Do you want to send your videos viral? Of course you do! Most marketers dream of the audience growth, the community growth and attention that comes from having content ‘go viral’.
There is no one method or formula for creating a viral video. Knowing some of the most frequently seen elements of viral videos can help you to create content that is more engaging, attention-stopping and discoverable.
We’ve compiled a list of tips and ideas from our video team, for you to keep in mind when creating your next video.
Let’s get straight into it!
What is a viral video?
Before we dive into how to create a viral video, it’s probably best to first define what a viral video is.
We call it, ‘Going Viral’, when a piece of content – “Blows up” “Takes off” “Breaks the internet” and reaches a large audience very quickly through an unusually high amount of comments, likes and shares. Going viral is a term used across all social media platforms, be that Facebook, Instagram, Tik Tok, LinkedIn or Twitter. It’s not just videos, many different types of content can go viral. Blog posts, articles, pictures, GIF’s and memes – basically anything posted to social media has the potential to go viral.
Videos can go viral on a range of different platforms. But, what goes into creating a viral video? How can you best ensure the largest audience possible sees your video content? Here are our top 5 tips for creating viral video content.
5 Tips from video experts on creating viral video content
Video Domain’s team are experts in creating video content that regularly reaches large audiences, so we wanted to share some of our secret sauce and expertise so that you too can start producing video content that reaches masses.
These are tips you can implement throughout your own video production process to optimise your video for viral success.
1. Start with a Project Brief
The first step when creating any video, especially a video your hoping will reach millions, is to plan EVERYTHING out thoroughly by creating a Project Brief. The purpose of spending time creating, planning and detailing a creative strategy brief, is to identify your actual goals, messages, tone, voice, length, delivery, and distribution in one document. Getting it out of your head and onto paper provides huge benefits to refer back to something throughout every step or decision of the project.
A good project brief will align the messaging of the video with the overall purpose for creating the video. So that from your marketing team to your video production team, nothing is lost in translation or Chinese whispers. All of your brand’s content will be cohesive, and hopefully launching you toward an overall vision, strengthening your businesses identity.
2. Know your Target Audience
If you don’t know your target audience, your video will fail every single time. To create a video that really serves a purpose for your business, ideally you’d like it to go viral amongst viewers that can become customers or clients. You need to know and understand what is going to resonate with your viewer, and actually make them want to share your video.
A great tool you can use to build a target audience with your own marketing team, is to create your own empathy map. By doing so, you’ll unlock insights into the best ways to grab your audience’s attention, so that your content fits perfectly into what they’re looking for.
3. Create your goals and pinpoint one
So you’re wanting to create a viral piece of content, but what for? Simply wanting to create a viral piece of content isn’t a solid plan when it comes to your social media marketing strategy. You need to know your why. Why do you want to create a viral video?
It could be for brand awareness… to grow an online following or community… to generate new sales or enquiries through your viral video.. Each purpose requires planning to create vastly different videos across a range of topics to meet your audience at where they sit in the path to purchase. Your audience is always going to be one of three things – cold: they’re not in the market right now, warm – they’re thinking about it or hot – they’re looking for the best solution for their problem.
What is crazy is the statistics behind this.
Cold = 67% of the market
Warm = 30% of traffic
Hot = a measly 3% of viewers.
That means every time your video includes a call to action, you’re straight away deleting 97% of your viewers attention. This is why you need to have videos to meet them in each stage. Awareness videos, consideration videos, call to action videos – they’re all different, and they all work – it’s all about your timing and delivery.
4. It's all in the way your video starts
Think about it – every viral video grabs your attention IMMEDIATELY.
Now there are some tips and tricks on the best ways to do this. For example, videos that mention the word ‘You’ in the opening sentence see a much higher viewer retention rate.
Some other ways you can hook your viewer from the beginning include:
– Create a plot twist or be unpredictable in the first few seconds
– Make your intro #relatable to the viewer’s circumstances
– Incorporate an attention grabbing opening shot
– Engage your viewers’ emotions from the very beginning
– Forget about promoting your business in your intro
5. Tell a story
This is such an overused battle cry from marketers and production companies – but it is absolutely crazy the majority of content creators and agencies falling into the sales content trap. Stories have captivated our attention since the beginning of time.
Our final tip on creating a viral video for your business, is to genuinely tell a story and forget about selling.
This isn’t a long story. Viral videos should not be long videos. You want to tell your compelling story in a short amount of time. Choose universal context plots for your creative concepts. For example, “Thank God it’s Friday” or “Monday Blues” are both universal and don’t need too much time to explain.
Play to tropes that your audience will know well so that you can jump right into your video without much context. This is a great way to create a relatable video that your audience can really resonate with and want to share with family and friends.
It’s also a great starting point to upend expectations and be attention-grabbing.
How to increase your video's visibility
So we’ve given you our expert advice on how to create a video that can go viral, let’s now move into way’s you can increase the video’s visibility, and make it more discoverable by your audience.
From optimising the video’s title and description, through to using the right hashtags and building a promotional paid plan.
1. Create shorter videos that are to the point
Even with a strong start and powerful intro that grabs your viewers attention, you also have to make sure you can retain their attention so they don’t keep scrolling.
Online viral videos are known to be punchy. In fact, Instagram and Tik Tok have a 60-second limit for the length of videos on their platform. Don’t worry! It’s definitely possible to create attention-grabbing videos that tell your story in under a minute. By overdoing the length of your video, you risk potentially losing your viewer, and certainly the engagement they’d add in terms of likes, comments and shares.
2. Add titles, subtitles and captions
Adding captions and subtitles to your videos won’t only increase the accessibility, it will also improve the viewer experience by allowing people to watch your video without having to turn on the sound. A whopping 85% of viewers watch videos without turning the sound on, so if you think about it, captions are not an option, they are a must.
Given the fact most people are scrolling social media during times when they can’t have sound on, adding captions will help you to engage a larger audience of viewers who may watch and share your video, regardless of where they are, who they’re with and what they’re doing.
3. It's all about the copy! Make your copy count
From the title and description on YouTube, to the blurb on Facebook and Instagram or even Tik Tok, writing powerful copy that is optimised to your keywords is super important.
Your copy is not their to only serve as a video explanation, but it can also be used as a tool to spike curiosity, and lift your video higher in search results. We’re not talking about speaking in all-caps, or using click bait titles that you’ll often see floating around YouTube, we’re talking about quality copy. You’ll need to spend some time writing your copy, so that you can increase your video’s discoverability.
4. Use #hashtags
Hashtags are used in some of the most effective content strategies around, as they increase reach and discoverability across many different social platforms. Video platforms like Tik Tok and YouTube are no different.
Using popular hashtags in your captions and descriptions can help an even wider audience find your video as they search for similar content. Be sure to only include hashtags that are relevant to your video, and target audience. Don’t choose random hashtags just because they’re trending on that particular platform.
5. Promote your video with Paid Ads
You’re not likely to get a viral video without doing any promotional activity of your own. Don’t simply publish your video and then wait on the edge of your seat for it to break the internet.
Instead, create a promotional strategy with plans to share your video across various channels and direct emails, to better market and launch your video to the world.
Use the platforms that your audience will be on to maximise their chances of finding it, watching it and sharing it with their networks. Your own promotional strategy is step number one when launching your video, and will go a long way to sending your new video viral.