How to Make a Video Go Viral

There are literally billions of videos out there, all clamoring for the attention of the viewing public. Some have been watched millions of times, others have been gathering virtual dust. Some cost $50 to make; others cost $500,000 and up. Of course, viewers usually don’t care what it cost to make a video. They only care whether or not it’s interesting enough to share. Marketers have realized the potential of this and now try to make it happen. You can too, when you know how to make a video go viral.

Brevity is a Must

Short and sweet are the bywords by which viral videos live and die. If you think you’re going to get people to sit still for a three-minute video on the mobile device, you might want to go back to producing music videos. At best you’ll get 15 to 30 seconds. If it’s REALLY good, you might eke out a minute or two. But beyond that, you’re going to lose viewers.

Keep The Message Focused

The most successful viral clips convey a single message. It has to be simple, crystal clear and straight to the point. Before you go into production, nail down your concept and pare it to its barest essentials. When you think you’ve got it focused as narrowly as possible, go back and focus it even tighter.

Give The Viewer a Reward

Inspire them, make them laugh, make them angry—but don’t make them sad.  Gloomy doesn’t do well.  Let’s say you’re producing a video to help you sell your furniture online. To have a chance at going viral, your video has to be produced from the perspective of what it will give to the viewer, as opposed to what viewers will give you. Get it right and you’ll be rewarded with buzz. But you have to give them something to love first. Do this and you will create a veritable tsunami of likes, shares comments, and attention.

Keep The Presentation Platform In Mind

By and large viral videos are spread via social media. Facebook video generally runs with no audio, in fact most people disable it. This means your visuals have to be strong enough to carry the message, even if people cant hear your soundtrack. What’s more, people are relying more heavily on mobile devices than ever before, so those visuals have to be bold enough to read on small screens. Packing the frame full of minute detail is a waste of time. Think big picture—literally.

Lead With an Intriguing Image and Headline

When people run across it on Facebook, Twitter, or even YouTube the lead image from which the thumbnail is derived has to be eye-arresting. You want to pique a viewer’s interest and make them curious about where that picture is going to go, or what it is going to do. Similarly, the headline must engender a strong emotional reaction to get people to stop and see what’s going on.

Promote Like Crazy

Yes, we know the idea is for the video to become a perpetual motion machine of self-generating publicity. But you have to overcome inertia to get anything to move. Post it in all of your social outlets, beg, cajole and threaten everyone with whom you have influence to do the same. Get it in front of influencers. Once it’s out there, you’ll have a very narrow window of time to get as much out of it as you can. Be prepared for media outlets to contact you and accept every invitation, regardless of whether the attention is positive or negative. When it comes to how to make a video go viral, all attention is good attention.

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