Why Consistency Trumps Virality When it Comes to Online Video


When most businesses decide to bring video into their online marketing mix, they often approach it with the mindset of developing a big production video, often with the hope of it going viral.

There’s been budget allocated towards getting something developed, and it becomes one big project.

But this is rarely the best way to approach video, and it’s why so many attempts at video fail to have an impact on marketing campaigns.

There is a much more effective way of approaching it, and that’s what I want to propose in this post today.


Focus on Consistency over Virality

Rather than trying to develop one great video, you’re better off focusing less on production quality, and more on the value that you’re providing.

This allows you to move away from the concept of a one off production , and instead develop consistent, valuable content that continues to pay dividends again and again.

Consistent video will have much more of an impact over time than trying to produce a viral video and will be a much better use of that precious marketing budget you’ve been given.


Let’s break down some of the key points:

There is an overarching point to consider in this argument which probably needs to be raised first and foremost:


The majority of videos don’t go viral

Only a tiny percentage of videos will ever go viral. For every one that succeeds, there’s a thousand more that fail. And there’s so many different factors that affect virality, that it’s almost impossible to predict what will and what won’t work.

Straight off the bat you’re fighting insurmountable odds, which you have very little control over.

But say you’re of of the few videos that does make it – there’s still a lot of reasons why viral isn’t necessarily better.


Consistency allows for better targeting

The more viral your video goes, the less relevant it becomes.

virality vs relevancy


This is one of the issues with viral videos, massive amounts of views, don’t translate into massive amounts of sales because your video is reaching a mostly irrelevant audience. In order to reach this audience your video needs mass appeal, and with that becomes reduced relevancy.

Consistently producing more targeted videos, allows you to stay very relevant and target your direct audience, meaning a much higher conversion rate.

By creating multiple videos, you can diversify your topics allowing you to reach people at different stages of the buying cycle, and making your videos altogether more useful.

There’s so many angles you can approach video from. You could address customer pain points, develop “how to” videos, answer some of the most frequently asked questions, or give details about your product or service.

Each of these approaches provides relevant information that can reach a targeted audience and build trust over time.


Consistency helps with Effective frequency

Effective frequency is the amount of times a person must be exposed to an advert before a response is made.

If a person doesn’t see your message enough times then the time spent getting them to view it  is wasted as your message won’t register.

Wikipedia link for those that want to read more.

This can vary wildly across the board, Brandeo notes an average effective frequency of 3+, meaning people need to see your message three or more times before it registers.



This means you need to be reaching people frequently in order to gain any traction. So unfortunately viral videos are much more likely to fall into the “wasteful” exposure category.

Being consistent over time gets your message across, and repeats it enough times to ensure it registers.


Consistency is better in the long run

Sure a viral video would provide some great results initially, but as with most viruses, it won’t stay around forever.

Businesses aren’t built overnight. You need a strategy that’s going to support your objectives long into the future.

Consistency with your videos can help build an engaged audience that trusts you and listens to what you have to say. This is far more valuable in the long run.



This is an overlooked factor when it comes to pretty much anything, not just online video.

When trying to create a one off video with the hope of it going viral, you’re putting all of your eggs in one basket so to speak.

There’s so much pressure on getting it right, because there’s so much riding on it. But it’s unlikely that you’re going to get it perfect straight away.

The reason being that you lack practice.

In this great post by James Clear, he talks about “putting in your reps”

It demonstrates the value of starting small, being consistent and getting better each time.

You’re much more likely to create a great video if you’ve got the experience of 20 videos under your belt.

You’ll learn what works, what your audience responds to, and what direction you should be moving in. It’s the sort of knowledge that you can only gain through experience.


Choose the right path

Hopefully this has persuaded you on some of the benefits of choosing consistency over virality as your main objective.

So if you’re taking on a video project, and it’s heading down the viral video route – stop and consider if you could spend that budget on producing consistent, relevant videos, that get in front of your target audience and get them converting.

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