|Not everyone can go viral like “Grumpy Cat”|
You’ve seen them. Those short little videos that end up in your Facebook newsfeed, on your Twitter or that pop up in your emails daily. From the Harlem Shake to Grumpy Cat, viral videos have become a staple of workday surfing and something called “friendsharing”.
They have millions of views and have elevated ordinary folks into stardom (think “the Bieb” and the guy who did “Gangnam Style“). It’s tempting to think that just about anyone can create a viral video, and in theory, anyone can. But in reality, creating a video that racks up millions of hits is, particularly for your business, is very, very, VERY hard.
An Essential Element:
The irony is, your business NEEDS to utilize video, especially on your social media platforms, in order to gain followers, friends and potential customers.
It’s just a simple fact of social media: You need visuals and video to raise your profile online.
This is where the viral video curse comes into play. Too often businesses believe they can create a viral video that will instantly make their company an internet hit. The problem is, it’s nearly impossible to consciously create a video that goes viral.
However, you CAN create a video that attracts viewers, hits your target demographic and effectively promotes your business.
Don’t Try Too Hard:
The internet graveyard is littered with examples of companies that tried too hard to create a viral video, or reach a particular demographic. Pepsi comes to mind, Coors tried it with their “Code Blue” campaign and Cheetos struck out with their recent “Orange Underground” effort. (click link to see example). So, even the big boys find it nearly impossible to do.
For your business, however, the first thing to do is remove the idea of creating a viral video in the first place. Instead, focus on creating a video that is interesting and actually says something about your business.
Let’s start with the basics of creating an online video for your company:
1. Keep it short – Anything over a minute is less likely to be viewed by the general public. Don’t use two minutes to say what you can say in :45 seconds.
2. Don’t TRY to be funny – Humor is subjective. What’s funny to you might be offensive to someone else. You don’t want to anger potential customers.
3. Have a clear message – Don’t let your efforts at humor or viral fame get in the way of telling your viewers what you want to say about your business.
4. Reflect your personality – If you’re a fun, whimsical restaurant, you probably don’t want your video to be stuffy or stiff. Show your businesses’ personality in your video.
5. Don’t scrimp on the details – The worst thing you can do is have awful lighting, bad sound and subpar editing. It doesn’t have to look like George Lucas directed it, but it also shouldn’t look like a middle school art project.
Two other items you should keep in mind. For those who are Denver natives, you’ll remember the old Jake Jabs American Furniture Warehouse ads. I bring this up because one of the staples of viral videos is the use of cute cats, puppies and other assorted animals to attract interest.
You can attempt to use animals in your videos, but remember a few things if this is the way you choose to go. First, animals are very hard to work with. Second, using cute animals might look like you’re trying too hard to go viral. Third, a cute animal might take away from the message you’re trying to deliver.
One last thing. When you make your video think in terms of volume. In other words, don’t make just one video, make several. A single video can be posted and get a ton of hits, but in a short time, people move on and it is forgotten. If you have seven or even ten short videos, you can constantly post the videos to your Facebook and Twitter feeds and keep people interested and looking forward to new videos. You don’t have to try and tell a story, just make your videos interesting and informative and you’ll be fine; just have a lot of them.
Again, producing a viral video is nearly impossible because the best ones happen by accident. Instead make your videos fun (not necessarily funny), watchable, have a message and keep it short and you’ll be able to post videos that will be effective enough to catch the attention of potential customers while allowing your current customers a chance to share something that will draw more attention to your business. And that is just as valuable to your business than any viral video will ever be.
|Juan Padro is a huge hit in LoHi|
|Ultimately, you want your story to end up here!|
|Newsrooms are a bit different today|
Timeliness – This seems simple enough. If a story or event has just happened or is happening “right now”, then it is timely. If you are pitching a story that happened a week ago, or something that is happening two weeks from now, it is not timely. The more timely the story, the more likely it is to be news.
