Going Viral: What to measure

2 minute read

Why should your business create a viral video – ever? First and foremost for any video is to consider your potential audience and what are they going to gain from your video? We will get right back to the answers.

Next let’s consider the definition, realities and benefits of “viral videos.” A viral video is initially attractive because it’s usually low cost, marketing resources are easily available and the potential audience is enormous. However, it’s nearly impossible to plan for a video to “go viral.” In fact, most planned viral videos fall flat. The risk is high and the payoff is difficult to manage, especially for a business trying to brand a specific message. The reality of viral videos is often unwanted (frequently negative) attention from a largely unknown audience. The benefits for a business tend to be incredibly short lived and are difficult to steer toward appropriate attention and long term beneficial actions.


This video didn’t reach millions of viewers, yet still met its intended goals.

So if your video only gets a few hundred or a few thousand views, is that bad? That’s normal for a business video – as opposed to a TV commercial or pop music video. And most likely it may be a big success because those viewers were the specific audience you were targeting. They received and understood your specific message and passed it on to others who may have been interested. A high quality, well designed, genuine video can be incredibly powerful and help to educate current and potential customers.

Definitely consider the reasons and benefits vs. the risks of viral videos. Plan for a relatively small, controlled audience. Most likely you will have a more favorable and more manageable long-term business message.


steve profile for web

About the Author
Steve Simkins directs and produces videos at North By Northwest. His storytelling ability lies somewhere between LL Cool J and Jerry Lewis. He’s been making videos since he was a wee lad. Steve’s afro is not that big and he is nothing like LL Cool J.


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