Viral Social Media – Entertaining A Target Audience – Do’s and Don’ts

April 9, 2012

The best possible way to entertain a target audience, and in return benefit from viral social media, is to get a professional to do the job. However, this is not always possible, and also not always necessary. In the business scheme of things, it is possible to train staff to become video savvy while you leave the big stuff to the professionals. You never know what might come out of an innovative staff member, and the aim is to entertain… right?

There is nothing worse than a boring business video, posing in viral social media garb!

Video is the perfect vehicle for communicating movement and emotion. It’s a human thing – we are mammals, and when things move we pay attention. If you think business marketing is all about presentations, pie-charts and projections, stick to what you know best – preferably in the board-room (spot the pun?); let the professionals handle any entertaining viral social media requirements. They are wired that way, you are not!

The audience must come first, so the concept encapsulates this. Show them a good time and by default they will love you – simply because they love your video, not because they think your pie-charts are stunningly erudite. There is only so much charm that can be squeezed out of a chart.

“Viral” is not business concept for social media video. It indicates a response from a target or other audience. In other words, people get so excited about what they are seeing, they just can’t help themselves but to share it. When a video is dubbed “viral” this means it is a hit, but no-one can guarantee that a hit can be achieved. Savvy, artistry, marketing, vision, skill; can all be used, and video may still not go viral, because a huge amount of luck is required. So a business marketing video strategy cannot be based on achieving viral popularity. This is unrealistic.

The average time spent looking at a web site is 15 seconds; a 10 minute long marketing video, is going to be too long, you want your audience to want more. 2 – 3 minutes, even less is more than enough. In the viral social media scheme of things, 3 minutes is a very long time, especially when watching something that is less than great. If you manage to get Quentin Tarantino to direct, and Uma Thurman to star while modeling AussieBum, things could be different in terms of time. Just keep it short to keep your target audience entertained.

When we said at the beginning of this piece that video is the perfect tool for communicating emotion, we meant it. One of the most entertaining emotions is of course humor. Animals are another very emotive subject, so use animals together with humor and what have you got? Viral social media on steroids – this combination is positively visceral.

Why businesses shy away from making humorous videos is anybody’s guess? Remember this has to be done well, and music done well, works too. When a video actually doesn’t work, music can often pull it together. People are willing to kill to re-experience humor and music, and as businesses should be trying to entertain or die trying, viral social media could be your chance for a marriage made in heaven – your target audience’s drug of choice.

Don’t expect any audience to sit through bad shooting or bad shots, if it looks bad on the camera screen it will look bad on every screen. There was only one Blair Witch project, or was there two? Bad photography – full stop – will kill the video.

Also don’t forget to add a good metaphor and do this in a full sentence. ‘Our employees’ and shot of the staff is not a metaphor. ‘Our employees bend over backward to get your package to you’ is a caption, particularly if employees are filmed bending over backwards while playing pass-the-parcel – this is a visual and text metaphor for…well…bending over backwards of course.

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