Why Going “Viral” Isn’t Important for Your Video

I’ve sat in many a client meeting to be asked:

“Can you make our video go viral?”

On the surface it seems like a legitimate question. But really, having a video go viral is an unwise goal to have for a project.

There are many reasons for this – one of the main ones we see if that having a million views on a video doesn’t necessarily mean the video is performing in a way that will get you a return on your investment.

The best return on investments that we have seen for clients comes from the content being laser targeted at a particular audience and delivering an experience and/or great value. Then, having the audience take some specific action after having watched the video. In that sense the video plays a part in a wider plan. It’s strategic.

To put it another way, it’s more important for a video to be seen by the right people, for the right reasons.

If you have this, you have a greater chance of making an impact and persuading the viewer to take some desired action (making an enquiry/buying a product/opting in to an email list, etc.).

More to the point, videos don’t just go viral. Or at least, it’s such a small proportion that we can discount them.

Normally, when we see a ‘viral’ video, a ton of work, and often lots of cash (even into the 6 figures) are spent on seeding the video on high traffic blogs in the hope that they catch on and take a life of their own.

So remember, it’s not the view count that matters. So don’t focus on viral. Focus on specific content, for a specific audience — and invest efforts into getting it seen by them.

Key Takeaways:

  • View count is not a metric for success.
  • If you’re looking at stats then engagement, play rate and conversion rates are far more useful.
  • You’ll find a greater ROI in creating focused content for a specific market, who are then compelled to take a specific action having watched your video.
  • It comes down to the wider plan in which your videos are a part of. Be strategic. Viral isn’t a strategy.