Every company, marketer, and influencer is looking for that magic recipe that will make their video a viral video.
“How do I make my video go viral?” is a question everyone is asking. They think there’s some sort of formula that can do the ‘viral content trick’ every time it’s applied. Somehow, there’s a secret to creating viral videos, and everyone else is left out of the loop.
Let me tell you: there’s no single trick.
This article is not an attempt to give you a checklist of viral video points to go through.
The best advice? Do the hard work necessary to become a success. Do not worry if your video takes off or not – if you manage to achieve the impossible, great, but don’t make it your aim or measure. Follow realistic goals and you’ll have real success.
That said, there are certain ingredients that every viral video does have…
By following these factors, your work will be stronger, and you will most certainly build a steady following.
9 Key Ingredients That Make a Viral Video
With a dash of this and a pinch of that, you can create something that people like and organically share. You can build a strong brand following these tips from the viral videos of the past.
In general, to get your video to rocket off, you need to:
1. Set the trend
Trends are important when it comes to the virality of a video.
Either viral videos set the trend, or they follow a trend very early on. There are very few exceptions to this. It’s no easy thing to start a trend, however, one needs to keep in mind the Law of Averages: Try enough things and eventually, something will catch on.
Don’t be afraid of failure. Just keep going.
To set a trend, you’ve got to be unconventional, but still relatable. Mix in elements that have been used successfully before and hope that will give it a bump.
The danger though is if you’ve stumbled onto something truly trend-setting. Whether it’s pirate shanties or ice bucket challenges, it will skyrocket out of control and may lose track of your brand as other people copy your elements without sharing your logo.
2. Create excitement
Viral videos are fun and people like to get in on the excitement. This is why TikTok is such a success: It allows people to easily join in.
Not only do they see the pirate shanty or folk song, but they can also sing along and share it, participating in this ever-growing wave of fun. Don’t lose sight of what you’re doing then. The more professional the glean, the less likely it’s going to be fun and thus shared and become viral.
That’s not to say you should make cheap videos, but that quality isn’t everything. Fun is. Add in some fun music. A stock music provider like Smartsound Cloud has thousands of hopping tracks to get the party train started. A bonus too is that their tracks are easy and customizable.
3. Catch the viewer’s attention
It’s not just the content of the video that counts, but the cover.
People DO judge books by their cover, unfortunately. If they see something on their viewing list that doesn’t have an attractive cover or engaging title, they will not click.
Figure out an appealing, brand-friendly cover for all your videos. And work on your titles: Make sure the title matches the content, keep it short and simple (60 characters or less), and throw in a number for good measure. People love numbers.
Creating a sense of urgency is another tried and true method, making people think that they must watch the video now or miss out on their chance for success.
4. Don’t make it just about your brand
Brands that are successful with trending their marketing don’t make it just about their brands. They provide an added value to their video.
Whether that value is a kind of product or game – a drum machine driven by Terry Crews’ pecs, for instance – pure humor, a relatable story, or a lesson learned, don’t waste the viewer’s time on a simple ad.
If you know that you have to pay to promote a video, then the audience knows it too and isn’t likely to click share. No, something besides the promo dollars should be the engine of promotion.
5. Tell a story
This ties in a lot with the previous advice of providing added value. People want to hear and see stories.
Adjust the way you tell your information to give them a piece of you. They want to relate, and things and people they can relate with will get more shares every time.
This isn’t to say you should write like the modern trend in recipes, where you give a 100-page story about that one time you were at your aunt’s house on holiday and your ex-partner came by and there was a huge drama and then you served Chicken Alfredo, but that viral videos almost always share a history, a path, a reason.
6. Don’t do the exact same as your competitors
There is a fine balance between learning from your competitors and copying them.
Viral marketers see their competitors do something successfully in their marketing and learn from it – but they don’t copy it. Sit down with your teammates and discuss what they did well and what can be improved on. Then put those lessons into practice in your own marketing.
But don’t simply just copy them: people will undoubtedly take notice that it’s a copy and will reflect poorly on your brand. This, of course, relates to the first bit of advice, that you should aim to set the trend not simply follow someone else’s.
Pay attention to every aspect, from cinematography to video editing and music. You can use music providers like Smartsound Cloud to create similar-sounding tracks that fit perfectly with your video and maintain an air of originality.
7. Messaging is to the point
Make sure that the messaging matches the brand, and what you show in your video has something to do with your product. It’s good to be creative and think outside of the box, but you can always go too far.
Keep your video short, sweet, and on message and you’re much more likely to get those shares. And be authentic, true to your brand, and true to yourself.
8. Build a relationship
Brands and influencers who can get a video to go viral first build and establish a relationship with their viewers, especially on those videos that didn’t blow up.
The more your audience sees the people behind the brand, and the more they feel they’re on friendly terms with the creators, the more likely they will share the content.
Build rapport and engagement. The more engaged people who watch and comment on your video, the more your numbers will organically grow and the chances for it to skyrocket out of control grow ever greater.
9. Never give up!
Nobody hits a home run the first ball game they ever play, and no marketer was able to produce a viral video on their first upload. It takes practice, trial, and error to ever succeed. Even when luck is involved.
Always remember the Law of Averages that I mentioned earlier, that if you try something enough times, you’ll eventually break through. Arguably the greatest band of all time, The Beatles, were rejected by 3 recording companies (who later regretted their decision, no doubt!) and performed over 600 shows before getting signed with Parlophone.
Be In It To Win It
Take all this advice and you’ll be well on your way to the one-day fame of viral videos. Just remember that getting one isn’t everything, but rather having a strong, active base of clients and potential customers is much better.
Establish a good workflow, use whichever video editor that suits your style, and use the quick-to-customize music from Smartsound Cloud. Get the attention of your base, make consistent content, and increase that engagement, and you’ll no doubt be on your way to success.
Ready to get hired? At Twine, we have dozens of top-quality jobs being posted each and every day. From design to marketing, development to copywriting – there’s a job ready for your skills. Join the marketplace of diverse creative talent here.