Proximity – Remember this, all news is local. The majority of journalists are reporting on a local level. This means they are reporting for an audience that cares about what is happening in its own backyard, so to speak. The audience matters. That’s why a car crash in Denver matters more to local viewers than a worse crash in Ohio. Your story has to be local, or must have a local tie-in to a national story in order for most newsrooms to pay attention to it. If you’re pitching a Colorado Springs story to Denver newsrooms, it is much less likely to be picked up than if you pitched it to Colorado Springs newsrooms.
Impact – Who does this story impact? Remember that the greater number of the audience that is impacted by your story, the more it is newsworthy. For instance, while a car accident may be newsworthy, it doesn’t compare to a water main break in the suburbs. Unless the accident shuts down the highway, the water main break impacts more of the audience. This is one of the reasons why weather gets so much attention. A snowstorm impacts everyone in the audience.
WOW Factor – This is where stories about celebrities or sports generally fall. This category could also be called “uniqueness”. How unique is your story? If your story is similar to other stories that have run recently, chances are your story isn’t going to be picked up. The more unique you can make your story, the better chance you have of seeing your story on TV or in print.
Once again, The LoHi Area is home to another of Denver’s newest and hippest restaurants. LoHi foodies celebrated the opening of “Old Major,” the latest concept of Katie O’ Shea and Juan Padro. This time, Katie and Juan are partnering with Chef Justin Brunson owner of Masterpiece Deli, to create a LoHi restaurant featuring contemporary farmhouse cuisine, or as their tagline says: “Seafood, Swine and Wine!”
Already the buzz is picking up about this great new restaurant. Even before Old Major opened its doors, local critics were anticipating the unique menu, comfortable atmosphere and quality service. Of course, Katie and Juan’s record of success and Chef Brunson’s expertise in the kitchen didn’t hurt. As long as a year ago, Westword was already writing about Old Major. Chef Brunson was quoted as saying, “I think this is a restaurant that’s going to be great for Highland,” Brunson predicts. “This is where my career really took off, and I think there’s a need for high-end bistro fare up here. It’s been a long time coming, and the space is nothing short of awesome.”
Now that the doors are actually opened and customers are flocking to sample the fare, other critics are starting to pay attention as well. For example, check out a recent story about LoHi’s latest addition in the Denver Post.
We at the Stasko Agency have had the pleasure of working with Katie and Juan to promote their other restaurant, Highland Tap and Burger. It is a thrill for us to see their continued success in the LoHi Area.
One of our biggest goals at the Stasko Agency is to help promote the LoHi Area and its ever growing list of merchants. It’s such an amazing neighborhood with fantastic restaurants, a thriving arts scene and or course there’s our popular nightlife. If you have any information you want us to pass along regarding events, activities, openings or closings in LoHi, please leave us a message here or email us directly at Lu@staskoagency.com.
For those of you who are LoHi residents, you can make a reservation at Old Major by emailing Mary@oldmajordenver.com, just put “Friend of Katie and Juan” in the subject line. They’ll take care of all your dietary options as well.
Keep supporting local LoHi businesses and we’ll keep getting the word out to the rest of the Metro Area about Old Major and the rest of the businesses in our gem of a neighborhood.
For several months, I’ve been spearheading an effort to help merchants in Lower Highland more effectively market themselves and the neighborhood. After many meetings to share ideas and strategize, we’ve decided to create the LoHi Merchant Group. Rather than organizing under an existing neighborhood organization (such as Highland United Neighbors Inc.) we’ve decided to stay independent to specifically focus on promoting the services and products offered in LoHi.
Though our group is new, we’ve already made strides in furthering LoHi’s reputation as a unique destination. Several merchants in our group have banded together and joined VISIT DENVER, which markets the city to tourists, meeting planners and even potential new residents. As part of the membership, the merchants will be featured on the organization’s website, in the Official Visitors Guide and in brochures displayed at the Visitor Information Center downtown and at Denver International Airport.
