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The 3 ingredients for a viral video

April 2022

The 3 ingredients for a viral video

  • Video Tips

Videos can go ‘viral’ for a number reasons. With the power of social media platforms, the opportunity to create a viral video is endless, but how do you actually execute a ‘viral worthy’ video? Although there might not be one simple formula that can guarantee you’ll get your video seen by millions of people across the world, there are a few important factors that you need to think about.

Emotion – At some point or another, you’ve more than likely had a video sent or shown to you by one of your family members, friends or colleagues, whether it was the ‘Charlie bit my finger’ video from way back in 2007 or the ‘Ghost car’ jumpscare ad from German company k-fee. Sure, the videos are very different, but they share one similarity. Emotion. Evoking some form of emotion, whether that be happiness, anger, sadness or joy is a crucial element to video ‘virality’. Whether you laughed, cried or jumped with fear, the important point is that you did.

Timely – (in both meanings of the word) – Social media newsfeeds are a never ending scroll of information and our attention spans are short. Very short. We consume hundreds if not thousands of pieces of content everyday, which is why your video needs to be short and sweet. Think about how often you scroll through social media watching telling yourself you’ll just watch one more 60 second ‘Tasty recipe’ video. We don’t feel guilty for taking the time out of our busy day to watch 30 second video after 30 second video that conveniently appear one after the other, but a single 20 minute video – we definitely haven’t got time for that!

It is also worth considering how relevant your video is in relation to what’s going on in the world. Why? Because the virality of a video can be fleeting and heavily dependent upon external factors. Look no further than the example of the viral ‘Sad Affleck’ video, posted just days before the release of the highly anticipated Batman v. Superman: Dawn of Justice movie. Timing is everything.

Creativity – Why might a video about a sugary drink commercial be just as popular with children as it is with their parents, grand parents, and millions of others across the globe? Maybe because it’s something that they’ve never quite seen before. Every now and again, a video appears on social media or an advert on TV that creates intrigue and makes us think. We find ourselves watching it and rewatching it over and over again. Why? Well, because, we’re not quite sure what we’re watching. It’s new, or it’s done differently. Take the Skoda Fabia advert – ‘Cake Car’ or the Cadbury’s ;Gorilla playing the drums’ advert. Viral videos are the ones that create conversation and discussion.

Of course, there are plenty of other things that can have an influence over whether or not a video goes viral. But nevertheless, it’s important to recognise some of the most common factors and themes of viral videos that come up time and time again.

Are you using video to promote your product or service? If not, consider ‘that more than two thirds of customers would rather learn about a product or service by way of video’ (Hubspot 2021)

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