Viral Video

Videos are a great medium to connect with customers and engage them in your brand. According to a study by the University Of Pennsylvania Wharton School Of Business, prospects are 72 percent more likely to purchase a product or service when video is used. Thats because when people view a video, they gain a greater understanding of the subject or product.

If youre considering producing a marketing video, chances are your intent is to have it go viral a la the Old Spice Guy. Since its launch last February, the “Man Your Man Could Smell Like campaign has received 1.5 billion impressions, including 130 million video views. However, its important to note that the company and their production team worked hard to make it happen. Rather than a video produced in isolation and released in hope of a viral effect, the campaign included TV spots, print ads, and online display ads, as well as social media.

Research by eMarketer shows 66.7 percent of the 147.5 million U.S. internet users watch video online monthly. By 2014, eMarketer estimates that number will rise to 77 percent of internet users (193.1 million people).

Pharma has joined the video bandwagon as well. Search YouTube and youll find commercials, keynote speeches, corporate sponsorship and patient care videos from Pfizer, Merck, Novartis, Abbott and others.

Yet for pharma, the viral phenomenon has yet to take hold. Truth be told, there is no magic formula for getting a video to go viral. If there was, there would be a lot more people successful at doing it. Thats because viral is not a strategy; it is an outcome.

How can pharma increase its chances of producing a video that raises brand awareness, achieves marketing objectives such as increasing product sales and has a shot at going viral?

Make it matter Size doesnt matter much when it comes to videos that garner the most attention. Some studies say the most successful videos are more than a minute long. Others advise keeping clips under half a minute even less if the intent is for users to view content on their mobile device. Experts agree that producing a video that is engaging is more important than video length in driving people to share content.

Optimize online video content – Insert keywords into the filenames of videos on your site and employ advanced tactics like writing keyword-rich captions, descriptions and annotations or creating online video libraries. This will help search engines find your videos.

Engage the social networks The time spent visiting social media sites now exceeds the time people spend emailing. Post videos on YouTube, Google Video, Facebook, Digg, blogs, etc. and embed them into your company site. In addition to sharing content, encourage individuals to pass the video and marketing messages on to others, extending the messages reach and influence. For example, when posting a video link on Twitter, ask followers to retweet the content. Also, dont forget about your friends. Ask everyone you know to watch the video and share it with their network.

Make it personal The purpose of a video is to make a connection. The most successful global viral interactive film, produced for Radiotjɬ§nst, Swedens public TV and Radio, enabled people to put their likeness or a friend or family member into a video clip, creating millions of personal films (sound familiar, Old Spice?). Since the launch of “The Hero campaign on November 16th 2009 through February 2010, the site has had a total of 26.1 million visits with 17.9 million unique visitors and 66 million page views in 230 countries.

Bring on the babies! I once worked with a marketer who said you can never go wrong with attractive men and women, puppies and children. Certainly you remember the late 90s phenomena of the dancing baby? Having a sense of humor can also make the difference between a video that lays stagnant and one that gets passed among friends. Who doesnt like a good laugh?

Provide valuable information – Mayo Clinic in Rochester has achieved attention for its videos, and supports their campaigns using Twitter, Facebook, and their blog – making them easy to share. What makes their videos different besides the really great content is that they are shot by patients, establishing an authentic voice and providing a depth of information that patients cannot get anywhere else.

While pharma faces some unique challenges when it comes to producing video content regulatory requirements make it hard to have a sense of humor or take a light approach to serious subject matter content is still king. By producing high quality videos that can be found and shared by others, pharma can build a community of followers and use video to attract attention and grow their brand.



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