Can You Make It Go Viral? How Video Can Boost Your CSR Communications.

Can You Make It Go Viral? How Video Can Boost Your CSR Communications.

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Thursday, January 3, 2013 - 11:00am


You’d like your new video to get a million hits on YouTube, to be shared endlessly on Facebook and Twitter, and to become the talk of the BSR conference next year in San Francisco.

But will it?

Perhaps not, but don’t despair. Adding video to your CSR website can still be a substantial boon to your communications efforts. And it doesn’t even need to involve a cat playing the piano.

Dedicated YouTube channels and embedded videos in CSR websites and social media pages are on the rise, and for good reason: Video is more effective and dynamic than other media. For instance, after 72 hours, people remember more than six times as much video content as they do text-based information.

Site visitors may not be able to quote your greenhouse gas–reduction policy verbatim, but they’ll remember an animated video showing how your engineers managed to capture waste heat in your manufacturing facilities.

However, predictability and jargon (as opposed to compelling and concise storytelling) are sure ways to sink a video script. So, when producing a video, leave the “corporate speak” behind and be ready to say something both accessible and meaningful.

Seventy hours of video are uploaded to YouTube every minute. How can companies possibly break through this visual clutter and get noticed?

Two answers: 1) It’s not easy, and 2) They may not have to.

Videos can languish online for months after being uploaded, such as the now-infamous “double rainbow” clip, and require the attention of tastemakers to gain traction. One simple nod from Jimmy Kimmel sent the aforementioned video into the viral stratosphere.

While Kimmel may not plug your expert-panel video series on supply chain management, the medium does offer a wealth of benefits. Video ranks high on search-engine-content algorithms, and having one on your homepage improves the chances of a front-page search listing by more than 50 percent.

Since 75 percent of people never look past the first page of search results,3 video is critical to promoting a company’s CSR website, goals, programs and policies.

Are you worried you don’t have the budget for a 20-person, Spielberg-worthy production? Don’t be.

A good video can be created through many different means, including graphic animation or existing stock footage. Your video doesn’t need to be all things to all people, and it doesn’t need to be a big-budget affair or take more than a few months to produce.

It does, however, need to be snappy, have a clear point of view, and like all web content, be promoted on your site, in press releases, and through your various social media channels.

Contrary to Hollywood cliché, if you build it, they won’t come—unless you give them a reason to.

Learn more about how video can boost your CSR communications at