Well, that’s partly true, but there are specific things you can do to boost your chances of success. Despite popular opinion, the majority of viral videos are the product of rigorous planning and preparation.
So, we’ve put together some top tips that will give your video far greater chances of going viral.
Keep it short and sweet
Viral videos need to be short and sweet. Essentially viral videos need to be shareable and therefore they need to be short enough to hold your attention, otherwise…
Create good content
This again comes down to share-ability, if your content is dry, no one will share it. It either needs to be funny, interesting, thought-provoking or trending – anything outside of these has little chance of success.
YouTube’s algorithm favours videos that have high levels of engagement, are transcribed, have very low abandonment rates and have a regular upload frequency. So, if you’re trying for a one-off viral video (without an established channel behind you), you might need a slightly different tactic…
Okay, so this tactic isn’t very well known, but it can work wonders if you can pull it off. Video piggybacking (that’s the technical term) basically plays on YouTube’s auto-playlist feature. You can use a plug-in that allows you to view YouTube video tags and meta-data – such as vidIQ (a YouTube-certified plugin). In a nutshell, find a video that closely matches your content (ideally one with a high daily view count), use similar video’s tags to theirs and the same keywords from the description box, then allow YouTube’s auto-playlist feature to do what it does best. Video piggybacking essentially acts as a launchpad to get your video in front of people and if your video is good, it really works!
If your content is brand new, you’re going to need:
- A really great video
- A very strong social media campaign to match
More than anything, viral videos rely heavily on the connections you already have. The more people you can encourage to watch and share your video, the better your chances. It doesn’t matter how good your video is if ultimately, no one can see it. Compile a list of everyone you know and do whatever you can to encourage them to share it – on both their business and personal accounts if possible! Ask anyone with a following to share your video even relevant bloggers and Reddit. Remember the snowball effect simply cannot happen without shares.
Forget everything you know about branding… almost
People don’t want to share an advert!
Keep your logos small so they don’t detract from your content. The best viral videos do not feel like an advert. Essentially you want your video to be great, not because of your product or service, but because the actual video is great. Amazon did this brilliantly…
Tell a story
Our whole world revolves around stories. Good stories keep people engaged and engagement is the key to a viral video. Get people to hang off your every word!
Name your creation
Make the title of the video snappy and shareable. Come up with something intriguing that makes you want to know more, *cough* click bate.
Make your video provoke emotions to really connect with your audience – anger, sadness, empathy, happiness, surprise, shock etc. Viewers are far more likely to share a video if it’s made a real connection with them.
Now you have the inside scoop on what it takes to make a viral video. Use your newfound powers wisely… no more cat videos, please!
We should warn you though, it’s not an easy job and there’s no ‘one size fits all’. Come and talk to us to see how we can get your brand going viral.