Why You Don’t Need to Go Viral to Make Video Marketing Work

Thursday is guest post day here at Duct Tape Marketing and today’s guest is Amy Harrison – Enjoy!


photo credit: ARMLE via photopin cc

A viral video is the dream of many marketers and business owners. One smash hit can transform a business’s reach overnight. And it’s not just big brands like Blendtec and Old Spice dominating the video market. Newer companies such as Dollar Shave have exploded onto the scene largely due to their viral video presence.

The myth of viral for small business

While it can be a game-changer to be suddenly watched by the world, most small businesses don’t need this level of exposure to see results. If you could grow your audience by a few hundred, or a few thousand engaged prospects, would that make a difference to your inquiries, leads and sales?

The pressure to go viral can have a negative effect if you think:

  • You need a perfect video with high-end production to stand out
  • You need to create something wacky or crazy to get attention
  • If your video doesn’t go viral, you should can it and forget it

If you think video isn’t worth it unless you’re a YouTube star, you could be missing out.

Smaller audience, bigger rewards

Last year, I started a light-hearted sketch show called Content Marketing…Stripped!  I’ve created just 18 short videos

None of them have ever gone viral.

Most get around 100-300 views, but site traffic is growing, subscribers are up 75% and I’m seeing increased social media engagement.

Most importantly, they help attract clients. I’m closing sales faster because leads are more qualified. After watching, prospects say they feel they know me, would enjoy working with me and contact me based on that. I’ve never woken up to a phone call from The Tonight Show, or asked to comment for the New York Times, but this consistent creation of short videos has improved my marketing results.

Where to start? How to get results from a non-viral video

internet face (1)

A still shot from Content Marketing… Stripped!

Even a simple video of you talking to camera can build rapport and engagement with prospects. So why not break out your camera, and start planning your first simple marketing video using these steps?

1.     Focus on your customer’s problem first

Solving a customer’s problem is a great idea for your videos. Think about common “how do I…” questions your customer has that you can solve. For example: “How do I create a customer profile for my marketing?

2.      Ask yourself: what is the impact on my customer if this problem is left unsolved?

In the above case, without a clear customer profile, you don’t know what marketing will work, and you can’t attract your ideal target market to your business.

3.    Don’t just state the impact, illustrate it

Rather than simply tell your customer that it’s important to solve this problem, see if you can give them examples and illustrations to prove it, for example:

  • Wasting time and money on marketing that doesn’t make the phone ring
  • Attracting the wrong clients and losing time on sales calls you’ll never close
  • Getting the wrong referrals because people don’t know who you serve

Video lets you be creative in how you present this information, you could think up a quick sketch, or unleash your whiteboard skills. Even if you’re just describing your examples, it’s better than simply telling your viewer that it’s important to solve their problem.

4.    Provide tips to solve it

Once you’ve illustrated the impact of the problem, provide useful tips viewers can use straight away.

5.    Remind viewers that you have products or services that can also help

In addition to free tips, don’t forget to let them know you can solve their problem directly with links to your contact, services or product page.

Start small and dip your toes in

If the goal of going viral has been putting you off, give video a try, there might be some low hanging fruit that you didn’t realize was ready and waiting for you.

Harrisonamy 150x150 (1)Amy Harrison trains companies to write better content, faster. She provides live content workshops for clients in Europe, and online training sessions for the wider world. You can find her Content Marketing…Stripped videos here and she was a featured speaker at the 2014 SXSW Interactive conference.

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  • http://entrebond.com Blake Schreckhise

    If it’s worth doing, it’s worth doing poorly! Right? You nailed it, people worry to much about perfection sometimes.

    • Amy Harrison

      I’ve heard that same sentiment too and love it. I’m all for trying, producing and refining as I go rather than getting it perfect. :-)

  • http://simplifilm.com/ Chris Johnson


    I’ll put a finer point on it – 250+ projects under our belts.

    When we have a very specific very small goal in mind it often leads to better results than when we try to something vague that “goes viral, while teaching and converting our followers or strangers.”

    • Amy Harrison

      That focus is so important. You know what you want and you know if what you’re doing is moving you closer to it or not. If you just want to ‘go viral’ where do you start?!

  • http://www.i7marketing.com Sean Gallahar

    Sometimes you don’t have all the necessary tools or equipment to make a really great quality video. If you are creative, people will respect and love that.

  • Joe Roppo

    Great info Amy. I’m an employee of a remodeling company that’s getting into video marketing pretty heavily. Nothing is high-end yet,and it’s good to know that it doesn’t always have to be. I have experience with marketing, but videos are kind of their own world. Youtube obviously works for people that are aware of your brand. But I’m trying some placement on our website (http://www.opalenterprises.net). I’ve put the video above the fold, but it’s still a little awkward maybe? Have any thoughts on what positive effects that homepage video might have?