No matter how big a rock you’ve been living, you’ve definitely come across “Charlie bit my finger again” or “Kombucha Girl” at least once in your lifetime. That’s the power of viral videos. Not to sound insensitive, but viral videos, just as the virus in their name would suggest, spread like wildfire until almost every second person is familiar with it.
By viral videos, we’re not talking about music videos by big-money international labels that promote their content to a dedicated and already engaged audience. We’re talking about videos made by everyday folks like you and me.
And in a world that thrives on social media, conditions are ideal for videos to quickly gain traction and go viral. People keep sharing, commenting on it and sometimes they’re picked and promoted by big names, and before you know your video is viral!
Every video content creator dreams of getting their videos viral. And while there is no set formula that will help your video go viral, we’ve compiled a few key ingredients and characteristics all viral videos have in common.
People love a good story. Be it just listening to one or sharing it, stories have a way of getting to people. Stories are the basis of any good form of entertainment, be it a book, a television series, or a movie. For example, if you are making a video about your journey of learning how to swim, make sure you let your audience know all the BTS about it. What made you take up swimming in the first place, and why now of all time, did you have a phobia and how you overcame it, make sure you include real and relatable experiences.
If you analyze any good viral video, they keep it short and simple (KISS). Human attention spans are very small. And with the rise of short video social applications, you need to convey your message or point across in well under a minute. Try to be as simple and straightforward as you can. Overcomplicating ideas will only result in not many people understanding your video and skipping it.
Viral videos kick off with their main message. They get straight down to business. And they totally slap. No one wants to see logos and other boring details right at the start. So, make sure you convey your message in an effective and memorable way. As Neil Patel mentions, a creator needs to have the attitude of a street magician and not like that of David Copperfield. For a street magician, the initial few seconds are key. They need to capture the attention of passersby in that time frame, unlike Copperfield’s already captivated fanbase. So good luck in making an intro that slaps!
Every good video is focused. They tend to have a focal point. So before you record your video, plan out its content. Set the rules and define what it's going to be about.
If you see the “Charlie bit my finger again” video, it makes you laugh and fall for the cuteness of the siblings. BTS’s viral Dynamite music video gives you happy disco-pop vibes. And the emotion factor is key. When people’s emotions are triggered, it's human nature for them to share those feelings and vibes with others sparking a viral chain. So make sure your video is targeted to bring about an emotional response in viewers. Any kind of emotional trigger does the job but do your bit in making this world a happier place!
Did that get your attention? Exactly our point. No one wants the ordinary. Of course, normalcy is relatable. But videos with extraordinary, out of the blue and maybe even ridiculous content are easily attention-grabbing. Take for example the “Will It Blend” viral ad. The founder appears to blend an iPad!!! If possible, find a way to include a purple cow and your video will be the path to grabbing eyeballs!
DIY, recipes, etc often go viral. One of the biggest reasons being they offer solutions and add value to peoples’ lives. Have an attitude to give > what you’ll get. So go ahead and try to add an element of practicality or value to your videos. At the end of the video, your audience must feel that it was worth their time.
Aesthetics, angles, lighting, video, and image resolution all matter. Adverts, music videos, and other viral videos often undergo a lot of editing even after being shot via high-quality cameras and equipment. Of course, this is not everyone can afford, but smartphone cameras these days are pretty sleek. And with apps like Rizzle that offer easy to almost no-editing creation flows, every creator stands a chance of going viral.
No one goes around to read descriptions or reviews these days. It's all about that initial impression that your thumbnail leaves behind. So make sure there is little to no text and make it graphically attractive along with capturing the essence of your video. Oh and have your brand’s logo feature there if applicable.
While clickbait is the mainstream norm, viral videos have titles that evoke curiosity. Your video’s title must make your audience want to click play. The title sets the mood and tone for your video. So be it evoking emotion or curiosity, get your title right if you want your video to go viral.
Viral videos are not always a product of only luck. Luck obviously plays an important role but it's also the creator’s research that usually pays off. Make sure you do proper subject matter research to avoid public backlash. Also, consider the timing of when you decide to make your video live. Try to hit publish on slow-new days. It would not fare well for you to release a video you’ve worked so hard on the same day BTS releases their new single. Social media will drown out your video. Pro tip: Try publishing your videos on Mondays & Tuesdays. Avoid weekends!
Promote, promote, promote. Market your video on all social media platforms. If your video has sponsored or branded content, tag those brands and write to them to feature your video. Most brands are very social media savvy and will give you a shoutout. You are sending traffic their way and vice versa, so it's a win-win situation for everyone. Additionally, reach out to relevant publications and let them know about your amazing video. A lot of them do actually take in such requests and feature user content. Sometimes this PR domino happens organically and there’s nothing better!
In conclusion, the path to virality is not set in stone. Planning is key. Map out your content, your audience, and your promotion plan! Figure out your own magic formula whilst keeping in mind all of the above characteristics!
Let us know in the comments if these tips helped your video go viral. Catch up on the latest viral Rizzle videos here.