5th August 2015

Make your movie compelling and viral

1 – Understanding Viral Video
Viral by definition: An image, video, piece of information, etc. that is circulated rapidly and widely. Be it on the Internet or in social groups.
To understand fully of how to breed such a thing, we have to fully understand the context of a viral video. A viral video isn’t something that gains a few views and tweets, it’s the talk of the town. It is something that becomes a national or worldwide phenomenon. It’s not just about the views, it’s the discussions around it.
For businesses this is hard. Most businesses want the video that will get these results, but don’t know how to get there. The most important note to realise is there is a huge difference between a promotional video for your business, and a viral video.
Understanding what you want is only the beginning.
2 – Know your audience
As with any Brand/Design/Film, your audience is the most important factor in the content that you produce. Virality is no different, save the fact that you must realise there is a huge audience to appeal to. Your audience isn’t just your customers, although they may be the main target. You must appeal to a wide range of personalities. Its about spreading the word of your brand personality. Not giving the world the hard sell. This just won’t stick with the modern day viewer.
And when we look at the latest surveys for video across social media platforms, you don’t have a lot of time to get your message across. Facebook averages at 3 seconds before we move on to the next piece of content. Youtube averages at 30 seconds. Twitter and Instagram however, because of short form video like Vine etc, average at 10 seconds.
This is key, as grabbing attention in such a short time frame is a real art.
3 – Be clear on the results you want to see
Its important to know what results you want to see. Most business’ want more traction for their products, or want a promotional video that sells their brand.
A viral video is to bring awareness to people of who you are and what you do in the most simplistic and clever way.
DollarShaveClub.com
This is a perfect example of a promotional viral video. It understands its audience so well and appeals to the everyday man who wants to save a buck on a level that they can relate to.
Once we understand what it is that we want to gain from this, we can categorise what kind of video we want. This may not be a viral video, hence we must be certain that this is the correct method.
4 – Where and how
Knowing the platforms is essential. It’s all well and good producing a video and putting it on Facebook or twitter, but has it been posted properly. Most viral videos consist of, a friend of a friend who suggested you watch something they found funny. You decide to share it with all of your friends and this starts the catalyst for the video to become viral. It’s the same as real life social situations, but substituting face-to-face interactions with a screen, live feeds, comments, likes and shares. The more people you tell, the more people will engage.
5 – Its about Quality, not Quantity
Dropping all promotional values of a viral video is more likely to get you the views you want, as the hard sell drives people away. Because instead, you are creating an emotional gem that millions can relate to, ending up with your brand being talked about heavily.
Focus on engaging your audience in a simple and well thought of way, rather than collaging the screen with facts and figures, logos and straplines.
6 – Key elements
Emotion – Whatever the emotion may be, it needs to have something to create a connection with the audience. Studies in psychology have shown that the happier memories live longer in the mind than the sad memories. So in essence funny is better than depressing. This would understand why I still remember this…
Terry Crews Old Spice Muscle Music
So it has to be powerful.
Drop the boring stuff – It’s OK to tag your video with your logo and talk around the business in a fun concise way, but giving the hard sell ends up with the viewer moving on. Let the virality of the video do the promotional work for you.
Plan – Its no good sharing your video with one person across all the platforms. Don’t go to the effort of creating a viral video if your other actions aren’t in place. Make sure you know the platforms and make sure you know how and when you are using them. When Nike makes a viral video you can be sure that with 22 million followers on Facebook that the video will go viral instantly.
Everything to be in order – If your gaining more awareness for your brand and you want people to visit your site etc make sure its all working. There’s nothing worse than having a chink the chain. (Don’t send people to your site half built or glitchy, your reputation will be shattered instantly, resulting in loss of customers)
Lastly a call to action helps people relate and share with others. This relates back to real life situations. In social situations people share stories they enjoy and connect with. This is no different in the online world. Friends will share something they have enjoyed or what they think their friend will enjoy. A call to action helps people personalise this and feel a part of the bigger picture.
All in all it needs to be a well-developed plan with great content that interacts with your average Joe sat at home with his feet up, double screening. TV on, iPad on the go, these are the people that will share, like and pass on the message. Making your video go viral
Curt Postill is one of the next generation video artists, leading an award winning motion graphics team at Silver.