Making Videos That Can and Will Go Viral

If you’ve ever uploaded a video to YouTube, you’ve probably hoped your video would go viral.

Easier said than done.

Still, there are some basic techniques you can use to help your video reach a larger audience. Below are seven top tips:

Share your video in unique ways. Don’t rely on your primary social channels (Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, etc.) alone. You can share your video on other websites, ask friends to repost from your social media pages — whatever it takes to get your video out there. If you really want to make a splash with your content, you need to break from conventional marketing methods and really push your video on all channels.

Right timing. The best time to release your video is early in the work week. This seems counterintuitive, but people watch Youtube and Facebook videos more on Monday and Tuesday than they do on the weekends. It’s possible to get hundreds or even thousands of views on a video the first day of its release, but choosing the wrong day or time could put your content at a disadvantage.

Find stakeholders. Some videos go viral because they are sponsored or shared by social media influencers. You don’t have to be a big name to have your content shared by others. Ask yourself who else could benefit from your video, whether it’s a public figure or influencer that may enjoy the attention, or a partner organization who would be willing to share your message. Think outside the box — the more people who endorse your video, the better.

Make it emotional. Promotional and ad videos rarely become YouTube hits. Your video can’t be just about your company. Actually, it shouldn’t be about your company, at least not from the viewer’s perspective. It should be about how your company makes people feel, and how you want to portray your brand to an audience. Choose an emotion — humor, nostalgia, empathy — and focus your video on those elements that will stick in the minds of viewers.

Keep your video short. Online, you are competing for attention. This means an audience will likely spend very little time on your content as they’re scrolling past it on their social feeds. 30-seconds to a minute is the perfect length for a viral video; any more than two minutes likely won’t get as many views.

Optimize it for the news feed. Social media is heavily used on mobile, which means that even if you land on someone’s feed, they can easily scroll past your video and miss it. To draw attention, make the thumbnail photo eye-catching, and use large titles so people will get the idea of your video quickly. Subtitles are also helpful, as many people catch up on their social feeds at work or in public places, where they may not want to turn up the volume.

Reverse engineer other viral videos. Competitors and YouTubers from other market niches can be great inspiration for your own marketing content. In your free time, take a look at what’s trending on social sites and pinpoint the elements that make them so popular. With your marketing team, try to recreate these elements in your own content. Experiment with different approaches and different target audiences until you get your big hit!

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