As a disclaimer, there’s no sure fire way to make your video viral. However these suggestions can surely help.
How does virality happen?
When you think of viral video several things come to mind. Before we begin it’s best to frame the experience on how a viral video spreads.
Think in terms of 3 circles. The first circle consists of your friends and immediate network. These people have a high propensity to like and share your content. This is regardless of how good your content actually is. Them sharing your content is entirely based on your Social Capital, how big and how much influence you have over them.
The second circle is the network of your first circle. These are the people you don’t know personally. For the second circle, your social capital is no longer the measure by which your video is shared. Now it falls on how good or “viral” the video is. If the second circle shares the content out towards their third circle, that’s when a video is viral.
The focus then should be on pushing that video beyond the first circle. So how can you get this happening?
Stick to the message
First things first, you need a plan. It’s easy to lose sight of the objective when you want to create a video that you desire to be viral. Sometimes marketing teams focus on what’s trendy at the moment in hopes to get some viral traction. Copying a concept of a popular viral video for instance. The video is a means to an end, and that end is conveying a message. Keep the key message in mind when doing the video, losing sight of that defeats the purpose of the campaign.
Keep it short
With the amount of content out there everyone has limited time. On this to increase the chance of your video going viral you need to keep this short. Video length is a common deterrent for people to want to watch something online. Not everyone has the time to sit down and watch a 10 min video. A 15 – 90 second video, on the other hand, is easy to share on the spot with your friends.
Tasty videos are often shared on Facebook. These are due to their bite sized lengths, quality content, and you don’t even need sound to appreciate it.
It must evoke emotion
One of the key things a video can do effectively, perhaps better than any other medium available for marketers is to stir emotions. Psychologically this is how people experience memorable experiences, through vivid lights and sounds, it’s also more tangible and relatable. Don’t just show the features and benefits of your product make your audience feel something.
Emotion doesn’t have to only mean sadness. Laughter is very effective too, sometimes even anger as well, provided it’s not directed at your brand.
Globe’s create courage campaign went viral attributed to the emotional reveal at the end.
Test it before sending it out
So you’ve created a video, now to test it before sending it out to the world. Feedback will help with the process. One of the best ways to get feedback from a video is to test it with kids. Have kids watch your video, if they get it, chances are that most people will get the video as well.
Some ground rules when you test your video with other people. Don’t explain, don’t set it up, let them watch it and gather their thoughts on it themselves. Here you’ll be able to see if the message gets itself across. Ask for feedback, be open to changing what doesn’t work. If there’s something that most people don’t understand, you’ll need to change it.
Kickstart some traction
In order for a viral video to start you need that big base to actually get the ball rolling. To ensure success consider hiring people with high social capital, aka as people with a large network to share your video. This is where influencers come in. Find key bloggers and influencers that resonate with your target market to share your video for you and watch the shares multiply.
Wolfe, L. (2016, September 08). How to Make Your Videos Go Viral. The Balance. Retrieved from https://www.thebalance.com/how-to-make-your-videos-go-viral-4061810
Raykov, D. (2016, October 25). How to Create a Viral Video Marketing Campaign. Hop-online. Retrieved from http://hop-online.com/blog/how-to-create-a-viral-video-marketing-campaign/
Hardwick, J. (2016, March 05). 4 Rules for a Video to Go Viral. Convince and Convert. Retrieved from http://www.convinceandconvert.com/content-marketing/4-rules-for-a-video-to-go-viral/
Stratten, S. (2012, July 30). Why No One Will Watch Your Crappy Corporate “Viral” Video, and How to Fix It. Fast Company. Retrieved from https://www.fastcompany.com/1844017/why-no-one-will-watch-your-crappy-corporate-viral-video-and-how-fix-it
McCarthy, B. (2017, March 15) Finally! A Study Finds Emotion Drives Engagement for Video Marketing. b-Mc Creative. Retrieved from http://www.b-mc.ca/blog/pub:68/Finally-A-study-finds-emotion-drives-engagement-fo