Do all viral videos spontaneously end up going viral? The answer is NO.
Anyone can create a viral video with the right approach. Many company and user-generated videos are uploaded on different social media sites and thanks to their options of sharing, this is where they gain their success. But before you decide to create a video and force it into going viral, think of all the videos that have gone viral so far. Many of them are not of the best quality and sound, BUT they have other characteristics that leave a strong impact on the viewer. All viral videos have the power to grab attention, draw emotions and encourage sharing. When creating your “planned to go viral” video, there are a few things you should consider throughout your planning process.
What should my video include?
First of all, you want to decide on the purpose of your video. As a company, you want to bring awareness, improve your overall brand image and attract new customers. Since online viewers are bombarded by intrusive advertising on a daily basis, your viral video content should be anything but advertising. You can always provide video content that discreetly weaves branding and advertising into its message, but be sure to use other elements that will engage viewers and encourage sharing. Before you create your video, identify your target audience and speak to them. Use their characteristics and language to build content. Make sure to take a look at the key elements of existing viral videos.
You will probably notice that they include one of the characteristics below:
- Include elements of humor
- Evoke emotions
- Have a shorter run-time
- Include elements of surprise
- Include elements of irony
- Show talent
- Offer practical information
- Leave a powerful message
- Create powerful stories
- Feature children/animals
- Encourage sharing
Why should I include humor?
We all know that humor grabs attention and draws emotion. And also, the emotions you draw with humor leave a positive impression on the audience.
Funny videos have great potential of going viral and creating a positive and memorable brand image. If you use humor but have no message behind the video, you will grab attention, but you may not encourage your viewer to buy your product or service. Hence, humor has to be used a little differently in your video approach if you want to generate new leads. Try using elements of humor in showcasing the benefits of using your products or benefits of accepting your services. This is what will motivate your viewer to take action.
Don’t be afraid to feel!
Videos that bring out emotions are the ones we remember the most. Whether it’s sadness, happiness or surprise, anything that makes your audience feel will get them hooked. Videos that evoke emotions have a way of making it to your viewer’s heart, but mostly their memory. Apart from humor, half of all viral videos include surprising elements. People like surprises because they often see the same thing over and over again.
Viral videos can contain different approaches that include a mix of irony and humor which together have the ability to surprise. Even 90% of the videos featured an element of irony or something they didn’t expect. When you surprise your viewer this way, you are creating strong emotions. Studies show that strong emotions motivate us into taking actions, and emotions in advertising may drive us to make an expensive purchase or donate money to a cause.
Check out this viral video that discretely advertises Thai life insurance with the help of emotional appeal:
Content is still the key
What is your video’s purpose? Who is your target audience? Many videos that have gone viral feature cute children or animals, which again, have the power to evoke emotions. Most times the characters of a video build a story and create a strong message that gets us thinking. Stories have the ability to activate chemicals in our minds that provide sensory experiences and influence our thoughts. And from the very beginning of our time, people have loved to share compelling stories with each other.
Furthermore, other videos that have gained success include videos that are shared because of their informative features. How many times have you asked google “How to…”?
Videos that offer practical and useful information are very likely to be shared with friends and family. As a result, more and more people are creating useful tutorials and sharing them on their networks. A good combination is to offer video content about a trending topic that taps into the viewer’s emotions and leaves a strong positive impression.
What do the numbers show?
There are many speculations on how long different types of videos should be.
According to Hubspot, 60% of viral videos have short run times up to 3 minutes. The same information applied to the titles where 75% of the videos had a short title of up to 3 words. Even though these percentages are not small, there are still those videos that managed to go viral with different qualities. Therefore, this rule cannot be applied to every viral video. It is also important to consider the fact that with more and more available videos online, attention spans are declining. This is why it’s crucial to add at least one attention-grabbing element at the beginning of the video, but also keep your viewer anticipating on what’s coming next.
Don’t forget to share!
With the rise in popularity of social media, you have a wide variety of sharing possibilities. Share your video on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Youtube and all other accounts that accept video content. Sharing on Instagram is also a great option as the number of time users spend watching video on Instagram has increased by more than 80 percent since last year.
Take advantage of email and send a video email to all your contacts and encourage them to share it. If your company is on social media, make sure to share your video on all your sites and embed your video on your website or blog. Hence, don’t forget to add sharing options to your video on your blog and website and keep track of its success!
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