Inspired by the new “viral video” I am working on – due to be launched next week – I have decided to list 10 video qualities to encourage others to share their content through social media sites and blogs.
There is no specific equation to creating content that goes viral. It is more like playing a game of bingo. The more of the below-listed qualities you have, the higher chances are that your video will “win” or “go viral”:
1. Parodying Something Familiar
Playing off of something already well known by everyone will provide viewers with a reference point they can use to relate to your content. Some examples include a movie or TV show that is trending or a popular song. The humour in portraying something familiar in a new way is what made Al Yankovic famous!
2. Incorporating Music
Making use of other elements to stimulate the senses (other than smell and taste of course) will make your video more entertaining and much more engaging.
Top Tip: use music under the Creative Commons License or create your own to avoid copyright infringement. It would be disastrous if YouTube decided to remove your sound in order to protect a record company’s copyright.
3. Keeping Your Video Very Short
My most favourite advice when it comes to creating content is to “murder your darlings”. No matter how awesome your footage is, by cutting it down to the bare minimum you will actually add more value and make your content much easier to consume. Most people spend only a few minutes, usually even less, watching a video.
4. Using Up-Tempo Music
Although there are exceptions to this, if you use music as a focus or as background, keeping it upbeat will grab the viewer’s attention and raise the excitement level. In my experience, music with a faster tempo always performs better than a slow beat.
5. Editing the Video into Focussed Scenes
Every second of your video should be used in the game of keeping your viewer’s attention focused on your message. If 15 or more seconds are spent on one scene your viewers may become bored prematurely and close you out. Quick scenes of 3 – 10 seconds have a much better chance of stirring curiosity which increases the likelihood that your video will be watched to the end.
6. Ensuring That the Jokes Land
When trying to be funny, avoid playing “inside baseball”. When creating humorous content, ask yourself if outsiders will appreciate it and find it as funny as you do. It may be an inside company joke that people outside the company may not understand. You may want to test your joke on people outside the company before you publish your video.
7. Not Getting Stuck on Quality
You don’t need an expensive HD camera or a film editing professional to create an awesome video. The value of great video content lies in the creation of unique ideas, not in gloss. Of course, video production in Reading and other cities can help if you really feel that you need the professional finish.
8. Appearing Larger Than Life
People love to watch crazy things on video that they never get to see in their everyday lives. Take the risk of capturing something truly remarkable on camera. For example, act silly, create ridiculous scenes or do some amazing but safe stunts. This is the type of exceptional creativity that propelled SNL to the top.
9. Shocking Your Viewers Within the First Five Seconds
The first five seconds will determine whether your viewers will continue watching your video or close out. Having a long intro to set the stage is a big mistake. Instead, jumping right in with the juicy stuff will grab the attention of your viewers before they decide to move on to something else.
10. Removing as Much “Corporate Friction” as Possible
For companies like ours that create content as part of their marketing programmes, this can be a tough one. If your logo appears everywhere with sales-related calls-to-action, your content may be seen as a commercial and your viewers will be less likely to pass it on. The best advice we can give you is to aim for a balance that is subtle as well as creative. Is it acceptable to ask your viewers for action that will indirectly relate to your company?
What other qualities do you think will make a video go viral? Which videos that have gone viral are some of your favourites?