It’s every video creator’s dream to have his or her video go viral in a short period of time. This means viewers share, spread, and pass along the video to others via email, write a story for their blogs, share it using social media platforms such as Facebook or Twitter, and discuss it offline with their colleagues at work. What an incredible feeling it would be to be walking down the street and have a total stranger reach out and thank you for creating a video that totally made their day more enjoyable.
Before you dream big about becoming an overnight weblebrity (web celebrity) sensation, you must first strategically think about the elements which make videos go viral in the first place.
Here are some of the most common reasons why a video goes viral
Now that you know some of the common reasons why a video goes viral, it’s time to focus on the tactics
1. Content is King – We’ve all heard this many times but it’s not entirely true. While it is important that the story and content of your video needs to be really strong, sometimes random videos go viral for no apparent reason. Think of a concept that many of us can understand, relate to, appreciate, respect, and easily talk about. If your video isn’t something that will motivate others to discuss, share, and comment on, then you’re not hitting the right cords.
2. Simple – Keep it short and sweet because our attention spans are getting shorter and shorter. An ideal viral video runs between 15-30 seconds. You might wonder how you can squeeze greatness into such a short period of time, so that may be your main challenge. Simply break down long stories into bite-sized clips. Or adopt a sweet kitten that does something like this. It’s cute, short, and perfect for others to remix and share.
3. Metadata - This is likely the least sexy part of putting a video up online but is an extremely important one, especially as hundreds of thousands of new videos get uploaded every day. To have your video discovered you need a catchy title, description, and informative tags because most viewers find content by searching for it. Make your metadata appealing but don’t mislead viewers by using popular names and words if your video doesn’t contain them. There have been many viewer backlashes about false video promises based on the metadata used, so make sure you aren’t the next creator to receive negative and even abusive comments about your content. Accurately describe your video, but be unique in how you position your video in the mind’s of viewers.
4. Reach Out – Promoting your video may very well be the important thing you can do for it. Share it with everyone you know, and encourage them to send it along to their followers and fans if they truly think the content is worthwhile. Tweet about it, share it everywhere you can, write a blog post about it, make sure it’s embeddable, reply to viewer comments to help build a community around your content, and reach out to bloggers who write for the niche your video is in. Connecting with other video creators by placing comments on their channel and videos is also a very smart idea, since many of them pay close attention to those conversations. If a creator likes what you had to say they may check out your profile and portfolio, and be interested in collaborating on a future project with you. Bloggers are the biggest source of views for online videos, so treat these individuals very well if you want to have a video of yours embedded on their treasured Web real estate.
A special note: If you have an interesting script in your hand, or just a concept in mind, don’t be shy to make a video no matter what the quality may be. The main thing is that you have some fun and enjoy yourself, because if you do you will find a way to improve the content quality over time. When you need human talent you know where to go to find like-minded individuals who also want to invest their time into creating a potential viral hit too.