“Gentlemen, I’m Chris,” says a charismatic founder while smoking a pipe, sitting on an ornate throne, and proudly displaying a beard torn straight out of a Vikings storybook.
Before you can blink, Chris drops an F-bomb.
Chris Stoikos, the brand’s founder, is the producer and lead actor behind the video’s uncanny success. After amassing hundreds of millions of views across a handful of videos, Stoikos has dialed down a proven formula to turn any video viral.
Stoikos shares this formula on the latest episode of Unconventional Life, “8 Million in 8 Months: The Proven Formula To Viral Videos.”
In 2016, video is the new standard for marketing, with over 93% of marketers using video in their campaigns. Video is exponentially more effective than plain text or images, shown to increase conversion by 80% and generate 1,200% more shares.
If you’re selling a product or service, the question is not whether to include video, but rather how to hit it out of the park.
Stoikos credits his success largely to the virality of his video campaigns. The videos are less a blatant advertisement than they are a comedic skit, seamlessly blending entertainment and education about the product while building a compelling case to join.
“People want to join your cause and be a part of it for a long time,” Stoikos says. “Brand loyalty is 80% of your revenue.”
With Dollar Beard Club, members are there for the long run. The brand has created a beard culture that awards highest status to the longest, most well-kept beards, motivating members to buy new grooming products each month for years on end.
The concept is genius, yet simple.
Stoikos has coined a methodology behind viral video production called “Prohven,” which uses buyer psychology to create content that triggers an unconscious emotional response in viewers, provoking them to take action.
The Prohven formula has been used by top-level entrepreneurs through Stoikos’ media company Unconscious Content, to generate massive revenue spikes as well as build lasting communities around their brands. Below, Stoikos shares the backbone of the Prohven methodology so you can create effective and compelling video content for your brand.
1. Hook them in within the first five seconds. Create a pattern interrupt that immediately jolts your viewer out of whatever they were just doing. “Show them something they’ve never seen before. Make them say ‘What did I just see? I need to see the rest of this,’” Stoikos says. Be creative and imaginative, and don’t be afraid to be over-the-top. Tactful profanity may work to your advantage, depending on your audience.
2. Villainize your competition. Drop a line or two about why you’re better than your competitors. What is it in your offer that they don’t have? Bonus points for acting it out—think Stoikosslapping a naked man shaving his face to place his brand in opposition to monthly razor clubs.
3. Open up their emotional safe. Everyone has an “emotional safe”: it contains their trust and willingness to buy from you. Show your viewers that they can trust you—take them behind the scenes of your business operations, showcasing the comradery at your company and the homestyle care that goes into packaging each product. Make them feel good about your company culture and they’ll want to be a part of it.
4. Declare why your product is the best of its kind. Use language that shatters the status quo and boldly positions your product at the top of the top. Stoikos describes his product (priced at just a dollar) as “the most legendary beard oil known to mankind.”
5. Educate and entertain simultaneously. Highlight the best features of your product in a creative and engaging way. Weave it into the broader narrative of the skit so it appears seamless and natural, rather than staged, forced, or “salesy.” Make your viewers laugh and they’ll associate your product with a positive experience, becoming more likely to make a purchase.
6. Sell them on a lifestyle. The allure behind Dollar Beard Club is the masculine lifestyle it associates with growing a beard. Bearded men are shown riding motorcycles and getting sexual attention from women, with longer beards being portrayed as more masculine. Pair your brand with a desirable lifestyle that amplifies in value over time and you’ve got an incentive to join and an even greater incentive to stay. Check out Stoikos’ instagram for great examples.
7. Create a compelling call to action. Avoid using salesy phrases like “buy now” and “we know you’ll love these products we’re selling.” Shift the focus from the product and the sale to the relationship they’ll gain when they choose your brand. “Be a man and join the dollar beard club” is the closing line of Stoikos’ famous video. Emphasize the community and lifestyle viewers will align with and saying yes will be effortless.
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This article originally appeared on Forbes.com