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Going viral is digital marketing’s holy grail. If you can create a video that’s genuinely shareable and gets people talking, then you have the luxury of a product that starts to market itself.

The Dollar Shave Club video consistently comes up as an example of ‘how to do it right’ and has inspired multiple copycats.

Viral video marketing

When the company released its first video in March 2012, it was a fledgling start-up. Their tongue in cheek video racked up 4.75 million views, in three months, and generated 12,000 orders within 48 hours—an unprecedented volume, which actually shutdown their servers. The film has since become something of a cult classic.

Fast forward to 2016 and Dollar Shave Club were acquired for a cool $1 billion by consumer giant, Unilever.

Having the insight to create something that resonates so strongly however, is the tricky part and brands need to tap into the power of social media and have an idea that’s legitimately unique.

Here’s a few tips to give you a solid start:

Personality trumps production value

You can throw as much money as you want at a video marketing project, but if it’s not relatable, engaging and funny then it’s money down the drain. Striking a cord or making people laugh, will go a lot further than a flashy video.

By all means, add as much production value as you feel comfortable with, but be sure that a strong script and authentic messaging are the priority. Don’t forget your personality.

Throw it all out there

They say there’s no such thing as a bad idea, so take this principal on-board and let everyone in your business have a say. You’ll be surprised where the most inspired ideas come from.

Also, don’t disregard ideas in the early stages. Most of the best ideas sound ludicrous to start with and need a little refining. How do you think Dollar Shave Club and the viral Squatty Potty video looked on paper? Exactly.

Influencers can’t hurt

Influencers aren’t a substitute for an original idea but they certainly don’t hurt. Featuring a recognisable face from the social world, with a large following, could give you big leg up in the viral video world.

Even if it’s not the face in front of the camera, teaming up with an influencer platform could give your work a significant push.

Choose wisely and make sure it’s an influencer that represents you and your brand, not just someone who agrees. Views aren’t worth as much if the message isn’t on point.


Not everyone is funny … and that’s ok

People have a soft spot for comedy videos, but they aren’t always the way forward.

Forced comedy is excruciating to watch and this format doesn’t lend itself to all companies/ products.

If your message is heartfelt then it can be just as memorable. The Always ‘Like a Girl’ campaign’s on-point message, about gender, effected people and made a considerable impact. If people are moved they’ll remember you.

The benefits of your video going viral and reaching audiences of that magnitude are obvious. In some cases a video has launched a company or taken them to a whole different level.

That kind of success isn’t easy to come by,  but if you take these tips into consideration and work out what your voice is, then there’s no reason you can’t utilise the online landscape and make your mark.