience means you can’t tailor your message to those viewers who could actually benefit from your product or service. 
  • Focusing on entertaining a broad audience might mean your message is oversimplified or unclear.

Furthermore, viral videos don’t make a long term impact, the way a targeted campaign does. They are quickly and easily forgotten. If you want to get the most out of your budget, focus on achieving a realistic goal instead.

What do you want your viewers to think or do? Do you want more brand awareness? More leads? What is your end goal?

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