There’s no guaranteed way to make a video go viral. Sometimes, it can be a small joke that could take the online world by storm; other times, it could be a well-produced video that would get just a few views. While there’s no guaranteed way of making a video viral, there are a couple of strategies we get to see in all.
Keep reading to find out! 😉
What is a viral video?
A viral video is any video spread across different platforms through online sharing. It reaches millions (or sometimes billions) of views in just a few days through rapid sharing.
They are of two types, unintentional and intentional.
An unintentional viral video is one that someone makes randomly and shares in their friends’ circle, who then spread it via their inboxes, and social media feeds.
On the other hand, promotional videos are specially crafted to go viral, with solid marketing behind them. Companies and startups create them to increase brand awareness and reach potential prospects.
In such videos, everything, from scriptwriting to post-production and everything in between, is handled with great attention before their release to targeted audiences.
How to make a video go viral: 5 key tips you need to write down.
Here are some tried and tested strategies you can use to increase the chances of your video going viral among your audience:
1. Keep it short
Do you know that a video with a length of 60 seconds retains 60% of the audience, while a video with a span of 30 seconds retains about 80% of the audience on average? When we move towards social media, this length is even reduced to 18 seconds and 26 seconds.
As marketing videos like explainers are difficult to confine in the 18 and 20 seconds spectrum, a rule of thumb is to keep them shorter than the average length of a typical explainer.
For example, if the average length of an explainer is 2 minutes, you should try to keep it within the 1-minute limit. This makes your video more engaging, watchable and suited for several platforms.
2. Have a clear message
Concisely delivering a message is imperative to make your video go viral and effective, as both go hand in hand. If you have a clear message, your audience will soon retain an interest in the video and swipe!
A clear message begins with the very language you use in a video. Remember, the fancier your vocabulary and wording, the more you narrow your audience. A good video delivers its message in words that even the layperson can understand.
The next thing we recommend is cutting down your video into several tiny blocks instead of reaching out to your audience with a gigantic, linear block of information. It overwhelms them, and as a result, you lose someone who could be a potential prospect.
Last but not least, avoid going side-tracks and don’t beat around the bushes. Only share information that is necessary for your message to get across effectively. Any extra information can overcomplicate your video and increase its length unnecessarily.
3. Go with the trends
Every year comes with new trends. And as we repeatedly say, to stay in the game, it’s crucial to stay in the trends. This applies to both the way you make the video and how you market it.
We are not talking about the general video trends but those popular in your market. If the trends popular among your target audience overlap with those of general, that’s a bonus.
Collecting specific statistics would be an excellent place to get started. For example, if we talk about advertising, start with analyzing your competitors’ most successful explainers for the current year.
See their average length and closely examine their style. What is it that you find familiar among all of them? Afterward, examine the platforms on which you will publish your content and the devices your target audience generally uses to consume it and optimize your video accordingly.
4. Create a mind-blowing script
No matter how great you optimize your video or how stunning your animation or video-making is, if it lacks substance, it won’t work. To avoid that from happening, always invest a fair share in your script writing and hire the best in business, whether in-house or freelance.
A successful script has three things:
A. Appropriate length
A good marketing video, as mentioned, falls within the 30 seconds, 1-minute, and 2 minutes range. That said, you don’t want your content to be lengthier than your video. As a general rule of thumb, a 30-minute video requires a maximum of 60-word script, a 1-minute video requires a 120-word script, and a 2-minute video requires a 240-word script.
B. Definite outline
Just like an excellent marketing copy, a great script also follows a definite outline which consists of six key elements, including:
- Intro: It’s an emotional hook, a reason to get your audience through that 5 seconds threshold. Tell a story to keep them engaged.
- Problem: Here, you grab the bull by the horns, refer to their problem, and why they should take care of it on time. Make them passionate about going towards a solution.
- Solution: How your product solves that problem, and what are the features that make it better? Your product is not “just” a solution but the best solution out there.
