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Best Practices for Creating Viral Videos

The world of media has changed dramatically since radio and television dominated the landscape. The Internet’s ascendance made it possible for anyone to easily create and share content worldwide. Today, amateur videos regularly rack up views that outperform those earned by today’s mainstream. You, too, can achieve attention within this crowded space, but your odds are far better if you observe certain guidelines. Here are a few suggestions for how to create videos that have a likelihood of trending.

Stir Emotions

We may think our actions are determined by rational thought, but the truth is that animal instincts guide our choices. Sharable material taps into people’s feelings. Whether the emotion you elicit is one of compassion, sadness, fear, comfort, or happiness remains immaterial. The objective is to trigger a high number of viewers into consuming your work. Viral video experts like Jukin Media have mastered this key principle. VideoInk dubbed Jonathan Skogmo the King of Viral Video in April of 2016. Over the course of more than a decade, his company has created more than 200 hours of video programming that has been used in a wide array of formats.

To achieve such success, Jukin Media explores all types of subject matter that is guaranteed to elicit a response, ranging from Black Lives Matter protests to blooper videos, extreme weather phenomena, and irresistibly cute pets. Racking up more than 50 billion views would have been impossible without a deep understanding of what sorts of content taps into feelings that elicit a desire to share.

Be Brief

While digital platforms afford us the ability to create videos that extend for hours, consider your audience. The typical web browser’s attention span runs only a few minutes. Keep in mind that people lead busy lives and have limited time to indulge in online diversions. The shorter your piece, the more likely your video will receive views and shares.

Stay Simple

Keep your video as clear and to the point as possible. Ditch concerns about nuance or a desire to explore a sophisticated topic in detail. Instead, focus on delivering the most immediate and powerful impact. You can always satisfy those who want more by concluding with links for further research or where action can be taken. Although it may seem counterintuitive, maintaining a professional appearance is unimportant. Spending thousands on camera and lighting equipment is totally unnecessary for going viral. As long as you make something that demands watching, viewers will come.

Stay Current

Trending issues are great subjects for attracting eyeballs. Scan news sources for hot items and use a trend tracker to identify what subject matter is on the rise. Take note of fashionable memes and incorporate them into your creations. By exploring topics that everyone is talking about, you can ride a wave of popularity.

Promote Your Work

It often takes a significant push before online browsers take notice of a video and begin spreading it naturally. Be your own best advocate and market yourself. Reach out to popular media outlets and solicit celebrities who have the potential to bring publicity. Approach major companies whose interests align with yours and politely request a share. Any mention or link provided by an entity with a significant following can have an enormous impact.

Think about relevant forums where your video is most likely to be enthusiastically received. It will be easier to increase attention amongst more general audiences once you have gained notoriety within a specific niche. YouTube may be the most popular space for video uploads, but quite a few other platforms exist. Get your work onto as many of these virtual stages as possible. It is only a matter of time before one of these high-tech alternatives suddenly explodes in popularity. When that happens, you want your material to already be positioned front and center.

Constantly Engage

Material that generates lots of activity gets naturally promoted. Wherever your video is placed, dig into the comments, and start talking. Respond directly to commenters and ask them to expand upon their thoughts. However you get people buzzing, the amount of reaction you spur will have a direct impact on how much mindshare your video receives.

Time Your Release

Even with a fantastic video, your masterpiece will fail to gain traction without visibility. Upload during times when online audiences are greatest. Because people tend to consume online programming at work, make your debuts on Mondays and Tuesdays. Doing so allows momentum to build over the rest of the week before hitting the weekend drop off. Never go live during a holiday, as potential viewers will be preoccupied with family affairs instead of staying current on viral crazes.

Fashioning videos that grab the public’s imagination takes practice and skill. Although becoming an online sensation may seem impossible, the task remains within reach if you follow these time-tested recommendations.

Written by Marcus Richards

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