On hindsight, the ice bucket challenge was destined for internet glory. It’s simple, easy and inexpensive, it’s social, it works well on video, it’s authentic and it supports a good cause. The challenge was suggested by a baseball player with ALS, not a marketer.
With so many creative marketing minds in the world spinning out great ideas, why aren’t they lighting up the webscape daily, even hourly? Why is it that the videos that get the most traction come from the least experienced people and places?
Perhaps it’s because authenticity has overtaken creativity as the coin of the realm in online life. What’s a marketer to do if people prefer other people’s stuff to whatever a brand does, no matter how clever?
The Answer: Be Real. Be Unviral.
That’s right. There’s no need to go viral if your video is authentic. Wistia says ‘not viral’ is the new viral. Make a real video (by learning techniques on sites like CreatorUp) and then track it, tweak it and a/b test it like a landing page. Use YouTube’s Creator Playbook, host it on Brightcove or go to people like Phil Nottingham for guidance on building a video SEO strategy. If you don’t feel your team has the bandwidth to handle it in-house, you can bid it out on sites like Wooshii.
Get creative with your next explainer video and get discovered through SEO. You don’t have to put a cat in it; just make it watchable. Watchable videos don’t have to have music or slick graphics or even animation, but they can have all of these elements. A GoPro, a laptop and an intern can do it, and often they have the best ideas anyway. (Go interns!) It’s affordable, trackable and potentially good for the bottom line, even if it doesn’t go viral.
If you’re dead set on going viral and you’re thinking of combining two popular memes into one smoking hot video: too late, somebody’s already got a YouTube video of a cat doing the ice bucket challenge.