We’ve also established committees to tackle such tasks as developing a website for our group and exploring the possibility of starting a shuttle service that would run from downtown to LoHi. Though we have some goals we want to accomplish, our group is still very much a work in progress. At our next meeting we’ll decide what amount to assess for annual dues to help cover expenses.
We meet on the last Monday of the month from 5:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. Our next meeting is Monday, March 26th at 5:30 p.m. at the Lumber Baron Inn, 2555 W. 37th Avenue. If you’re interested in finding out more, please join us. You can also contact me for more information via email or at 303-477-9902.
Happy New Year! I am excited and hopeful about what 2012 holds, especially after such an eventful year in 2011.
Last year, The Stasko Agency developed campaigns to launch everything from a new outdoor gear protection system to comfort food-filled waffle cones. We also rekindled relationships with former colleagues and friends and helped them promote a variety of projects.
I am proud of what we accomplished and thought I’d share a few highlights from 2011:
I look forward to continuing our momentum and making new connections in 2012!
We had another great turnout for our second LoHi merchant meeting last month at Linger. I was amazed again at the diversity of businesses represented and the number of new faces interested in joining our fledgling association. Special thanks to Linger Owner and Chef Justin Cucci, for allowing the merchants to sample the restaurant’s innovative menu and tour the unique space on a night when Linger is normally closed. The view from Linger’s patio is one of the best in Denver and well-worth checking out.
As a longtime Highland business owner, I’m excited about so many merchants joining forces to more effectively market everything our neighborhood has to offer. One idea that we’re still working on is the creation of a welcome basket for new residents. The “basket” would contain a variety of gift certificates and merchandise from local vendors to help introduce new residents to the neighborhood and educate them about the services and products available. I am looking for help to coordinate this project, so if you’re interested, please let me know.
We also discussed the idea of launching a LoHi shuttle that would run from downtown to Highland, stopping at the major business districts in the area. The shuttle could help attract tourists from downtown hotels and would drive business without adding more congestion to the neighborhood. I’ll keep everyone posted as we work on making this concept a reality.
Lastly, I’m excited to announce that we’ve secured a URL for the merchant group and hope to develop a website soon to promote our activities. I’m also sending out updates on events and discounts through the new “Merchant Messenger,” so if you have something you’d like me to include, please let me know. The best way to reach me is via email – firstname.lastname@example.org
Our next meeting will be held from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. on September 26th at Spuntino, 2639 W. 32nd Ave. I hope to see you there!
Congratulations to Cellar Wine Bar, which just celebrated its first anniversary. To mark the occasion, we helped the LoHi lounge throw a festive summer party that also served as a fundraiser for the Urban Green Development Sustainable Scholarship Foundation. The foundation is raising money to fund one full-ride scholarship for a North High School student interested in pursuing a career in green and renewable industries.
Cellar Wine Bar owners Brian Delgado and Sandra Lopez donated $1 from every glass of wine sold during the party to the foundation. The cause is especially close the couple’s heart, since they met and fell in love as students at North High. The pair, who married in August 2005, chose to open their business in Highland because of their connection to the neighborhood. As successful entrepreneurs, they serve as role models for current North High students. The anniversary celebration provided the opportunity for Brian and Sandra (pictured below left) to thank the community for its support, while providing a hand up for future generations.
The event drew a big crowd and guests included new North High principal Nicole Veltze, Shapes Salon Owner Richelle Bishop-Gonzales, Denver Public Schools board member Arturo Jimenez, Wine Spectator writer Jayne Russell and Metromix/9News reporter Heidi McGuire.
Thanks to all who joined us for the festivities. If you haven’t already, please check out Cellar Wine Bar, located at the corner of 15th and Umatilla. The bar offers 35 different types of wines by the glass as well as sake, beer, cocktails and Spanish-influenced appetizers, including beef and potato empanadas. A patio is the works, which should provide the perfect spot to while away the remaining summer days.