Creating a viral video is considered by many to be something of a ‘holy grail’ when it comes to marketing. Viral videos are videos that are immensely sharable, which leads to them getting ‘liked’ and shared via social media and e-mail and even in person to the point where the exposure climbs into the millions.
There are many great examples of viral videos and you’re probably familiar with a number of them. One great example though is Gangnam Style which has now reached 2,392,985,234 views at the time of writing. That’s incredible exposure and what you should be asking is what this kind of exposure can do for your business…
Branded Viral Videos
Of course Gangnam Style isn’t promoting any particular business or product, but that’s not to say that corporate brands can’t also replicate this kind of success. Old Spice has had similar success for instance, with its ‘The Man Your Man Could Smell Like’ video currently at 51,415,924 views. The ‘Dos Equis’ ‘Most Interesting Man in the World’ adverts meanwhile have gone viral in the form of memes. You can check out some more examples of branded viral videos.
Can You Make a Viral Video?
You have seen that this can certainly be done. The question is what makes a video likely to go viral? How can you replicate this kind of success for your own brand and bring billions of eyes to your brand?
First, you must understand that viral videos require a significant element of luck. While you can do certain things to increase the chances of your video spreading, there does seem to be a particular ‘X-Factor’ that can’t be bought. Follow the tips below and you’ll increase your chances of viral success.
The Viral Video Checklist
- Make your video high quality – If your video is low quality in terms of image or sound quality, then people won’t enjoy watching it as much and they’ll be considerably less likely to share. Make sure your videos have a professional sheen that does justice to the concept. Here are some video creation tips that can help you do that, even if you don’t have a huge budget behind you.
- Make it short – While Gangnam Style isn’t a particularly short video at 4:12, this is something of an exception to the rule. Generally people are short on time and this means they aren’t likely to sit through a 20 minute monologue. Likewise, they probably won’t want to take that much time out of their friends’ days either. Viral videos should be short enough that they can be enjoyed and shared even in a hurry.
- Give it a hook – Gangnam Style invented a very specific dance that was easy for anyone to copy, which essentially gave us a way to ‘share’ the content without even being online (many dances have gone ‘viral’ long before the internet was around). If your video is highly quotable or has another ‘hook’, then this will help work to get around.
- Humor – Humor is a powerful tool if you’re hoping to create a viral video or any form of viral marketing message. While humor is somewhat subjective, in principle, it can be appreciated by anyone and should make us feel good. This makes it something that can be very powerful when done correctly.