A viral video can place your brand on the map in no time. Here's how to create one to grow your audience.
Are you familiar with Dollar Shave Club? If so, then you're already aware that you can use a single viral video to create a multi-million business.
Another good example is GoDaddy, who created a controversial Super Bowl video ad that earned more than 10,000 new customers.
Many brands have used viral videos successfully, and you can do the same even if you don't have a large video production team or a huge marketing budget.
Just follow today's beginner's guide to creating a viral video, and you're good to go. You can start right away; even all you have is an iPhone to shoot videos.
Another thing - don't set yourself up for failure by harboring unrealistic expectations of going viral with your first video.
You have to keep creating videos and more videos to increase your chances of hitting the jackpot.
Without further ado, let's begin - there's a lot to learn.
Understand Your Target Audience
Usually, many first-timers rush to creating a video with the expectation it will go viral as soon as they hit the publish button.
More often than not, they forget the most important part of creating content: understanding your target audience and creating content for them, not you.
When you know your target audience, you will create videos that resonate with them.
Even if you don't achieve virality immediately, you have a better chance of creating an engaged following.
Take time to understand your audience, and spend even more time thinking about the kind of content they want to see.
You can even ask your audience directly to get a feeling of their interests and pain points. Then create relevant content and repeat.
Leverage analytic and insight tools to understand who's following you and engaging with your content the most.
Don't create videos for the masses; that's the quickest way to create generic videos that don't go viral.
Instead, pinpoint your target audience and only create videos for that group of people.
Captivate Your Audience with Powerful Introductions
The only way your videos will go viral is if people stick around actually to watch and share them. The more views and shares, the better your chances.
But you've already lost the battle if people don't make it past the first 10 seconds of your video.
If you can't lure them in with a powerful intro, your video is as good as dead. You can forget all about going viral.
The internet is saturated with all kinds of content. If you don't capture the viewer's interest in the first 5 seconds, your video is a dud.
To create a powerful introduction, add something impactful, emotional, or shocking at the very beginning of your video.
If you watch any viral video, you'll notice that they all have powerful introductions that get people invested early on.
So, don't waste the first 10 seconds rambling about boring stuff. Instead, fire up expectations with an introduction that keeps your viewers glued.
Emotions, Emotions & More Emotions!
Want your video to go viral? If that's a resounding yes, ensure your video invokes a powerful emotional reaction.
Viral videos have something in common; they are all far from boring. They are the kind of videos that get people going.
They make you crack up and laugh your head off. They make you sob uncontrollably. They tug at your heartstrings.
Viral videos make you excited, meaning they are hard to ignore. They all draw out strong emotional reactions, whatever that may be.
People watch viral videos to feel something. It's the same reason some TV shows or films become blockbusters and others flop.
Your audience might forget your brilliant visuals and what you said in your videos, but they will never forget how you make them feel.
To create a viral video, you want to emotionally move your target audience that they can't help but share said video.
Evoking strong emotional responses is the main ingredient of creating the perfect viral video. Make the video emotional, and you're halfway there.
Let people come back and say things like "Your video made me laugh so hard...," or "You video made me cry..." and so on.
According to a study titled The Role of Emotions in Viral Content, the top five emotions that viral videos evoke among audiences are amusement, delight, happiness, interest, and surprise.
Ride Hot Trends & Issues
Trending topics and issues can easily give you the traffic boost your video needs to go viral. After all, people are already searching for such topics.
Hot issues that people are already talking about can send you millions of views overnight if you create great video content.
What global issues and events are trending now? How can you capitalize on the extra attention these issues are getting? Is there an exciting movie coming out? Can you use that?
Can't find trending topics relevant to your niche? That's all right; focus on hot issues that have a wide audience of users. Issues that affect us daily on a global scale.
Aim to get your video in top search results with a bit of video SEO, so you can generate organic traffic on the fly, without spending money on advertising.
Provide Value to Build a Following
It doesn't matter whether you're creating videos for entertainment, education, or any other purpose; always endeavor to provide value.
When your videos are valuable, they garner more views, likes, comments, shares, and new followers.
Don't put the cart before the horse by trying to get something without first giving. Ensure each video you create is valuable to your audience, and you'll be a step closer to virality.
A good example of a business providing valuable videos is BuzzFeed Tasty recipes that you must have seen doing rounds on Facebook.
They have mastered the art of infusing emotion and valuable content to create videos that go viral consistently.
