For a lot of companies investing in online media, going viral is the dream.
It’s a process that raises brand awareness on a massive scale but unfortunately, a lot of the companies that attempt to create a viral video fail. There are a lot of reasons for this and obviously, not every video is always going to be a success, even if you have all the right ingredients but there are a few things you can do to increase your chances.
Here are a few tips for producing a successful viral video:
1. Make It Funny
Take a moment and think about all of the videos that you’ve shared with friends on Facebook and Twitter over the years, what did most of them have in common? Chances are that your answer was that they made you laugh.
A vast majority of all the videos that go viral are funny and the reason for this is simple; people love to laugh. Take the above video from Bodyform for example (see the story behind this video here), this video went viral simply because it was funny and so out-of-character for the company.
You need to remember that people don’t want a sales pitch when they’re watching a video. If this is what they get, they aren’t going to share it and it isn’t going to go viral, so bare that in mind when it comes to producing a viral video.
2. Keep It Short
Sure, not all viral videos are short but honestly, a lot of them are and unless you’ve got something really special to share with your audience, it’s probably going to be best to keep things short.
Take a moment to think about some of the most successful viral videos out there and you’ll probably realise, they’re all pretty short (i.e. no longer than a couple of minutes in length). The Old Spice video above for example is only 33 seconds long and it’s racked up more than 44 million views!
People’s attention spans tend to be pretty short these days and you have to remember that if they’re watching something on YouTube or another video sharing site, other (possibly more interesting) content is just one click away. If people get bored by your video, they’re not going to stick around.
3. Make It Awesome
Things don’t always go viral because they’re funny, sometimes they’re just plain awesome. Take the T-Mobile Flash Mob video above for example – sure, it might have a brief element of humour in it at the beginning but the main reason the video achieved more than 35 million views is simply because it’s awesome.
The problem is that your video has to be truly awesome. Often, marketers can fall into the trap of thinking their own videos are awesome simply because they commissioned or made them and usually, this isn’t the case.
You need to do something out of the ordinary, something that no one’s ever seen before and even then, you still need to do it well. An ad agency may be able to help with a viral concept if you’re struggling.
4. Hire The Right Production Company
Another thing that can make or break your viral video is whether or not you hire the right company for the job. Even if you’ve created the concept yourself, it usually pays to at least get some creative input from a video production company or advertising agency, as their expertise is often quite valuable.
You need to find a company that’s creative right to the core and knows what concepts are likely to go viral. Our personal favourites are if you’re in the US, the guys at Seedwell are a great bet whereas in the UK, we’ll always opt for the guys at ShortyMedia. Of course, there are plenty of other companies out there too.
Getting Started, Going Viral…
So what does all this mean?
Do you really have any hope of creating a viral video? Well, if you follow these rules then the answer is yes. It’s important to remember that the reason most videos go viral is because of YouTube; a platform that everyone has access to completely free of charge.
This means that in theory, there’s nothing stopping you.
If your concept is good enough and you can get the word out about your video in the early stages, it’s likely that it will gain traction and ‘go viral’, exposing your brand to hundreds or possibly thousands of people.