A viral video is the Holy Grail for video marketers. Unfortunately, there is no magic formula for creating a viral video. If there were, then every video would go viral. As it is, there are thousands of videos produced and uploaded every day, and the vast majority of them are never seen. Even with that being the case, there are a number of steps that you can follow to give your video marketing message a better chance to be seen. Follow these seven steps to enhance your chance of ending up with a viral video of your own.
1. Target the Emotions
If you think of every viral video clip you have ever seen, you will notice that they all have one thing in common…they all appeal to the viewer’s emotions. Funny videos, such as Gangnam Style or the Old Spice videos may be the easiest to remember, but this is not necessarily the route you should take. You can make a video that is touching, funny, sad, controversial, or educational, but the one constant is that it needs to go beyond the intellect. Why is this so important? If you think about all the video clips, images, animations, or prose that you have ever shared with a friend, you will probably recall an emotional reason for doing so. It may have made you laugh or it may have made you cry, but you undoubtedly had some feeling attached to it. Target the emotions to increase your chances of having your video go viral.
2. Go for Quality
Another feature of really successful videos is that they are of high quality. If you think of Gangnam Style, the first thing you might think of is just how funny the whole thing is. However, if you watch closely and with a critical eye, you will also note just how good the quality is. This is not high art, but they obviously put some time and effort into it. If your video is not good quality, it might be shared to some degree, but it probably will not get very far. Many people will be turned off by the low quality images. Take the time to do it right.
3. Target an Audience
You have a better chance of sharing if you have a target audience in mind. Most viral videos are shared via social media, and the lion’s share social media users are broken up into circles of particular interests or demographics. There are many viral videos with a wide distribution eventually, but it is like ripples in a pond. You need to start small and then spread out from there.
4. Show Your Brand’s Personality
For many smaller businesses, especially those just starting out, this may be the first time viewers have ever even heard of your company so make sure your personality permeates the video. Let them know who you are, not just what you do. Appeal to your target demographic and, once again, try to engage them on a personal level.
5. Avoid the Hard Sell
While you want to show your personality, you need to be careful not to be overly promotional with your products or services. Obviously, you want the viewers to know what you offer. Just be careful not to hit them over the head with it. Most of the videos that go viral are entertaining first and promotional second. A blatant commercial probably will not be widely shared but a creative one will.
6. Have a Marketing Plan
You can pin all your hopes on chance or luck, but the vast majority of marketing videos will not go viral on their own. Most viral videos have been uploaded purely for entertainment purposes, so a marketing video is going to face an uphill climb. If you have followed the previous steps and created something shareable, you still need to prime the pump, so to speak. Have a marketing plan in place that will get the video out to a target audience. From there, they can pass it on, sharing it in ever widening circles.
7. Don’t Put All of Your Eggs in the Viral Video Basket
Obviously, you want results, or you would not expend the money and effort to produce the video in the first place. However, even if your video does go viral, it is a moot point if the rest of your sales channel is ineffective. If your video drives traffic to your website, be sure to have all of the marketing tools in place to close the sale.