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5 Steps to Viral Video Success

By: Olivia Petrac | August 21st, 2012

Viral videos are a phenomenon directly related to the exponential growth in video viewing.  As video views continue to rise, businesses are scrambling to create buzz (and drive sales) by producing videos they hope will go viral.  For small or start-up businesses 1,000 views may define viral, while larger more established companies may set the bar at 10,000+ views.  In rare cases, videos may garner 1,000,000 or more views.

While no one can guarantee thousands (or millions) of views, there are a number of common elements in viral videos worth mentioning.

1)  Catchy theme:   Relevant content is the number one reason videos go viral.  Offer a fresh take on a current trend or topic and use humor or exaggeration to create the unexpected.  Tap into viewer emotions and make them feel good about watching the video.

2)  Know your audience:  Identify your target audience and speak to them.  If your viewers are a niche community like moms with preschoolers, a funny video showing the antics of an adorable toddler will resonate and they’ll be motivated to share it with other moms, grandparents, extended family, etc.

3)  Structure and optimize content:  While video views continue to rise, viewer attention spans seem to be declining, so you need to capture your audience quickly and keep them anticipating what’s coming next.  Boost online optimization and searchability through strategic keyword, title, description and video thumbnail use.

4)  Minimize advertising:  Online viewers are bombarded by overt and intrusive advertising.  Concentrate on quality video content to engage and inspire viewers and discreetly weave branding and advertising into the message.

5)  Post everywhere:  Send a video email to all your contacts and encourage them to share it.  Embed it on your website and/or blog.  Post the video to your YouTube, Facebook and Twitter accounts and share the video link with dedicated bloggers who are interested in posting relevant, entertaining content.  The more initial exposure your video gets can determine how quickly those views start adding up.

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Jamie Bidwell is a team member at www.covideo.com. Covideo provides video email software that helps companies build relationships quickly and reinforce their brands more effectively with easy-to-make video emails that truly communicate. jamie@covideo.com.