- The secret sauce: What makes your brand and product stand out from the competition? Are there any additional benefits they get by getting your service or product?
- Team: Introducing your audience to your team, the overall work culture, and the dedication you put in to better your service and product. The goal here is not to sell but to nurture your leads and build credibility.
- Call to action: Tell your viewers exactly what you want them to do and how to do it. Maybe give you a call? Set up a consultation? Click on the buy button? Anything that makes sense as per your service.
C. Effective content
Now that you have the outline, the next thing that matters is the content you put in it. While we cannot give you the precise wording (We can, if you buy one of our video packages ;)), an excellent place to start would be to concentrate on the three Ws (who, what, why) and perhaps a “How.”
Ask yourself questions about your brand, product, and audience and the main motive that made you jump into the specific market. It will make your message more compelling.
A quote by Simon Sinek beautifully concludes this. He says, “People don’t buy what you do; they buy why you do it.” It’s more about the story than the product itself, which leads us to our next point:
D. Tell a story
If there’s anything we have repeatedly witnessed in our 11 years of making marketing videos, it is that nothing sells like a good story. And that’s not just our observation; it’s a statistical fact, the mantra of every successful video maker and copywriter you will ever encounter in the marketing world.
Great videos tell a story, and the emotional factor of those videos is reflected in both the visuals and the script. There are a lot of viral videos that don’t say a word, yet they say everything.
A great inspiration for compelling visual storytelling is John Lewis’s 2013 Christmas ad “The Bear and the Hare.” It took the internet by storm back then and is still considered one of the finest animation ads ever made.
To make a video go viral, it must have enough substance to touch people’s hearts. Otherwise, you are sailing in the same boat as an average marketer who’s happy with average results.
5. Don’t sell
The biggest paradox of marketing videos is the more you try to sell your product, the more potential prospects you lose. An overly promotional video can do more harm to your business than good. Remember, your target audience is wise enough to make the right decision. What you need to do is to pull the right strings.
As I said, tell them a story, and fit your product or company somewhere in it, like a high power or something that grants the protagonist (your customer) the superpower they need to defeat the villain.
Moreover, concentrate on telling them the features of your product, how it can benefit them, and how their life could get way easier with the product, but in a way that fits the whole story and narrative.
A true marketing video does not feel like a marketing video; it feels like a two-way conversation among friends, where one tries to understand and solve the other’s problem.
Here’s a perfect example of such a video:
Is it necessary to hire a professional for your video to go viral?
For the most part, yes! Professionals have tons of experience when it comes to creating marketing content. Plus, since they have likely worked in your industry before, they know your audience and everything that can compel them to buy your product.
Apart from that, they also free you from the many hassles involved in the production process. If you hire a full-fledged studio, they have all the equipment in-house and a team of creative scriptwriters, animators, and video makers to make the process as convenient as possible. And most of all, you get value for what you pay.
If you’re a first-timer, don’t be shy of expanding your budget a little when hiring reputed professionals. The final results are worth it. In other words, there are more chances of your videos going viral when you hire someone who knows their stuff. 😉
There you have it, all the secret (not so secret) ingredients of making a viral video… you have the cards in your hand. Now how wisely and carefully you use them is up to you. With these simple strategies, your videos have a better chance of getting more views, and generating more conversions.
But hey! It doesn’t end here.
The next thing you need to do once your video gets viral is to analyze it. And the best way to do it is to see your audience’s reaction, preferably in the form of comments. It will give you a good idea of what made them like the video and then replicate it creatively in your upcoming videos. Take Dollar Shave Club and Old Spice ads are two good examples of this.
Their humor worked for them in their first video, and they made it a permanent part of the rest of their marketing campaigns. So much that people watched their video for a small giggle.
Though the videos followed were less successful, they still gathered more views than an average explainer, even at their lowest. You can achieve that too.
For now, let’s give this one a wrap. We hope our two cents prove helpful for your upcoming marketing campaign. Good luck, and see you with another one!