Does Your B-Roll Distribution Meet the Viral Video Standard?

by KEF Media | July 18, 2018

KEF Media Blog

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Will 100,000,000 legitimate impressions on outlets like Good Morning America, USA Today and hundreds of other media qualify as a victory for your client?

We recently delivered those results to one of our thrilled agency partners. That particular project, and two of the other biggest impression number wins from 2015, came in the form of a B-roll distribution, not a satellite media tour.

Does every B-roll distribution get this type of return?

Nope. Why?

Most B-roll fails to meet what we call the viral video standard. That’s my theory and I’m sticking to it. When I was the on-air social media expert contributor for WFLA News Channel 8, the NBC affiliate in Tampa, one question was constantly asked of me: How can we create something that goes viral?

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Unfortunately, the answer is conclusively inconclusive. There is no way to guarantee something goes viral. As stated in a Forbes piece, “6 Qualities To Make Your Videos Go Viral”:

“Having a piece of content go viral is like winning the Internet’s version of the lottery. It’s incredibly difficult to achieve and often hard to replicate. For every viral video success, there are dozens, if not hundreds, of failures.”

Sounds daunting, right? But there is good news.

According to Harvard Business Review’s “Why Some Videos Go Viral”:

“The greater the intensity of feeling the content evokes, the more likely people are to share it—the web’s answer to word of mouth…”

Thus, the content you want to go viral needs to be…

  1. Short: What will actually evoke the emotion…quickly! Our Twitter-fied attention spans are shorter than ever and we won’t share what we don’t finish watching.
  2. Timely: We live in the now thanks to social media. Tie your content to the conversations and trends happening now.
  3. Different: In this age of 24/7/365 media consumption, we feel like we’ve already seen it all. One of the major ways to pull an intense emotion is if you can create something never before seen.

One final dynamic in how things can potentially go viral is also in the previously cited Harvard Business Review article: Super Sharers Move the Needle! 

“Nearly 18% of internet users share videos at least once a week—and almost 9% share daily. Companies should find ways to reach these ‘super sharers,’ who are responsible for more than four-fifths of total shares.”

This brings me back to B-roll distribution: The influencer/super sharers in television are the national and local producers. Without wowing them, the chances of mega impressions are slim to none.

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So I asked the former TV news producers on our KEF Media team to answer a simple question:

What would make you add our B-roll to your newscasts?

“Two big things: Is it an action shot and is it something that’s never been done before? Static shots like check presentations and press conferences won’t get so much as a reader (anchor reading your story on camera WITHOUT your footage) unless you have the winner of the billion dollar lottery. But, great visuals of someone breaking a world’s record or a stunt that evokes a feel-good emotion. Those are B-roll winners. “ – Audrey Kelsey, SVP, former Senior Producer at WXIA (NBC), Atlanta and The Weather Channel

“Does your B-roll make news producers stop in their tracks and say, ‘What was that!?’ If it does, then you have something that will get airtime.” – Tony Cordaro, former Senior Producer at FOX Sports and CNN

“The video must ‘tug’ heartstrings, make you laugh, or say yay! or wow!” – Tomeca Mosley, Project Manager, former Emmy Award winning producer at WSB (ABC), Atlanta

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So is my theory correct? It’s probably conclusively inconclusive.

But here’s what I know for sure: In 2015, at least three different major agency partners trusted us in the brainstorming, creation and distribution of never before seen, emotion-eliciting video content. Each B-roll met the media’s viral video standard. Brand clients were astonished at the success and our agency partners looked like rock stars.

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