How Viral Was My Video: Why Ads Without Content Aren’t Enough

Brands often fight for awareness as much as sales. The rare truly viral commercial video has taken on Golden Fleece status. To give your ad, blog, or video of photogenic cats using your products its own momentum is the stuff marketers’ dreams are made of. But even the most forwarded video or flashiest campaign may not get you the results you want if you don’t back it up with expertly made content.

At AdAge, marketing consultant Jonathan Salem Baskin makes our very favorite argument, explaining how carefully constructed, neutrally presented information is still the best currency with would-be customers. Baskin posits that campaigns that vie for attention rather than long-lasting results are trying to fill the social void in our increasingly isolated society. Twitter, Pinterest, and frequently bipolar Amazon reviews haven’t taken the place of the social marketplace that was once a vital part of human connection. Companies and agencies are looking to fill that void with increasingly complicated and sophisticated means of getting your attention for just a few seconds.

Instead, Baskin suggests companies level with customers, meeting them with the information they want and need without any but the most obvious agenda, letting them educate themselves enough to make the right decision for their needs. Wedging a company’s logo or lifestyle or look in a person’s brain might only last until the next bright, shiny thing they see. Establishing your credibility with accurate, thorough, and freely available information? That makes a lasting impression–with lasting returns.

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