What are viral videos?
In the new era of social media and internet based communication, it is no surprise that with the majority of people engaging with platforms such as YouTube, Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram, certain information pieces occasionally arise as immensely popular. The ability for internet users to share these “viral” forms of information with the simple click of a button allows it to pass over the eyes of tens of thousands of people within mere hours, or in some cases, minutes. As expected, the medium of video presentation has become the most popular form for which information achieves viral status, as it appeals to an extremely wide audience. Unlike text based articles or podcasts, video requires minimal effort on the behalf of the user, while providing them maximum auditory and visual stimulation- an attractive concept to all consumers, regardless of age, ethnicity, or socio-economic status.
What are the benefits of creating a viral video?
As previously mentioned, viral videos reach astoundingly large audiences within an impressive amount of time. They can propel individuals, ideas, or products toward instant fame, making them the greatest, most effective form of advertising currently available for those seeking to appeal to a large population as their target. Essentially, viral videos are akin to casting a large net over a densely populated school of fish. Unlike hook-and-reel fishing, all even remotely close to the net will be sure to take notice of it.
How can one create a viral video?
Although no sure fire formula exists in making a video go viral, there are five steps that greatly increase its odds to do so, while also ensuring it still reaches a substantial amount of views. They are as follows:
1. Use creative, original content.
From corporations such as Red Bull to Coca-Cola, it clear that there are unlimited ways to advertise a product, regardless of what it is. Do extreme sports or happiness have much in common with caffeinated beverages? No, but both have been successful in attracting a large audience, which then associate them with energy drinks or soda. Evidently, what matters most is the way in which one uses creative, original content to entice potential viewers and hold their attention throughout the video once they click play.
2. Simplify, but streamline your message.
It is important that your video contains the ideal amount of information, meaning that too little can leave viewers confused, but too much is often overwhelming. With this in mind, it important to convey your desired message in an effective, easy to follow way. Oftentimes, creators use storytelling as a technique to communicate efficiently to their audience, as within the short 2-5 minute time period that viral videos commonly inhabit, they must be straight to the point, and simple, while maintaining their interesting message.
3. High quality production is a must.
Viewers are most attracted to crystal clear imagery and beautiful, emotion-stirring sound, since no one enjoys struggling to make out pictures from scattered pixels or noise from muffled audio. While content certainly takes priority over presentation, using top-tier tools to film and record the video is undoubtedly a worthy investment- especially since it heightens the chance of your video going viral.
4. Optimize the location and timing of your video release.
First, it is important to decide which online platform positions your video to reach the largest amount of viewers. Perhaps your Twitter profile has ten thousand more active users then your Facebook page, or your existing YouTube videos regularly see hundreds of more likes and shares than on your Pinterest. By taking advantage of your existing relationships with clients and viewers already familiar with you, you’re further positioning your video for greater success. Thus, it is crucial that you select a platform strategically.
Second, the timing of your video release is equally as important, particularly if your goal is to achieve instant viral success. Consider your time zone, location, and target demographic before releasing your video. While the beginning of summer or after four on a Friday before the weekend may work best for an audience of Western situated teenagers, other times will work better for different preferred demographics.
5. Promote, promote, promote. Like crazy.
While it may seem like you have but a small window of time to make your video go viral, this is often not the case, especially for those seeking their first viral video. Instead, it is not uncommon to see videos sit relatively unviewed for extended periods of time, before they are either promoted by their creator, or acknowledged by an outside source. However, the faster a video goes viral, the quicker your message is heard, and the sooner you will reap the advertising benefits. In order to do this, it is recommended that creators use either paid methods of promotion on the social media site where it is located, or by advertising through other popular media personalities such as internet bloggers.
After following these five steps, you are positioning yourself for the maximum chance of having a viral video. Unfortunately, a significant amount of what it takes for videos to go viral can only be attributed to luck, though by investing the time to follow each of these steps, you are sure to be creating an effective video, and thereby increasing your reputation and popularity amongst an ever growing internet audience. Each video you create will build upon and strengthen this base, and hence, you are sure to experience increasing benefits as a result of your strategic, effective video advertising.