Creating a viral video is still one of the most powerful ways to get viral attention. Yes, other tools like infographics and web apps can also go viral, but none can really match the power of a great viral video.
This is because of how easy it is for a great video to spread. People rarely share web content on their Facebook walls, but will very often be willing to post videos.
There’s a whole culture on the internet around sharing videos. It’s socially accepted, even looked upon favorably. Because people are more willing to share videos, videos can spread virally that much faster.
How do you create a viral video?
==> Make It Short
Most viral videos are short. Your video should be between two and six minutes in length.
Yes, there are longer viral videos, like the Kony 2012 video. However, these are the rare exceptions to the rule.
There’s a massive time and commitment barrier that keeps people from watching and sharing long videos. Instead of smashing yourself against this barrier, do yourself a favor and keep your videos short.
==> Make It Funny or Shocking
There are two types of videos that tend to do well: videos that are funny and videos that go against the grain.
You don’t have to create a video that’s completely off the wall. But you also can’t create a video that falls into people’s expectations. It must be outside the box in some way.
==> Design and Production Values
People appreciate a well-produced video.
Is it possible to have a grainy camera and a bad microphone and still film a viral video? Yes.
However, your chances of going viral are much, much higher if people look at your video and instinctively feel that a lot of care went into the video’s production.
==> Know Your Audience
Who are you targeting with your video? Who do you want to pass your video along?
Don’t say “everybody.” Even viral videos, which get passed along a lot, have a target demographic.
Videos that are only funny might be targeted towards college kids. Inspirational videos with a controversial twist might be targeted more towards spiritually oriented people. A shocking four-minute documentary about “The Truth about the Economic Collapse” might be targeted more towards working professionals.
Know your target audience before you produce your video, then adapt the video to really hook in your audience.
==> Test, Adapt, Repeat
Don’t give up if your very first video doesn’t go viral. Ask people what they liked and didn’t like and rinse and repeat.
Some of the biggest names on YouTube today first started by launching videos that only got a few hundred views.
Put out the best video you can produce, then gauge the results. Learn from that experience, then keep putting out videos that are better and better and better.