Ok, the title is a little misleading. “Go make me a viral video” is the call of the CEO these days. To their defense it seems so easy – make a crazy or controversial video and get spread across the Internet. Why doesn’t everyone do it?
That’s because often it’s the luck of the draw that makes a viral video. However, you can increase your chances by following the tips below. You may not have the next Gangnam Style, but you could at least have a Chocolate Rain or Charlie the Unicorn on your hands.
Keeping it Simple
Try to keep in mind your viewers have short attention spans. This isn’t an insult – it’s the truth. Imagine if this blog was 5,000 words rather than 500. Would you read through the whole thing? You might say yes to pad my ego, which I appreciate, but in truth you would probably end up clicking the way in the middle of a post to find something else more bite-sized.
So rather than aim for the YouTube version of War & Peace, keep it simple. Each video should have one central idea or focus. If it gets to be too complicated, cut it down to a couple different videos. Keep the running time down, too, though be sure don’t make it too short, as it’s hard to get some real meat across in just a few seconds. There’ a reason we haven’t had the great viral 7-second Vine video yet…
Be Funny, Be Terrifying, Be Interesting, Be Something
Literally the worst thing you can do when making a video you hope to go viral is to be a bore. If you want your video to sit at the dreaded “10 viewers” mark forever then you should be dull, lifeless, and scared to try anything crazy. That will surely scare everyone – but not in a good way.
There are zillions of videos on the web. You have to put yourself in your viewers’ shoes. Why would they take the time to watch your video over all the others? Not only that, but why would they watch it again and again and then share it with their family and friends? If you can’t think of a single reason why someone would watch it twice, you’re in trouble.
Strive to be funny, or scary, or weird – something! If not, there’s no reason why even your own family will watch it.
Make It Remixable
The first time I actually heard about Gangnam Style was through one of the (then) hundreds of parody videos. In fact, it was only after a few months did I actually watch the original video as I had already experienced the whole thing through the “remixes.”
One of the big traits of a viral video is their ability to be teased and parodied. People enjoy having their own brush with fame so they make their own videos which generate their own buzz. Remember the Dramatic Gopher video? That one even made it onto South Park.
Try to have a few key moments in your viral video that are easily copied and parodied. It may be what ultimately gets the original video across the web in front of excited fans.
What’s your favorite viral video?
This article is written by Mickie Kennedy, founder of eReleases (http://www.ereleases.com), the online leader in affordable press release distribution. Download your free copy of 7 Cheap PR Tactics for Success in Any Economy here: http://www.ereleases.com/offer/7cheaptactics.html