Infographic: Top Tips to Make Videos Viral

Can You Really Plan for a Video to Go Viral?

The most straightforward answer to the question that this headline title poses is no, however, you can certainly put a strategic plan in place that will give your video content the best chance possible of going viral.

While the many ‘cat videos’ and ‘kids-saying-silly-things’ videos seem to be rife across YouTube, Vine, Instagram and other video based platforms, these are organic videos filmed by amateurs who essentially got lucky with their video view count. This is absolutely not the case when it comes to planning a video for commercial purposes.

The first thing to do when planning a video is to put a strategy in place. This strategy must cover the overall idea for the video (including how this idea is going to emotionally connect with its target audience) and how to go about laying down the framework for this and the angle you would take on it. For example, the average video that goes viral is anywhere between fifteen seconds and five minutes. In this timeframe, a video that has reached viral status e.g. has been shared thousands if not millions of times online, has either made its viewers laugh, cry, angry, or even annoyed, essentially any singular emotion that affects them enough to share it.

The angle you take on creating a video will depend on what story you want to tell and your brand. For example, Go Daddy who offers web hosting services, created a video that ran during the ad breaks of the 2013 Super Bowl. The purpose of the video was to promote its new website builder, but the story it told had nothing to do with websites. Instead Go Daddy decided to make its viewers feel uncomfortable by featuring a kiss between a super model and a nerd for well over half of the video which was very awkward to watch. Viewers could not help but watch it though as the crux of the video was that this kiss was completely unexpected and that is the angle Go Daddy took, to shock their viewers. The company ended up attracting 100,000 new customers after the video aired. Promotion of any video once it is made, is also a key element to include in your strategy.

For more top tips on how to plan out a video in the hopes it will go viral, see the below infographic created by One Productions, or read their more detailed guide.

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A Review of ‘Killing Us Softly’

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Have you ever noticed how an actress or model looks seems to play a more vital role in an advertisement than the message they deliver? In her presentation, Killing Us Softly, Jean Kilbourne elaborates how an ad sells better than the product itself. Why? An ad can convey esoteric concepts, as well as simple product value. Concepts such as love, sexuality, dreams of success or normalcy are underpinning currents carried by most of today’s advertisements.

Advertisements tell us who we are and who we want to be. They define a person in ways that even their own heritage cannot. With every other woman on the television or in the magazines looking fair and beautiful, girls in their teens assume this is the norm by which to conform. The kind of clothes, the shoes, the makeup, the must have handbags and even minor accessories like headbands and gloves attract these young minds easily with their color and glamor.

As Kilbourne points out, lured into believing the airbrushed world of advertising by a young age, it becomes easy for girls to lose track of their identities, growing uncomfortable in their own skins. This has been the case with majority of the models in the past decade. Too many stories tell of models and starlets falling into hospitals or rehab centers, where the worst cases face traumatic disorders—sometimes leading to death.

According to Jean, advertisements carry only one main message these days for women and that is to look good. She illustrates examples where women celebrities have admitted to the high degree of photo retouching in their own advertisements. Quoting supermodel Cindy Crawford, “I wish I looked like Cindy Crawford.”

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Most women in cinema and fashion have fallen prey to the post-production effort to make them appear slimmer, taller, bustier or fairer. Kilbourne gives various examples of entertainers and models (Kiera Knightley, Jessica Alba and Kelly Clarkson, to name a few) who have been Photoshopped to achieve magazine-worthy looks. Not all actresses have gone along with this quietly, Kilbourne says. Titanic star Kate Winslet has publicly announced she looks nothing like her image on the cover of the British GQ magazine.

Kilbourne feels this treatment of women is equivalent to an act of indirect violence. To live up to this airbrushed ideal, many women resort to dieting and other fast and dangerous methods to reduce their weight. Prime examples here, she says, are the models who grow thinner and thinner, year after year. A dire example, Ana Carolina Reston died of anorexia after being called ‘too fat’ by a modeling agency. Kilbourne asserts such cases have now become an all too common occurrence in the fashion industry.

Continuing her argument, Kilbourne points to the growing objectification of the female form. Many of today’s advertisements are more focused on certain physical attributes of women, further contributing to the not-so-subliminal emphasis given to an unhealthy, unrealistic ideal. The direct impact this has on a woman’s self-esteem is often neglected. This objectification of women has evolved into a form of social violence, Kilbourne says. It has become a public health issue that threatens every female around us and it places upon us the responsibility to hedge our daughters against it.

