10 Characteristics To Make Your Videos Go Viral

I have been working on a new viral video that I am launching next week, so I was inspired to come up with a list of the 10 top video characteristics that encourage other people to share video content through social media sites and blogs.

There is no such thing as a specific equation to create viral content. It is more like playing bingo – but if you use corporate video production services, you may have a better chance of winning! The more of the characteristics from below that your video has, the higher your chances will be that your video wins and goes viral.

  1. Do a spoof or parody of something that is familiar.

    When you play off something that everyone is familiar with already – for example, a popular TV show, movie, or song – then everyone will have a good reference point that will help them relate to the content you are providing. It is exactly what made Al Yankovic so famous. It is the humour in being able to see something familiar is a new and different way.

  2. Incorporate music into your video.

    Elements which simulate our other senses (except for taste and smell) will make your video a lot more entertaining and engaging. Hint: use music that falls under the Creative Commons license or make up your own music. You don’t want to have the sound removed by YouTube due to a record company copyright.

  3. Create very short videos.

    When it comes to content creation, my favourite advice is to “murder your darlings.” More value is added when your content is really easy to digest. NO matter how much amazing footage you happen to have, you should cut things down to an absolute minimum. A majority of people only watch a video for a couple of minutes or even less.

  4. Keep your music uptempo.

    Although there are deviations to this tip, using upbeat music as a focus or background has to grab the attention of the viewer and increase the excitement level. In my personal experience, faster music performs a lot better than slow music.

  5. Edit your video so that it contains all quick, sharp scenes.

    Each second in your video has to keep the attention of the viewer. If one scene is more than 15 seconds, your audience might get bored and close your video. When you have quick scenes (around 3 to 10 seconds each) it will help to raise curiosity and increase the chance that your entire video will be watched.

  6. Be funny to others besides yourself.

    Avoid using inside jokes when attempting to be funny in your video. You might think your content is funny but will outsiders really appreciate it? Or are you using inside company jokes that other people might not understand? Have a few people from outside of your company watch your video to test it before you publish.

  7. Avoid getting stuck on quality.

    To create a great video you don’t need to have a film editing professional edit it or record it in HD or on an expensive camera. The value is not in all of the gloss but in the creativity of the ideas you incorporate into your video.

  8. Be larger than life in your videos.

    People love to watch crazy things they never see in their daily lives. Be willing to take risks and try capturing something amazing on camera. Do some amazing (yet safe) stunts, create office scenes that are ridiculous or just act silly. This kind of creativity is what took SNL to the very top.

  9. Shock viewers within the first 5 seconds.

    Your video’s first 5 seconds will determine whether or not the person continues to watch. Don’t have a long introduction to set the stage. That is a common mistake. Jump directly in and grab your viewers’ attention before they have the chance to move onto something else or a different video.

  10. Remove as much of the “corporate friction” that you possibly can.

    That can be difficult for companies that are creating content for their marketing programs. If you have a call-to-action that is sales-related or your logo is thrown around everywhere, people will consider your video to be commercial and will not want to share it. Our best advice is to try to find a balance that is creative and subtle. Maybe you can ask your viewers to do something that relates indirectly to your company.

Let us know what other qualities you think make videos go viral.


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