How our video became viral with a million views in just four days
[Update on 14 June 2016] Yesterday our video hit a million views with 25,000 shares and helped us reach two million users, within just two days.
The response is overwhelming, as we were expecting 30,000-40,000 views when I planned the video concept. I want to share the key learnings so that you can also make videos that have a wide impact, as part of your content marketing.
#1. Make something useful for the users
The first thing that worked for us to make a video on the concept that is useful for the end users. We conceptualised the video for cold and cough home remedies for infants and babies.
We learned from the mom community in our mobile app babygogo, that mothers are looking for home remedies for common issues like cold and cough. We wrote a blog article that was successful and launched a video on the same concept, which became even more successful.
#2. Write a good title (and description)
People judge the book by its title, that holds true even for videos.
Write a viral title and promise to solve the user problem in the description.
We wrote a title “5 Most Effective Home Remedies against Cold and Cough,” rather than just “Cold & Cough home remedies for babies”
#3. Preview image must be persuasive
Our video preview image shows a cute baby in the hands of a mother. All the mothers can relate themselves with the image.
You can choose a snapshot from your video or use any external image. Don’t ignore the title and image as these are two things which guide user’s decision to watch or ignore your video.
#4. Hook the user in first few seconds
First few seconds are crucial. No one cares about your brand, so never start your video by showing the logo and name of your startup.
Rather, give a reason to the user to continue with your video.
A cute child sneezes in the starting of video and then we start giving home remedies one by one.
#5. Give them a reason to share
Think beforehand, why someone will share your video?
Our video was highly helpful for parents whose children are sick with cold and cough. Even doctors don’t recommend medicine for common cold. Result: most parents use home remedies to treat babies.
Now these are common ailments affecting all children regularly. The treatment, therefore, is a common talk between two parents and we found this to be a reason for this video to go viral.
#6. Understand what gets shared over the Internet
It may not be possible for you to find a solid reason that your users will share your video.
You must understand what gets shared in your industry.
People love to talk about politics, cricket, sex, Bollywood and celebrities in India. Find a common connection with one of these topic and your startup. Make something unique and interesting that users want to share with their friends.
There are certain emotions that gets shared - like anger, amusement, love, passion, and sympathy. Avoid something that makes people sad, bored or depressed.
#7. Promote organically
We were considering spending money on video promotion on the second day. But we decided not to promote the video by paid Facebook promotions. It was our best decision because the number of views kept increasing throughout the day. We were promoting our video organically in the external communities and number of video views spiked in the second half of the day. We also suspected that Facebook will kill the organic reach of video if we start paid promotions.
#8. Make short video
This was clear from day one. We covered five home remedies within a minute and 15 seconds. Every second counts, so try to cut your video short as much as possible without compromising the message and story.
We did some mistakes and we will improve our strategy the next time. There is no guarantee of hitting jackpot every time but certainly there is scope of improvement with every iteration.
Honestly, I underestimated the video and my marketing plan was weak. I started organic promotions in the morning while our video was published the previous night. Delay of every minute in promotion kills the potential of organic virality. I could have contacted some Facebook pages that share viral videos and health related videos. They would have provided us a boost on the first day itself and we could have hit one million views on the second day.
Our team is very happy with the early success of video marketing. We are able to maintain daily active user ratio of more than 25 percent, with involvement of a fast growing community of parents in India.
The video (viral part) could not be possible without the support and insights of Aashish Chopra (ixigo) and Nikhilesh (stagephod).
You can drop me an email if you have any question about video marketing or app growth.