What Makes a Viral Video… Viral?

According to YouTube’s video statistics, over four billion hours of video are watched each month on YouTube alone, not counting video views on Facebook or other social media channels. To say the least, people watch a lot of videos. Even if you don’t watch a lot of online videos, one time or another, we’ve come across a video on YouTube or Facebook that was absolutely hysterical or incredibly heartwarming that it had to be shared with friends and family. Even if those videos are noticeably tied to a particular brand, we still choose to share those videos – but why?

Brands try to create videos that resonate with their audience so well that they are watched, liked and shared by the audience without any extra effort on the part of the brand, becoming viral. Although viral videos can spread like wildfire creating brand awareness and brand favoritism, it doesn’t come without research, hard work and a little creativity. Here are five traits on how some of the best viral videos have become so successful.

  1. Look beyond core influencers when creating videos and look at your audience as a whole. The best videos come from a large audience sharing to small groups.
  2. Viral videos should start a conversation and become shared entertainment between people. Nobody likes to be sold to, so don’t think of viral videos as ads but rather stories.
  3. The easier videos are to find and share to friends and family, the quicker they will spread and become popular. Many viral videos are placed on websites, YouTube, within social media and anywhere else where the video may catch on.
  4. Videos sometimes work best when placed in the right place at the right time. Some viral videos created for large disasters, sporting events or other large events work well to connect to a large audience with shared interests.
  5. Be creative! Some of the best viral videos have been completely unexpected and something that’s never been seen before, making them stand out.

Here are some brand’s examples of popular viral videos.

Roger Federer Trick Shot

BMW Table Trick

Coke Happiness Machine

For more information on videos and how to use them for marketing, check out our blog post Don’t Avoid Video in Content Marketing, Embrace It!  


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