Creating content that “goes viral” is a priority to many of today’s companies, and often, the preferred form of viral content is video. The problem with creating viral content is that there’s no cut-and-dry process for doing so—it’s somewhat unpredictable what will make a video spread like wildfire across the internet. But that doesn’t mean that businesses shouldn’t even try. There are certain things that make content more likeable and more shareable, and combining factors can help catapult a video to the top.
What Makes a Video Shareable?
Videos that get shared a lot are often not single-dimension videos. For example, it’s not just a cat walking around with a dog—there’s usually some aspect of humor, like the cat jumping on the dog, or some aspect of extreme-cuteness, like the cat falling asleep next to the dog. Thinking of videos that have gone viral that aren’t just cute animals, viral videos often get shared because of the message and the way the message is presented. For example, an inspirational video may feature someone beating an illness or coming home from serving in the military. Videos that inspire us to feel something are easily shared, because we know people in our circle of friends and colleagues that will appreciate the sentiment. Viral videos may also include warnings, funny pranks, advice, or interesting facts.
What makes a video shareable is whether or not the people who watch it know anyone who will like what’s in the video. Include more aspects that appeal to many people, and your video is more likely to get picked up and shared.
What Are Some Features of Viral Videos?
Viral videos are typically fast-paced. They’re generally not that long, either, since most people won’t sit through a 10-minute YouTube video. They generally don’t focus on what a company does specifically, since—generally!—most people don’t care about the inner-workings of a company. Rather, they present information in a unique and interesting way. They are often inoffensive (the whole family can watch them, and even touchy Aunt Sally won’t think the video is insulting or gross or offensive) and relatable—we’ve all missed a loved one and enjoyed the company of a puppy, which is why those “coming home” videos get so popular and why cute animals get shared by the thousand.
When people click “Share,” they’re effectively giving something their endorsement, too. They didn’t make the content, but they would be fine if people thought they had. That’s why most viral videos aren’t the place for controversial facts or things like conspiracy theories.
In essence, viral content is short and to-the-point, but it also presents something that a wide audience would enjoy watching. It might be funny, heartwarming, or informative, but it’s never offensive or obscure/too-niche.