Viral videos – they’re everywhere!
It seems like every day there is a new hot video hitting the ‘net that everyone shares with family and friends, through email or social media like Twitter and Facebook. There are thousands if not millions of videos uploaded on a daily basis, so what is it that made these videos go viral?
What Viral Videos Can Do For You
Do you know what’s great about going “viral?” You catch a whole lot of press and marketing for free. Viral videos may very well be one of the best ways to get any attention from people on the internet.
Videos that go viral can also be used for a number of different reasons – whether it’s to promote a company, a product, or just promote yourself and your blog. It’s an effective way to grab a lot of attention, but one thing it isn’t, is easy. The elements that you will need in order to have your video go viral are listed below.
Laugh Or Cry
The best way to get a video to go viral is to first go after a person’s emotions. You don’t want to make people angry (that will have them reject whatever it is you are trying to get across to them), but if you make them laugh, or make them cry, then you are leaps and bounds ahead of other videos and have a highly increased chance of going viral.
Make sure that whatever you do, you are not using any type of inside joke to try to evoke emotion. The more people who understand whatever it is that you are trying to express, the more views and the more “shares” it will get. Go for universal appeal, and don’t be afraid to make fun of yourself.
Keep It Short
Notice how all viral videos are relatively short? Hardly any that go beyond the 2:30 minute mark will ever become viral. Why? Because people get bored. People wander. People see other links on the website that your video may be on and want to check those out too. When it comes to creating a video, you want it to be:
- Short (Evan Gregory of the Gregory Brothers suggests that you keep your video to 2:08 minutes – no longer than that).
- Offer up some kind of surprise
This “surprise” element is exactly what you will need in order for a friend who watches the video to feel compelled to share it.
It Shouldn’t Cost A Lot Of Time Or Money
You shouldn’t be spending a lot of money, if any, on your video. You don’t need a huge production set up or even the best camera to create a video; a lot of viral videos are created using extremely grainy and shoddy web cams.
The reason why you don’t want to spend a lot of money is because there is really no telling whether or not your video will go viral. The more money that you put into producing the video, the more viral it will have to be in order for you to make your money back. Not only that, but people tend to like videos that are obviously shot with a handheld camcorder or with a smartphone. It’s about the quality of the information being given in the video; not the videography itself that will make it a big hit.
Don’t Be Afraid To Share
Once your video’s finished, share it immediately. The best time to share it: noon. That’s right, noon. When you post something at lunchtime, thee are a lot of people who actually have the time to quickly jump onto their Twitter feed or Facebook account and will be able to view the video. Chances are they are at work too, so they won’t be distracted by anything that needs to be done at home, or by the television.
Make sure that you also upload your video not only to social media sites, but also to YouTube. YouTube is where you will obtain the most viewers, and it’s absolutely free. If you do want to pay to have your video distributed, you can choose a number of different companies such as Facebook Social ads, ads.youtube, Digg, and Google Adwords. The fees are usually based on either CPC or CPM, with CPC being the more costly option of the two.
Specific Elements Tend To Favor Going Viral
When you create a viral video, there are certain things about it that can help increase its chances of being shared a lot more. Some of these features are:
- Attractive women
- “Candid Camera”-style pranks caught on video
- Topical/political references
Though what makes a video go viral, such as the points mentioned above, can sometimes work for television ads, the format for television ads does not always translate very well online either. For example, Super Bowl commercials aren’t really great for viral videos online, but a piano playing cat is a big hit on the internet (and probably wouldn’t be on the TV).
Going Viral Doesn’t Always Mean “Money”
One of the things about having a viral video is that the right audience isn’t always watching it, which means that the audience watching it won’t be buying the product or the service that you are trying to advertise. Let’s say you have a business selling scooters for the elderly. There may be an element to the video that you’ve created which makes it absolutely hilarious, so people from the ages of 13-30 are all watching it and sharing it. But their 70 and 80 year old grandparents aren’t watching it, and they’re the people who would be buying that scooter.
The moral of the story: going viral does not always guarantee an increase in income. But if you pay heed to the points above, you have a good chance of having a viral video online and generating some extra traffic and revenue.