In today’s world advertisements market the women and not the product. You see nudity in everything. From a simple CD cover to a beer advertisement, women are portrayed in varying levels of nudity. What once was a crime is now a trend. So the most important question asked here is, what is being marketed to women? What does she think when she goes to an agency and is asked to strip off her clothing along with her dignity? In the age where money is paid for any kind of service, most women do not really understand the repercussions of their actions. Either they are too desperate and in need or they simply are not educated enough to look for a better job.

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Jean Kilbourne has done a marvelous job hitting the right points to convey the depth and seriousness of the issue at hand. Her inspired determination to enlighten us about the imagery we are allowing at the newsstands is a wake up call.

As a father of two daughters (and two sons—not to overlook them in the whole self-image crisis,) I have a keen interest in sheltering my children for as long as possible from the damaging effects of “news-stand beauty.” Jean’s message in Killing Us Softly is loud and clear. I pray it takes us by the throat and gives us the good rattle we need to wake up and break out of our dive.

Matt

big data

Update: August 8, 2013

Dove has done it again. This time, they’ve taken their argument for natural, untouched portrayal of beauty straight to the creatives holding the smoking gun. This time, it’s in the form of an Easter egg–a hidden message or feature in software. When the guilty, image-enhancing creative attempts to apply the skin glow effect advertised by a free Photoshop plugin, they get a message meant just for them. Brilliant.

Enjoy!

Perspiration Precipitates Performance and Other Marketing Lessons Learned

Marketing Ideas Douglas Criticism Quote

The following is a letter I received from a dear client, John Douglas, who also happens to be a talented local photographer. Over the past year, John has undergone the rigors of becoming an SEO-savvy entrepreneur. John is a model student; eager to learn, invested in his own success and quick to pick up the strategies required to build success, both online and offline.

I asked John if I could share his letter with you. I feel his experience may resonate and help normalize others who may feel as he did as they attempt to break into their local marketplace.

As I mentioned to John, it is wonderful to see yourself progress toward self-confidence as a business person and professional. Yes, it’s hard to teach such things without the frustrating mechanism of time and the roller-coaster of the success/failure continuum. Take pleasure in recognizing your inner growth. Lessons like these are learned not just intellectually, but also at a cellular level, through life discovery. This means such valuable lessons become truly yours, adding onto the wisdom you already possess. You are richer today–both in the spirit and in the material–as a result.

In support of your efforts,

Matt Schoenherr

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Hey Matt:
It’s been close to a year since we started working together. I thought I would share some observations with you. I have been seeing increasing activity and interest in my work as manifest by the number of requests I am getting now. Am I as busy as I’d like to be? Absolutely not, but I’ve learned to be patient. Some random thoughts:

  • Success is measured incrementally, and doesn’t happen according to your prescribed schedule. I have learned be comfortable with even modest gains. As you are well aware the last year has seen some frustrations on my part, largely because I was focusing on the success of others and not on my personal successes. I have learned to focus on myself and my abilities and not be concerned with the success or failure of others.
  • Don’t evaluate your success on the short term. It has taken me a while to assimilate this, and I’m sure you’ve told me this a number of times. Being an engineer, I plotted a linear regression of where I expected to be in a year with regard to web traffic. Am I going to reach my goal? I don’t know. Do I care? No.
  • “P cubed”. Perspiration precipitates performance. Gains are not achieved without some hard work and drudgery. I never imagined it would be so difficult to to get top ranking, and to hold on to decent ranking.
  • Web design is fun, but web maintenance is boring and mundane. The website design looks fantastic, and I am still happy with it today after nearly a year.
  • Word of mouth is the best advertising. I firmly believe that reputation trumps any search engine rankings or website designs. SEO is a way of getting your foot in the door and establishing yourself as a credible resource.
  • Does top ranking mean you are the best? Absolutely not. I have learned that you have to have faith in people and recognize that they will make decisions to hire me based on their criteria, and not my criteria.
  • Learn to see the difference between constructive criticism and destructive criticism. Appreciate the constructive, ignore the destructive.
  • Has it been worth the time, effort, and money? Absolutely! I would not be seeing the interest I am seeing without decent ranking on keyword searches. Thank you for your efforts.

Lastly, thank you for being patient with me in the last year. You have been my technical advisor, mentor, and (at times) my spiritual and psychological counselor.  =)

I am very appreciative of all of your efforts and assistance in the past year.

