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What It Takes to Make a Viral Video

Every company wants their video to go viral, but in truth, it’s only a few that ever reach the status of the Old Spice Man campaign. While there are some things you can control—like making a really great video—that alone won’t make it go viral. 

It’s worth considering that your company would probably benefit more from a video that tells your story well than a “viral video.” Your goal is to forge a deep connection with your target market, not millions of people who will laugh at your video and never think about your brand ever again. Two perfectly good ways to reach your market could be an animated explainer video or a clip of your founder speaking about their vision.

That said, if you do want to pursue “viral” status, then let’s dissect popular videos and discover some common themes. Most follow a similar format: witty, quirky, less than 120 seconds, and a bit provocative. Here’s our best advice for your company to achieve this pinnacle of success.

Make it punchy, memorable—and consider taking risks

Videos go viral by getting shared over and over again. To motivate someone to watch your full video and then click “share,” you need a super punchy and memorable video. The story should be clear, the concept should be easy to grasp, and the visuals should be unforgettable. Ideally, it should involve some humor or wit. If you can make someone laugh, then you’ll easily drive engagement.

Remember, it’s okay to take risks in your video! After all, you’re most likely not a Fortune 500 company—yet—which is why you’re looking to create a viral video. We feel strongly that a well-made video will attract good attention and generate publicity for your company, even if it’s an odd premise or an unusual topic. You’re doing all of this to get noticed! Don’t be afraid to stand out.

Do your research

Your viral video idea needs to be researched well. Dive deep into the psychology of your audience and think about the type of content that would appeal to them. Are they sports fans? Do they watch makeup tutorials on YouTube? Would they be more entertained by a classically scored, slow-motion food fight or a real human preparing for their day job at the crack of dawn? 

The second part of the research is tilling the soil for public relations to pick up your video. Videos don’t go viral all on their own power. You’ll need a couple of websites or influencers to pick up your video and share it with their communities. Ask your marketing team to check their Rolodex and reach out to suitable outlets ahead of time. This will be key to launching the PR domino effect you’ll need for the video to go viral.

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Prepare to spend some early advertising money to promote it

Be prepared to throw some ad spend towards it. Why? You will most likely need to promote it for a while until it takes off. That is a totally normal process for launching a viral video! All it takes is a spark to go viral, but enough people need to see the video to generate that spark. 

Plan to spend a few bucks to boost your social media posts with paid promotions. With clever and targeted spending, you could serve your video to the right people at the right time. This means posting the video to places like Reddit, where it can get picked up by other publishers. Write a compelling description and do your meta tags properly, and you’ll have done your part. Then, if you produced an awesome video, your audience will do the rest of the work for you. 

Collaborate with a capable production company 

Hire a team that knows how to make viral videos! There’s a tried and true process to scripting, storyboarding, and seeing videos executed properly. When you collaborate with a reputable and nimble production company, you improve your chances of going viral. 

You’ll bring your knowledge of your product and your customers, and we’ll bring our skills in production. Together, we’ll make magic—and hopefully, a viral video that will acquire millions of views for your brand. 

In short, if you’re set on achieving viral success and going for the home run, then it’s definitely a worthy investment of your marketing money. But if you’re equally fine with taking that budget and breaking it out into multiple, smaller videos that serve different audiences and goals, then that could work, too.

Talk to DreamItReel today about how to achieve your goals with great video content. Whether you’re after viral video fame or an effective suite of informative videos, we can help you make it happen.