Social Marketing with Jennifer Aniston

Social Marketing with Jennifer Aniston

Recently, Jennifer Aniston was featured in a video on YouTube that instantly went viral. The video is a promotion for smartwater, which is a brand of distilled water. In just over two weeks, the video has received over eight million views. Who knew Rachel Greene was so good with social media marketing?

Obviously, YouTube can be a very powerful resource in social marketing. While there is not a perfect formula to make a video go viral, there are some important elements to consider before filming. Jennifer Aniston hits on all of those elements, which is what made her “sex tape” such a big hit. Although her “nice Internet boys” set her in the right direction and she was slightly overshadowed by Rebecca Black, social marketers can learn a lot from Jennifer Aniston.

Value Comes First
Marketers know that the value of a product should be immediately apparent. That is why we have seen the shift from highlighting features to highlighting benefits. That is also why professional copy-writers will explain that real value should come long before a call to action. So, if value is so important, why do so many social marketers forget it when it comes to YouTube videos?

The YouTube audience is looking for entertainment. Making videos for YouTube that does not provide entertainment first is ridiculous (And entertainment doesn’t always have to mean ‘funny’, it simply means to capture attention). If a video spends more time pitching the product than it does providing value (entertainment), it will have a significantly reduced chance of going viral.

Shock Value Still Carries Weight
At one point in the video, Jennifer Aniston sees the babies dancing and thinks they are quite cute. When the babies start “dirty dancing” together, she is absolutely shocked. One of her “nice Internet boys” tells her that the dirty dancing babies will get more views than the babies dancing an innocent jig. This, of course, implies that shock value still carries weight in social media marketing.

Doing something shocking and unexpected can translate into more views for a video.  If a video is shocking, unexpected, or unique, it is most likely to gain attention. Why else would the “nice Internet boys” want to name the video “Jen Aniston’s Sex Tape”?

Subtlety is the Key
This video is straightforward and upfront. It is literally a viral video about making a viral video. Not only that, but Jennifer Aniston lets viewers know that she is promoting smartwater immediately as well. There are no illusions in the video! It is an intended viral video for smartwater featuring Jennifer Aniston.

Straightforwardness removes the trust barrier between the marketer and the audience. The audience immediately knows the marketer’s intentions, which removes any scepticism. Then, entertainment value keeps the audience interested for the entire length of the video.

If social marketers cannot be as forthcoming as Jennifer Aniston, they need to be subtle. This concept goes hand-in-hand with the concept that value comes first. If marketers over sell or focus on the product too often, the audience will feel cheated. They will realize that they are just watching an exceptionally long commercial. This, of course, is the wrong way to use social marketing.

So, how can you use these elements in your videos or marketing? What else can we learn from Jennifer Aniston about social marketing?

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