John Douglas
Photographer

Branding 101: 12 Brand Archetypes

Marketing Ideas 12 Brand Archetypes

What is a brand archetype? Archetypes are a concept originally conceived by famed Swiss psychologist, Carl Jung. In marketing, a brand archetype is a genre you assign to your brand, based upon symbolism. The idea behind using brand archetypes is to anchor your brand against something iconic—something already embedded within the conscious and subconscious of humanity. In the minds of both the brand owner and the public, aligning with a brand archetype makes the brand easier to identify.

Remember: You have a personal brand you show to the world. You have the power to define your personal brand, just as you define an organization’s brand.

Comment! As you read through these 12 brand archetypes, decide which applies to you or your organization. Share your findings in the comments!

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Brand Archetype #1: The Sage

Quote: “The sage wears clothes of coarse cloth but carries jewels in his bosom; He knows himself but does not display himself; He loves himself but does not hold himself in high esteem.” ~ Lao Tzu

Motto: The truth will set you free.
Driving desire: to find truth
Goal: to use intelligence and analysis to understand the world
Biggest fear: being duped, misled—or ignorance.
Strategy: seeking out information and knowledge; self-reflection and understanding thought processes
Weakness: can study details forever and never act
Talent: wisdom, intelligence

Also known as: expert, scholar, detective, advisor, thinker, philosopher, academic, researcher, thinker, planner, professional, mentor, teacher, contemplative, guru

Sage archetypes in the wild:

  • provide expertise or information to customers
  • encourage customers to think
  • based on new scientific findings or esoteric knowledge
  • supported by research-based facts
  • differentiate from others whose quality or performance is suspect

Archetype examples: BBC, CNN, Gallup, PBS

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Brand Archetype #2: The Innocent

Quote: “Innocence is always unsuspicious.” ~ Joseph Joubert

Motto: We are young and free.
Driving desire: to get to paradise
Goal: to be happy
Greatest fear: to be punished for doing something bad or wrong
Strategy: to do things right
Weakness: boring for all their naive innocence
Talent: faith and optimism

Also known as: utopian, traditionalist, naive, mystic, saint, romantic, dreamer

Innocent archetypes in the wild:

  • offer a simple solution to a problem
  • associate with goodness, morality, simplicity, nostalgia or childhood
  • low or moderate pricing
  • companies with straightforward values
  • differentiate from brands with poor reputations

Archetype examples: Dove soap, Ben & Jerry’s ice cream

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Brand Archetype #3: The Explorer

Quote: “Exploration is really the essence of the human spirit.” ~ Frank Borman

Motto: Don’t fence me in.
Driving desire: the freedom to find out who you are through exploring the world
Goal: to experience a better, more authentic, more fulfilling life
Biggest fear: getting trapped, conformity, and inner emptiness
Strategy: journey, seeking out and experiencing new things, escape from boredom
Weakness: aimless wandering, becoming a misfit
Talent: autonomy, ambition, being true to one’s soul

Also known as: seeker, iconoclast, wanderer, individualist, pilgrim

Explorer archetypes in the wild:

  • helps people feel free, nonconformist or pioneering
  • rugged and sturdy or for use in the great outdoors or in dangerous settings
  • can be purchased from a catalog or on the Internet
  • help people express their individuality
  • can be purchased for consumption on the go
  • differentiate from a successful regular guy/gal brand or conformist brand
  • culture that creates new and exciting products or experiences

Archetype examples: Indiana Jones, Jeep, Marlboro

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Brand Archetype #4: The Ruler

Quote: “He who is to be a good ruler must have first been ruled.” ~ Aristotle

Motto: Power isn’t everything, it’s the only thing.
Driving desire: control
Goal: create a prosperous, successful family or community
Strategy: exercise power
Greatest fear: chaos, being overthrown
Weakness: being authoritarian, unable to delegate, out of touch with reality
Talent: responsibility, leadership

Also known as: boss, leader, aristocrat, king, queen, politician, role model, manager or administrator

Ruler archetypes in the wild:

  • high-status product or service used by powerful people to enhance their power
  • make people more organized
  • offer a lifetime guarantee
  • empower people to maintain or enhances their grip on power
  • has a regulatory or protective function
  • moderate to high pricing
  • differentiate from populist brands or clear leaders in the field
  • market leaders offering a sense of security and stability in a chaotic world

Archetype examples: IBM, Microsoft

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Brand Archetype #5: The Creator

Quote: “Life isn’t about finding yourself. Life is about creating yourself.” ~ George Bernard Shaw

