So Your Videos Don't Go Viral: 6 Ideas For Putting Them To WorkAwhile back I wrote about whether viral video matters. For any company that needs to make a big splash in the social realm, it might. But for the rest of us, who stand a one-in-a-zillion chance of making a viral video by trying, what really matters is the success of our overall video strategy. Here’s a hint: it’s not measured in views.

But what criteria should we measure the success of a video campaign? I’ve talked about the 8 most important video metrics, too, and guess what? Views weren’t one of those, either. Instead, the measurements were about shares, conversions, playthroughs, social engagement, and search activity driven by your videos.

But there’s one thing about video that I haven’t mentioned. In short, video is fun, and what really matters is the new and interesting way we get to talk about our products and services, and present them to potential customers. We can use humor, surprise, shock value, fear, edginess, creepiness, I suppose, and outrageousness to get our point across in ways that can’t happen with text and pictures.

Yet, no matter how hard we may try, we never get to that acclaimed status of viral hero. That means our videos must serve some other purposes, and that’s what I will talk about right here, right now.

Putting Non-Viral Videos To Good Use

What can you do with your failed viral videos? Like the stacks of whitepapers and slick sheets sitting in a cubicle gathering dust, your videos won’t be effective at all if they’re hidden. Viral or not, they’ll only do something if you publicize them in as many ways as possible. Those uses include:

  • Go Social – Videos are content. Once they’re uploaded to YouTube, you can post them to Facebook, Google+, Twitter, LinkedIn, and any others you deem legitimate. You can also take screen grabs and use them at photo-sharing sites like Pinterest and Flickr. They should be posted to your blog and other relevant websites where you publish guest content. This is the best way to put the videos in front of the right people, even if the numbers aren’t impressive.
  • Make The Sale – Your sales team should be well-versed in your video library, so that they know exactly what to show customers with certain needs and pain-points. If you’re created videos that address those needs, your sales team should be able to find them online through simple keyword-searches on YouTube, Vimeo, your CRM tool, your website or some other platform.
  • The Main Event – Want to stop the trade show crowd in their tracks? While most of your competitors flash screenshots of their products or slide presentations, you should display your most interesting and colorful videos. They may discuss the benefits of your products, or may just be designed to get attention. A truly great branding video illustrates the value of your company in a clever and subtle way. The trick is to get into people’s faces and dare them to look away.
  • Preach To The Choir – Your existing database of customers and email subscribers should be sent a link to your videos. In fact, you should think of these people as the primary audience for your work, considering that they’ve already established a relationship with your company. These are the people who have already aligned with your brand, understand your products at least a little bit, and will appreciate your humor.
  • Insider Info – Your company has stakeholders inside the organization, who should know as much about every product launch and new branding initiative as the customer base. Marketers like to showcase their best work for people on the outside, while using more technical details for people in support, sales, engineering, and management. Why? If you go to great lengths to make your brand interesting to customers, you should also make the place seem a little cooler to employees. Nobody likes dull.
  • Get The Leads Out – If you can only get a few hundred people to watch your informative videos, you may as well take names. Use the videos you’ve put so much sweat into for lead generation campaigns with outside vendors. Any video long enough to justify a campaign, such as a case study, or a how-to guide, can be used to raise interest in your company and gather names of prospective customers. For shorter videos, create a series and invite people to watch your videos one at a time, or all at once in one sitting.

The vast majority of videos never become an immortal, widely-lauded viral success. In fact, only 5% of YouTube videos even reach 10,000 views. But just because you’re among the 95% of video also-rans doesn’t mean you can’t get some serious mileage out of your efforts. Remember, it doesn’t matter that millions of adoring fans don’t see your hilarious masterpiece. It only matters that the right people do.