Whether you’ve got a hot product for a limited time or just need to make a fast splash, making a video go viral is less about the campaign and more about the content itself. There’s no one surefire way to guarantee a viral hit, but there are some steps you can take to increase your odds.
Your video needs to provoke a deep emotional response from your viewers, whether it be love or hate or even confusion, to get a viral response.
Unlike traditional marketing content, viral videos are rarely neutral in tone and may even upset some people. You need that emotional response to get a lot of people to share your videos with others fast.
Nothing along the traditional lines of video ads will work in a viral campaign. You need to do something that surprises your viewers. For example, Dove’s real beauty ads, a viral hit of 2013, surprised viewers with the results of its social experiment on real versus perceived beauty.
Since you need to deliver something unexpected, you can’t copy off past viral success, as viewers will anticipate what’s coming. You can still look at the top viral hits of the past year to get an idea of what works and what may push the envelope further than you’re comfortable with for your brand.
Don’t Make Ads
Viral hits aren’t about the product or service but another story. For instance, Sony’s bouncing ball ads for the 2006 Bravia TV model didn’t even show their product, but they still got people talking about it. Viewers expect ads, so it’s your job to deliver something more than that.
Keep It Going
Once you’ve got people’s attention with your viral video, build on it. While you can’t keep releasing the same sort of video, you can capitalize on the momentum by issuing content that builds on it, such as a behind the scenes look of the video’s creation or even an outtakes reel. Many brands make the mistake of hitting on a successful viral video and dropping the concept entirely, so be prepared to provide additional content.
Viral video has to be easy to freely share. Don’t require registration or codes for viewing even if you do so with some of your other content. The whole bedrock of a viral campaign is shares, so make sure viewers can quickly share your video among all the social networks when you upload.