Motto: If you can imagine it, it can be done.
Driving desire: to create things of enduring value
Goal: to realize a vision
Greatest fear: mediocre vision or execution
Strategy: develop artistic control and skill
Task: to create culture, express own vision
Weakness: perfectionism, bad solutions
Talent: creativity and imagination

Also known as: artist, inventor, innovator, muse, musician, writer or dreamer

Creator archetypes in the wild:

  • promote self-expression, give customers choices and options, help foster innovation or is artistic in design
  • creative fields like marketing, public relations, the arts, or technological innovation
  • differentiate from “do-it-all” brands that leave little room for the imagination
  • “do-it-yourself and save money” approach
  • customer has the time to be creative
  • organization with a creative culture

Archetype examples: Lego, Sony, Crayola

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Brand Archetype #6: The Caregiver

Quote: “When you’re a caregiver, you need to realize that you’ve got to take care of yourself, because—not only are you going to have to rise to the occasion to help someone else—but you have to model for the next generation.” ~ Naomi Judd

Motto: Love your neighbor as yourself.
Driving desire: to protect and care for others
Goal: to help others
Greatest fear: selfishness and ingratitude
Strategy: doing things for others
Weakness: martyrdom, being exploited
Talent: compassion, generosity

Also known as: saint, altruist, parent, helper, supporter

Caregiver archetypes in the wild:

  • give customers a competitive advantage
  • support families (products from fast-food to minivans) or is associated with nurturing (e.g. cookies, teaching materials)
  • serve the public sector, e.g. health care, education, aid programs and other caregiving fields
  • help people stay connected with and care about others
  • help people care for themselves
  • likely a non-profit or charitable cause

Archetype examples: Mother Teresa, Johnson’s Baby Shampoo

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Brand Archetype #7: The Magician

Quote: “Dream no small dream; it lacks magic. Dream large. Then make the dream real.” ~ Donald Wills Douglas

Motto: I make things happen.
Driving desire: understanding the fundamental laws of the universe
Goal: to make dreams come true
Greatest fear: unintended negative consequences
Strategy: develop a vision and live by it
Weakness: becoming manipulative
Talent: finding win-win solutions, making the complex appear simple

Also known as: visionary, catalyst, inventor, charismatic leader, shaman, healer, medicine man

Magician archetypes in the wild:

  • promise to transform customers
  • product or service is transformative
  • may have a new-age quality
  • consciousness-expanding
  • user-friendly or contemporary
  • spiritual connotations
  • medium to high pricing

Archetype examples: Disney, Dreamscape Multimedia, Oil of Olay

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Brand Archetype #8: The Hero

Quote: ”A hero has faced it all; he need not be undefeated, but he must be undaunted.” ~ Andrew Bernstein

Motto: Where there’s a will, there’s a way.
Driving desire: to prove one’s worth through courageous acts
Goal: expert mastery in a way that improves the world
Greatest fear: weakness, vulnerability, being a “chicken”
Strategy: to be as strong and competent as possible
Weakness: arrogance, always needing another battle to fight
Talent: competence and courage

Also known as: warrior, crusader, rescuer, superhero, savior, soldier, dragon slayer, the winner and the team player

Hero archetypes in the wild:

  • inventions or innovations that will have a major impact on the world
  • help people be all they can be
  • solve a major social problem or encourage others to do so
  • have clear opponent you want to beat
  • underdog or challenger brands
  • products and services that are strong and help people do tough jobs exceptionally well
  • differentiate from competitors with problems following through or keeping their promises (“brand enemy” positioning)
  • customers see themselves as good, moral citizens

Archetype examples: Nike, Superman

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Brand Archetype #9: The Outlaw

Quote: “Love is the ultimate outlaw. It just won’t adhere to any rules. The most any of us can do is sign on as its accomplice.” ~ Tom Robbins

Motto: Rules are made to be broken.
Driving desire: revenge or revolution
Goal: to overturn what isn’t working
Greatest fear: to be powerless or ineffectual
Strategy: disrupt, destroy, or shock
Weakness: crossing over to the dark side, crime
Talent: outrageousness, radical freedom

Also known as: rebel, revolutionary, wild man, the misfit, or iconoclast

Outlaw archetypes in the wild:

  • appeal to customers or employees who feel disenfranchised from society
  • help retain values that are threatened by emerging ones
  • pave the way for revolutionary new attitudes
  • low to moderate pricing
  • break with industry conventions

Archetype examples: Harley-Davidson, Apple

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Brand Archetype #10: The Lover

Quote: “A true lover always feels in debt to the one he loves.” ~ Ralph W. Sockman

