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creating a viral video

Many times a viral video just happens, it just becomes- with no planning, no expectations. Home videos, such as Charlie Bit My Finger, Hahaha, and David After Dentist , videos that were originally meant to be shared with family and friends, tend to be happily welcomed into inboxes, status updates, and tweets. People tend to like videos that don’t seem to be made with the expectations of a viral takeover.

But that doesn’t in any way mean that if you want a video to go viral you can’t make it go viral. It happens all the time. If something is share worthy, it will be shared, no matter what the original intentions might be. Examples? Volkswagen Commercial: The Force, NSFW. A hunter shoots a bear!, SWAGGER WAGON, etc.

Here are a few key notes to keep in mind in creating a viral video:

1. Content: this should go without saying. If your video doesn’t have good content (take this word lightly, we mostly mean “shareable,” since often terrible/terribly hilarious/terribly embarrassing content is often shared for that sake) there’s not much that you can do to have it spread. Entertain, inform, draw on emotions- make people react. Remember, that’s what all those share-worthy home videos did.

2. Length: various studies of viral videos demonstrate that shorter videos are better, with videos that are under 15 seconds in length being shared approximately 37% more than videos that range from :30 seconds to 1 minute. People are busy, overwhelmed, and have too many other things they could be watching- the shorter your video is, the faster they can watch and the more likely they are to share. If your video needs to be more than 30 seconds, that’s okay- just keep in mind that your video should be tight and never go dull, even for a brief period. Exclude that extra scene you’re debating on keeping.

3. Title and Thumbnail: This may seem obvious, but it’s amazing how many times videos fail to grasp people’s attention because their title or thumbnail don’t do it justice. Do it justice. Think: If you were hurriedly skimming through YouTube, looking through the Daily Most Viewed or a related video search- would your title grab your attention? Ask around, and then ask around some more. As for the thumbnail, unless you’re a YouTube partner, you won’t be able to upload your own thumbnail. Instead, YouTube chooses 3 frames from your video and allows you to pick the one you feel best represents your video. Our advice: (though it might seem tedious and exhausting) play around with your video length, the editing of it, and the organization of your video to ensure that the best possible thumbnail appears for your video. It really is that important.

4. Share: Share your video, share it with your friends, your colleagues, your family. Share it on your Facebook page, your Twitter, your LinkedIn, and Blog. Share it on other relevant blogs. Share it on discovery engines. Share, share, share. You need your video to take off, so you need to start the engine.

Have any questions? Ask in the comments below.