How to Promote a Visual Social Marketing Video

By Krista Neher

After you’ve created an amazing social marketing video, the next step is promoting it. Even many viral video success stories included deliberate promotion and, sometimes, even an advertising budget to get them off the ground.

An example of a video campaign is the Old Spice Guy video from 2010. Old Spice launched an online video series centered around its commercials with a “manly man” talking about Old Spice. The award-winning campaign generated significant “buzz” and reignited an interest in creating viral videos.

This same concept had been tried many times over the history of Old Spice advertising, and none of the other concepts had hit the mark. It took years of trial and error (and a significant investment) to hit viral video success.

The Old Spice video, launched by harnessing the existing social media audiences that the brand had already built. When the video was posted online, Old Spice already had thousands of fans to share the video with. It also ran paid advertisements to seed the video and generate initial views and interest.

Finally, Old Spice built in a plan to get even more people talking: It created a response campaign in which it recorded videos of the Old Spice Guy responding to celebrities and other people on the Internet. Knowing that the Old Spice Guy might personally respond to a tweet spurred many people to tweet.

You must have a plan to promote your video, even if the video is amazing. You can use these three types of media to promote your videos:

  • Paid: You pay to run ads to drive initial views of your videos. YouTube has an advertising platform where you can pay to have your video displayed as a featured or suggested video. YouTube ads tend to be more cost-effective ways to generate views, because you can sometimes pay only pennies per click.

    You can also run ads on social networks, search engines, or other media networks to drive people to view your YouTube video.

  • Owned: You use assets that you own to spread the word, including your e-mail list, your website, your social media accounts, and signage at your place of business. Owned media generates views from marketing channels that you have already established, or own. Your owned media channels typically reach existing customers or fans, which is a receptive audience to share and spread your video.

  • Earned: You generate attention and mentions because your video is engaging. Earned media may consist of a newspaper or blog in which you write an article about your video. People share your video because they loved seeing it. It’s earned media because you earn the attention (and mentions) with your outstanding content.

    Don’t rely only on earned media, however: Build a plan to reach out to people with large social media followings or influencers, and remember to ask people to share your content.

If you don’t promote your videos, few people are likely to see them. Whether your plan is to go viral or to simply maximize the exposure you generate from your videos, be sure to have a promotion plan.