Have you ever watched a video that popped up on your Facebook newsfeed, been struck by the story, moved by its message, and shocked to find out that it was actually an advertisement? Perhaps not surprisingly, it is exactly those stories that refuse to conform to marketing conventions that have the most viral potential. If you’re thinking of investing in making a video for social networks with the hopes of it going viral, then here are 10 tips that you should keep in mind.
Know What Your Goal Is
Overall, most advertising campaigns are more successful when you have a clear outline of your goals and objectives. Videos aimed at expanding your brand’s reach through social media are no different. Decide what your goal is and set a call-to-action for the viewer accordingly. Do you want them to follow you on social media? Make a purchase? Visit your website? These are all good things but decide what your particular aim with this particular campaign is.
We live in a scroll-on-by world, people are so inundated with content that they are almost on autopilot as they filter interesting from uninteresting while surfing social media. Your best bet to catching a viewer’s attention is to grab them from the first moment your video starts. This doesn’t mean that your opening needs to be high-energy or loud or anything like that, but it does mean that it needs to be compelling in some way.
Keep it Short
Most social media is accessed through mobile devices. That means that people could be doing anything from waiting for the bus to cooking dinner when your video pops up. Make it easy for them to watch the whole thing and get to the call-to-action by keeping the video as short as possible.
Tell a Story
As much as people today are swamped with content begging for their attention that they have learned to tune out, they are even more adept at tuning out advertisements. The trick is not to create a great advertisement; the trick is to tell a story that captures people’s hearts and minds. People can get emotionally invested in a well-told story and that is what will lead to shares.
Stay Out of the Way
The most recent viral video success story is also a surprising one. Ariel laundry detergent showed a father writing a letter to his daughter about how he had let her down by not demonstrating equal gender roles when she was a child, he subsequently promises to help her mother around the house more, starting with the laundry. This video doesn’t show the logo for Ariel anywhere until the very last scene, and then just for an instant. Yet the company has gotten massive exposure from the shares that the video has garnered. Let your video do the talking, viewers will appreciate it and will reward you for it with shares.
Share Something Useful
Time is money, and your video needs to be worth people’s time. One of the best ways to do that and to go viral is to create content that is actually useful to the viewer while still being relevant to your company. Teach viewers how to do something cool or fun and they will be eager to show their friends their new discovery.
Keep it Light
We’ve already discussed how important it is to keep your video short, but it’s also important to keep the content light and digestible. People want to feel good and they want to share things that will make their friends feel good, so try to find a way to be uplifting in your video in at least a subtle way. Leave viewers with a smile and they’ll associate you with positive feelings.
Humans are sometimes very simple creatures, and bombarding your viewers with too much information is likely to leave them overwhelmed and confused. People will just shake off your video, and not share it if it has too much going on. Choose a central message, two at maximum, and stick to it. Make it easy for people to absorb and enjoy your video and they’ll be able to appreciate it more.
Invest in Your Movie
From script to production you are investing a lot of time and money in your video to make it of share-worthy quality. Don’t let it sink into obscurity because you weren’t willing to put in a little extra money to promote it! Facebook wants you to pay to get your content promoted, do so and you’ll be rewarded handsomely with views and increase your chances of getting shares.
Make it Share-Worthy
This last point might sound redundant, after all weren’t all the other 9 tips about how to make your video share-worthy? However, this last tip is sometimes the one thing that gets lost in the shuffle of trying to make something “viral”. Nothing will go viral that isn’t worth sharing. Don’t just make a video to promote your company and market your brand, make a video that shows or says something that is worth spreading.
There’s no secret formula to making a viral video. Some of the most amateur productions have gone on to international fame with millions of views while some professionally-produced advertisements barely made any impression on their audiences. However, following these tips will provide you with a head-start in producing share-worthy content. Stay genuine, create something unique and be creative and you will have a good chance of getting significant shares.