The videos have also helped them create a huge following, which you should aim for with your video marketing strategy.
With, say, a million followers, each video you post will generate a substantial number of views.
I mean, 100k views from your committed followers are enough to get your video going viral (that is, if you don't think 100k views is viral enough for your business).
But it all begins and ends with providing value. Don't just create videos to fill up your quota; go the extra mile and try to solve a problem for your audience.
Aside: The same goes for content marketing as well. Your blog posts and any other piece of content you create should intrinsically provide value to your audience. That's the only way to build authority and clout and become a viral sensation, day in, day out.
Consistency is Key
Brands and influencers who manage to go viral have one thing down pat; consistency.
They don't post a single video and expect it to go viral. In fact, most businesses that go viral have a ton of video content.
That, plus they have committed to a regular posting schedule.
Why is a regular posting schedule important?
For starters, your followers know when to expect your videos. Secondly, if people see you as a consistent video creator, they are more likely to follow and continue watching your videos - including videos that would have otherwise remained undiscovered.
No matter how you fail at first, continue creating videos until you catch your lucky break. Don't expect to go viral when you can barely break 500 views.
Keep creating videos and growing your following by consistently providing value. With a huge following, going viral will be the order of the day.
But you must be willing to tough it out until you have a community of engaged followers.
If you give up after the first ten videos simply because no video receives at least 1,000 views, you'll never create a video that rakes in views in the millions.
Stay consistent and stay creating valuable videos for your audience. And give yourself time; good things take time to build.
Remember, you're not just creating a viral video; you're creating a viral channel that will generate leads for you for years to come.
In other words, you're creating a business asset to drive traffic, conversions, and, ultimately, sales.
You could even monetize your viral videos with ads, which is just one of the ways of making money with your video content.
The Swarmify SmartVideo Video Player offers you a feature to add advertisements to your videos easily.
Engage with Your Audience Actively
When you're consistent and creating videos that improve your audience's life, people will start leaving comments.
No matter the platform you use, be it your website, Facebook, Instagram, YouTube, etc., make it a priority to chat with your audience.
You don't want to know how many channels I have followed simply because the content creator responded to my comment. That simple act actually made me share the videos on social media.
The best content creators don't live in a bubble; they actively engage with the audience.
I have seen this happen firsthand. My wife runs a budding channel on Likee and TikTok.
Every time she goes live, she gets no less than 40k views and about four hundred new fans. Every single time like clockwork and I'm not exaggerating.
And do you know why?
Because she actively engages with her audience.
She keeps them going; it's amusing to watch her chat up her fans for over an hour. The strength of a woman; I don't know if I can make it that far :)
And it's paying off because she has started getting followers that turn into supporters. If you're wet behind the ears, supporters pay her real, hard cash to stream. But I digress.
If you want to grow your following, and take your videos viral, talk to your audience in the comments.
Make them feel like a part of your business. Make them feel they belong. They will appreciate it and join your tribe.
In no time, you will have a huge following to make all your videos (even the ones that performed poorly at first) viral.
Engaging with your followers also provides a great avenue to collect feedback and learn more about your target audience.
Who knows? You might even get new ideas for more video content - content that goes viral because it talks to your audience.
Use the Right Format for Each Platform
If you want to go viral, you want to create content that most people will actually watch.
If you're posting a video on YouTube, for instance, it's important to note that the majority of the audience is on YouTube to watch videos specifically.
As such, YouTube users enjoy both short and long-form video content. It's all about nailing the viewer's intent.
On the other hand, on Facebook, viewers have shorter attention spans and appreciate shorter (two to four minutes long) videos.
Most Facebook viewers also watch videos without sound, so you might want to factor that into your videos.
Use visuals and subtitles to tell your story even without audio. Note that most Facebook viewers use mobile devices, so create mobile-friendly videos that people can watch without sound.
And the same applies to other platforms you end up using. Do your research beforehand to avoid pitfalls that might send your video to oblivion.
There is no magic pill when it comes to creating a viral video. Some of the videos you create won't go viral as you expect, and that's okay.
However, if you follow the above blueprint, you have a better chance of creating valuable video content that will help you make money and grow your business.
It's all about focusing on the audience and staying consistent through it all. It's all about creating content that makes the world a better place.
It's never about the views. It's about creating something valuable that you'll be proud of for years to come.
Also, go out there and watch a couple of viral videos and see if you can tell what makes each video stand out.
Happy creating, and I sure do hope your next video gets some traction or, better still, go viral.