How does one define a viral video?
According to Urban Dictionary, something that ‘goes viral’ is an image, video, or link that spreads rapidly through a population by being frequently shared with a number of individuals.
We have all come across our fair share of viral videos and religiously obliged to forwarding it to our friends and family.
Marketers and small entrepreneurs are betting on the power and degree of social media. It has become the magic portal for achieving remarkable reach with minimal investment.
Generally, a video is considered viral, when it hits a million or more views.
More specifically, as the experts see it, media marketers believe a video is considered truly viral when it surpasses a minimum of 4-5 million views within a span of 7 days.
Also, it is not just the number of views, but the degree of buzz it has generated both online and offline – coverage on blogs, being tweeted, getting posted on Facebook, appearing on top of sites, and even getting covered as part of news.
For instance, the Jimmiki Kammal song video is a recent hit from the Malayalam Film Industry which got international recognition by attaining even Jimmy Kimmel’s attention.
Sometimes when an existing viral video gets remade, re-cut and executed a spoof of, it adds to the existing viral phenomena.
This song has been doing its rounds in various versions around the world with fans making videos by adding their dose of sugar, spice and everything nice.
The song has played major role in increasing the number of people who went to watch this movie. Therefore, attaining enormous publicity.
A viral video is the best form of advertisement you can come up with. But creating something viral can be a tricky task.
However, if you take care of a few things, you might just hit the bulls eye.
So, is there a perfect recipe to gaining the ‘viral tag’ for a video?
Well, each one comes with a different recipe, so you might as well want to make one of your own.
However, here are some of the most commonly used ‘proven-delicious’ ingredients. Customisation is the key to crafting it to perfection.
It has to be eye-catching enough to arouse the interest of the viewer in a split second and it should be tailored to entertain even without sound (like on Facebook with the auto play option).
Most importantly, the first frame needs to grab attention, thereby reducing chances of a potential user scrolling past it.
Here’s the deal:
If you can glue them to your show, that’s half work done.
The viewers must be able to relate to what they see. It could be as simple as a solution to an everyday problem or using a word that’s easy to chant or even a simple dance move or gesture.
Keep things simple and connect it to your brand. The viewer will also be able to relate to your brand better that way.
Weave a tale out of your brand. We all have seen those videos with little acts of kindness doing their rounds.
Stories with emotions that communicate with the audience are always welcomed by them. Everybody loves a good story and it stays in the mind for long.
If you can craft a story that is worth listening and sharing you improve your chances of striking the right chord.
Nobody is going to watch boring stuff. So, make sure you can keep your viewer hooked.
Using an activity is a proven method, we’ve all heard about the ice bucket challenge, haven’t we? You don’t always have to directly relate it to your brand, seldom does good advertising do that.
So the key is:
Subtly draw the line from your concept to your brand.
If it has made you laugh, it is easier to remember. Anything hilarious and you’ve hit the nail.
We live in an age where anything entertaining is shared. A good laugh could go a long way, literally!
There are many things we all go through but seldom talk about. If your brand deals with such a problem or a not-so-talked about topic, then just get talking.
Speak of the solution or simply address the matter. They are all waiting out there for someone to start. It helps the viewer gain confidence and gather information.
Knowing the current trends and the pulse of your audience can help you in your pursuit.
You can even aim your idea at your target customers based on their age, demography or preferences. Use the knowledge and blend it with your unique and creative ideas and tadaaa!
8. Duration & content
Statistics say, the shorter the better. The most successful viral videos have a duration of 20 seconds to a minute.
However, to be on the safer side, one should ideally stick to 15 seconds. You need to make the best of every second.
Content should contain a thing that uniquely identifies with the brand/business; contact information can also be included. Content is the king, so make it look like one.
9. Time of release
Choosing the right time is as important as creating the perfect content. The timing could make or break it.
It has been proven that releasing the video on a Monday or Tuesday is a better idea as it gives the video more time to gain momentum and weekends acting as catalysts.
10. Choosing the right medium
Instagram, WhatsApp, Facebook, YouTube, LinkedIn, Vine the list goes on. It is important to use the most appropriate launchpad to yield the best results.
You can use a single platform or choose multiple platforms. The platform should be kept in mind while creating content.
11. Video Analytics
The process does not end with one publishing the video; instead one should keep a track of the audience and go beyond their expectations.
Video stats and analysis should be under the radar for damage control and future videos.
You may use one of the above mentioned ingredients or a wise combination of a few. When you are making a video put some thought into, make sure you would want to watch it.
The key is to grab attention. It is this interest you gather that multiplies and makes your video viral.
I would not conclude there is a ‘one size fits all’ formula to the process.
With the operative word being ‘shared’, the right marketing approach and use of vital tactics can raise the likeliness of one’s desired video going viral.
So, good luck!