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How to Create a Viral Video

October 8th, 2012 ::

Viral videosSocial 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 and their viral 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.com

The views expressed here are the author's alone and not those of Network Solutions or its partners.

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