Can You Really Plan for a Video to Go Viral?
The most straightforward answer to the question that this headline title poses is no, however, you can certainly put a strategic plan in place that will give your video content the best chance possible of going viral.
While the many ‘cat videos’ and ‘kids-saying-silly-things’ videos seem to be rife across YouTube, Vine, Instagram and other video based platforms, these are organic videos filmed by amateurs who essentially got lucky with their video view count. This is absolutely not the case when it comes to planning a video for commercial purposes.
The first thing to do when planning a video is to put a strategy in place. This strategy must cover the overall idea for the video (including how this idea is going to emotionally connect with its target audience) and how to go about laying down the framework for this and the angle you would take on it. For example, the average video that goes viral is anywhere between fifteen seconds and five minutes. In this timeframe, a video that has reached viral status e.g. has been shared thousands if not millions of times online, has either made its viewers laugh, cry, angry, or even annoyed, essentially any singular emotion that affects them enough to share it.
The angle you take on creating a video will depend on what story you want to tell and your brand. For example, Go Daddy who offers web hosting services, created a video that ran during the ad breaks of the 2013 Super Bowl. The purpose of the video was to promote its new website builder, but the story it told had nothing to do with websites. Instead Go Daddy decided to make its viewers feel uncomfortable by featuring a kiss between a super model and a nerd for well over half of the video which was very awkward to watch. Viewers could not help but watch it though as the crux of the video was that this kiss was completely unexpected and that is the angle Go Daddy took, to shock their viewers. The company ended up attracting 100,000 new customers after the video aired. Promotion of any video once it is made, is also a key element to include in your strategy.
For more top tips on how to plan out a video in the hopes it will go viral, see the below infographic created by One Productions, or read their more detailed guide.