Social Media Today published a really great post on the common qualities of viral videos. Of course, creating a video in the hopes it will go viral is a total shot in the dark, but they did a great job analyzing what viral videos have in common. Here are their tips combined with my own:
Keep your video to a minute and a half
In general, the longer a video, the more likely you are to lose your audience. The sweet spot is between 60 – 90 seconds, which is where Dollar Shave Club’s video falls (OK, it’s 4 seconds over the 90-second mark, but close enough). This is one of my favorites, ever. In 7 months, they are closing in on 7 million views.
But if it’s really funny, it can go longer
I live in northern Virginia, and a local guy made a rap video that gently and hilariously makes fun of Arlington, where he lives. Because it is clever, well-produced and spot-on, even at nearly 4 minutes it has gotten almost 2 million hits in 3 years.
Be consistent with branding a persona
Social Media Times used the example of the Old Spice guy. Because he has such a strong presence in Old Spice ads with a very specific, manly-man persona, it worked. If you use someone in your video – you or an employee – make sure their personality radiates right out of the screen.
Parodies are very shareable
Creating a video parody based on a person, event, or song is highly shareable since it’s based on something that people are already familiar with. Consider this U.S. Navy take on Psy’s Gangnam Style video.
User-generated videos are shareable too
Try holding a best-video contest, like Aflac did. You might be surprised at the quality and creativity of the submissions. Online word-of-mouth sharing about your contest will be followed by sharing of the winner – by all who heard about the contest and entered it, but especially by the winner.
What is your favorite viral video?
Image courtesy of videomarketingnow.comGoogle+