How to make a social campaign go viral on YouTube

28 January 2013 by Dionne Lackey

Content can go viral on social media channels like YouTube at the click of a button. Sometimes a brand can find itself at the centre of a viral campaign for all the wrong reasons, but with clever, innovative content, a brand can use the channel to drive engagement for all the right reasons.

social media icons

For those of you out there who may be slightly apprehensive at the thought of producing your first YouTube social campaign, we have produced some tips for you:

First things first: Be brave and bold
Success on social media won't fall into your lap. You have to work hard to make your campaign attract interest from a discerning audience. You probably already know that but the same applies to creating a viral campaign. Get in the right mindset. Don't be scared to venture in pastures new!

Know your audience
To ensure the maximum reach possible, make sure the campaign relates to your target audience, and make sure you are networking with the right crowd to increase engagement. Chances are many of the people you know are in the same industry as you so they can be "powerful assets you can use when it comes to launching a viral campaign - it's all about your contacts!"

Make people curious
TechCrunch advises to "Create something they will want to pass around." You have to be able to keep the audience's attention to motivate them to share or view it fully.

Using emotion is key
"Chopping and changing between uncomfortable humour and surprise works." Bodyform is agreat example of this. A YouTube video, posted as a result of a Facebook message sent to their company account by a man named Richard, became worldwide news after their response called 'Bodyform Responds: The Truth' went viral receiving over 3.5 million views.

Bodyform responds to customer post on Facebook

Stand out
The final element of any viral marketing campaign is its uniqueness. Your campaign must have an aspect of it which makes it memorable. Be innovative!

Case studies - Who's been getting it right?

Samsung's 2012 advert for the Galaxy SIIImodel has racked up 17,353,836 views on YouTube since it was uploaded. "The next big thing is already here" uses satire to make fun of the the rival iPhone 5 by making constant comparisons to Apple's iPhone and taking the mickey out of those who queue for hours and sometimes even overnight to get their hands on the latest Apple gadget by showing people in different locations across the US in the run up to the launch of the product.

It's not just businesses that seem to have got the knack of producing content that's gone viral...

A hit video posted by a member of British pop group McFly also sent YouTube crazy, but most likely unintentionally! Tom Fletcher decided to take a rather unique approach when delivering his wedding speech by making up his own lyrics to previously released McFly tunes. The personal moment managed to receive 8,782,792 views within two weeks of the video being posted (Good going I think!). If your company can get that amount of success in two weeks, you know you're on to a winner!

By taking on board the tips and examples above, you can see how, with a little imagination YouTube videos can go viral very quickly. If you are in the process of planning your next social campaign, and YouTube is part of your channel strategy, go on, break the mould!

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Tags: Social Media Engagement, YouTube

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