Motto: You’re the only one.
Driving desire: intimacy and experience
Goal: being in a relationship with the people, work and surroundings they love
Greatest fear: being alone, a wallflower, unwanted, unloved
Strategy: to become more and more physically and emotionally attractive
Weakness: outward-directed desire to please others at risk of losing own identity
Talent: passion, gratitude, appreciation, and commitment

Also known as: partner, friend, intimate, enthusiast, sensualist, spouse, team-builder

Lover archetypes in the wild:

  • help people belong, find friends or partners
  • help people have a good time
  • low to moderate pricing
  • freewheeling, fun-loving organizational structure
  • differentiate from self-important, overconfident brands

Archetype examples: Victoria’s Secret, Lady Godiva

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Brand Archetype #11: The Jester

Quote: “Cheerfulness is the best promoter of health and is as friendly to the mind as to the body.” ~ Joseph Addison

Motto: You only live once.
Driving desire: to live in the moment with full enjoyment
Goal: to have a great time and lighten up the world
Greatest fear: being bored or boring others
Strategy: play, make jokes, be funny
Weakness: frivolity, wasting time
Talent: joy

Also known as: fool, trickster, joker, practical joker or comedian

Jester archetypes in the wild:

  • give people a sense of belonging
  • help people have a good time
  • low to moderate pricing
  • fun-loving companies
  • differentiate from self-important, overconfident established brands

Archetype examples: Motley Fool, Muppets

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Brand Archetype #12: The Regular Guy/Girl

Quote: “I understand the common man because I understand me in that regard, at least.” ~ Vince McMahon

Motto: All men and women are created equal.
Driving desire: connecting with others
Goal: to belong
Greatest fear: to be left out or to stand out from the crowd
Strategy: develop ordinary solid virtues, be down to earth, the common touch
Weakness: losing one’s own self in an effort to blend in or for the sake of superficial relationships
Talent: realism, empathy, lack of pretense

Also known as: good old boy, everyman, the person next door, the realist, the working stiff, the solid citizen, the good neighbor, the silent majority

Regular Guy or Girl archetypes in the wild:

  • giving people a sense of belonging
  • offers everyday functionality
  • low to moderate pricing
  • solid companies with a down-home organizational culture
  • differentiate from elitist or higher-priced brands

Archetype examples: Home Depot, Wendy’s

Not sure which brand archetype applies to you or your organization?

» Take the Marketing Ideas 101 Brand Archetype Quiz! «

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Reference
Peña-Bickley, J. PostDigital, 2007. http://joannapenabickley.typepad.com/on/2007/06/on_the_12_arche.html. Source: Archetypes, via BrandHouse, Denmark.

Marketing Ideas #96-101: Be Remembered After Your Next Tradeshow

Marketing Ideas Be Remembered After Your Next Tradeshow

When getting ready to host a booth at a trade show, once you know the size and area dimensions you’ll be working with, the next step is deciding what information and content you want to display. Here are some tips:

#96: Your company name and logo must be visible. If visitors don’t know who and what the display is about in a matter of five seconds or less, their interest will be lost. The company’s name and logo should be easy to see. Remember: Always include your website address.

#97: Don’t make the overall design too distracting. Too much information and clutter will create confusion. Neatness, simplicity, and visibility are some of the most important aspects. Images should be crisp and professional-looking—no low-resolution images. All content should be appropriate and pertain to the rest of the display.

#98: For maximum impact, use color to make a statement, and let your display pop out. Color schemes can help set a specific mood or tone. Pick colors that will correlate with your company’s tone and theme.

#99: Successful trade show booths make it easy for visitors to retrieve information. Pass out flyers or business cards. Consider creating interactive displays, such as games, contests, drawings, or giveaways. Think of anything that will get the visitors intrigued and involved. This is a great way to add some flair to your display!

#100: Prior to a big day of participating in a local trade show, make sure you’ve e-mailed your customers and prospects to let them know 1. of the trade show (in case they hadn’t heard) and 2. of your participation in it. A short e-mail broadcast is a quick, easy, and low-cost way of promoting both the trade show and yourself. The more people who turn out for the trade show, the greater its success; likewise, the more people who stop by your booth, the greater the chance for your success.

#101: Say thank you. Show your appreciation for those who have taken the time to stop by your booth and engage you (when they could have invested their time elsewhere among the hundreds of other booths). This should be viewed as a critical part of your follow-up strategy and can be done over the phone, via e-mail or direct mail, or through a face-to-face visit afterward—just do it. The most powerful showing of gratitude is delivered in person.