The perfect branded video series combines elements of entertainment and the same addictive qualities that keep people coming back to watch their favorite TV series. The trick is to plan out how you’ll build a fan base, appeal to your audience, get your message across without unleashing a series of ads, let people find and share, and be consistent. You want to get consumers hooked, telling their friends and coming back for more. That’s where you begin to tap into the key metrics of reach and frequency and where the brand message begins to emerge.
1. Plan a viral marketing strategy
Long gone are the days when simply posting a video to YouTube was enough. Your viral marketing strategy should include a combination of paid and earned views.
Paid views are derived from:
- Banner ads
- YouTube promoted videos
- Facebook ads
- in-game views
- Paid blog posts that appear as content rather than ads
Earned views come from:
- Social media sharing across Facebook, YouTube, Twitter, Pinterest, Instagram, LinkedIn…
- Blog and publication outreach
- Fans who voluntarily share the paid views
Each person that shares a paid view brings down the cost of that view by 50%. For example, if you pay for one million views and another million people share organically, you’ve cut your paid cost in half. So what are the things that will make them do that?
2. Play to your audience (your customers)
Don’t try to please everyone, because I guarantee you won’t. Make sure your video series taps into the interests and concerns of your consumer base. Television shows are designed to reach specific demographics and are supported by advertising that targets those groups of people.
Listen to audience feedback surrounding each video and ask questions. Use that feedback to better please your audiences. Happy audiences share and come back for more happiness. Supercool Creative launched a web series for Capcom’s Street Fighter X Tekken and through the process of listening and interacting with the game’s fans, we actually evolved the show over 10 episodes based on what they liked and wanted.
3. Go heavy on the entertainment and light on the message
Don’t make the mistake of trying to be the TV show and the ad all rolled into one. Viewers should understand that the series is being brought to them by your brand, but don’t hit them over the head with it, or remind them every ten seconds, or they won’t share or come back looking for more. When possible, make your video series funny, shocking memorable and unexpected. People get addicted to things that make them feel good and are a bit naughty. Be fearless! Turn heads. Take chances. Get noticed.
Allow your marketing message to be revealed outside of the video across social media, blogs and discussions, easy links to microsites and web pages or companion banner ads and branding around the video player. This is where your sales call to action should live. The ultimate goal of a branded video series is, of course, to sell more products and services, but to do that you need to get people addicted and sharing first.
4. Make your video series easy to find and share
How many times has someone wanted to show you a video but they can’t remember the title or didn’t know how to best share it with you at the time? Make the titles of both the series and each episode memorable and findable. Include prominent sharing functionality and regularly include a call to share across your social media networks and paid placements.
5. Be consistent to build an active fan base
Launch new episodes on a schedule. Fans can’t become addicted if they never know when and where they’ll get more. Encourage them to subscribe. Link episodes together and feature them, so that if episode 4 finds its way to a new viewer, they are encouraged to click and watch episodes 3 and 5.
Addicts can never get enough. Develop and produce a branded video series that gives them what they need, and encourages them to tell their friends where to get more, and your brand, products and services will go along for the ride.