Although content is certainly important for maximum viral viewing of your online videos, it would surprise you how many YouTube videos with very minimal plot value have upwards of 100,000 views. Ultimately, content is what will drive the user back to your site, so it’s important to have a decent concept. However, it’s also important to put it in perspective. Remember that content is only one component of your video and viral videos in general, and that it’s a surprisingly small one when it comes to generating viewers. So, if content isn’t the key to making a video go viral, what is? Here are some of our tips:
Make It Short
15-30 seconds is the ideal. If you have a longer clip, try breaking it down into smaller segments.
Design It for the Remix
Remixed and reposted versions of the original version will actually drive viewers back to your video. The Bed Intruder Song, a remix of a news story, has millions of views, as does the original.
Disguise Your Ad
If viewers think they’re watching an ad, they won’t share it. The Fun Theory, an initiative started by Volkswagen, is a great example. Volkswagen has posted several videos disguised as “The Fun Theory,” which video tape social experiments ranging from a musical escalator to a skateboarding grocery cart. The video linked above has over 15 million views. The key? It has nothing to do with Volkswagen or its product. In fact, you are not even told of the affiliation until the final second of the video.
Aim to Shock
Give the viewer no choice but to keep watching. Make them want to watch the video again, because they’re not they understand, and then a third time, because what they thought they understood the second time just can’t be true. By time four, they’re linking to their Facebook and Twitter profiles. One particularly shocking video was put out by VisitDenmark, the country’s tourist website. The company hired a professional actress to record a video with her baby requesting that the father of her child come forward.
The video, Danish Mother Seeking, actually went so viral and proved to be so controversial it had to be removed. This link is to a copy cat of the original, which on its own has 68,000 views. Additionally, observe the Remix principle in effect here. Many “response videos” have been posted in which men come forward claiming to be the baby’s father.
Use Fake Headlines
This one goes along with the shocking principle. If the viewer sees your headline and is shocked by it, they’re bound to click on your link and increase your view count, even if they are disappointed by what they see. Stolen Nascar is a great example of a headline that will get people clicking.
It may not be the classiest way to make a viral video, but it works. When you’re out of ideas and deadlines are tight, hire the most attractive woman you can find. Yoga4Dudes, recently removed for inappropriate content, is a classic example of the age old adage, sex sells. Ballwork4Dudes, a recent spin-off, provides an idea of what we mean.