Everyone wants to make a viral video. This is a fact. Just think about how great it would be — millions of views, some local/international fame, and people who want to meet you. And then when the video’s hype has died down, you get two choices. Either keep pumping out videos and hope you rise to stardom, or just kick back and let people remember your awesome achievement. Pretty good gig in my opinion — just one problem. There’s no exact way to make a viral video. If there was, everyone would be doing it. You could follow every single thing I’m about to tell you, and your video still might not go viral. But the truth is, viral videos often have a lot of things in common, and that’s what I’d like to share with you.
Length & Title Choice
Videos that go viral usually have very similar lengths and titles. The title has to be something that’s going to stick in a person’s head. This is pretty simple. If you have a hilarious video of your friend singing, you don’t want to name it “Funny Singing.” “How to Sing Like A Champ” would be a lot more memorable. And for the length, the shorter the better. Keeping your video under 2 minutes and 30 seconds is usually a good idea, although going a little bit over might not hurt. There are always exceptions to this rule, too. An exciting, shocking, micro-documentary could be 10 minutes long and go viral. But that’s more about content, which we’ll discuss next.
As a tip, try to get the audience intrigued in the first few seconds. With the help of apps like Vine nowadays, attention spans for video are getting shorter and shorter.
Simply put, people have to connect with the video content on an emotional level. Humor often works best, but you can also create a video that’s romantic, nostalgic, unbelievable, “so true”, etc. Or awkward, which is where I point out my favorite YouTube channel, LAHWF. Andrew Hales, the man behind the famous YouTube channel, got his start by creating a viral prank video that was painfully awkward and funny at the same time. And people could put themselves in his shoes. Here it is:
To this day, Andrew creates (mostly awkward) prank videos that connect with people. You often leave his videos with the “I could see that happening to myself” mentality. His newest viral video, however, hits people with a touch of happiness:
Another way videos go viral is with the help of celebrities, or what I like to call “half-celebrities” (people that are famous in their own industry.) If you’re lucky enough to feature someone famous in your video, you’re increasing your viral chances ten-fold. But what I’m mostly talking about here is celebrity video sharing. If you can get people in power to share your video, you’re in luck. Pull some strings and talk to who you can. And share your video all over the place — which is what we’ll talk about last.
Promotion & Marketing
Once you thing you’ve got a great video, it’s time to promote and market it. Don’t be shy! You have to believe the material is truly fantastic. That’s how you’ll know you know it has a shot at going viral. Get the video posted on Facebook, Twitter, and Google+ a few times. Don’t drop the video every hour, but spread it out casually. Talk to your friends and get them to post it too. Then use the power of online message boards. Post your video to large online communities. Definitely don’t forget Reddit, aka “the front page of the internet.” So many viral become viral because they’re posted there. Then, sit back and hope the video will snowball.