5 tips to create a viral video

Credits for this list should be given to @karenXCheng who did a really great presentation @leadersparis.

What do a donut and viral video have in common?
100million views.

Remember this girl singing her resignation letter @microsoft? It was back in 2012 and probably one of the most significant viral videos at the time. This video was not meant to go viral, but did.
Because it was funny, unusual and simple, it went viral very quickly.

Resigning not being a particularly funny subject usually, this video caught people’s attention, but most of all, the media’s.
When she realized what she had managed to do unintentionally, she decided to do more, and make a business out of it.

5 tips you need to take you there

1/ make the headline first

You want something to spread? Imagine what would be the headline that the news would write about your video that would make it spread. That’s what happened to her microsoft video. It spread because the headline newspapers had written caught the attention: « Girl sings goodbye to Microsoft ».

Read also this article > Why the headline is key to make content viral

The tech press (starting with tech crunch) got it first, then gizmodo and others. Soon after it was making the headlines in the national press, then the international press.

People loved it and it generated even a few meme’s.

And this one you might remember:

2/ Use one of these 4 emotions

There are four main emotions that make people want to share.

  • Awe
  • Anger
  • Amusement
  • …and vanity

Sad emotions do not work generally, because mostly intravert by nature, they either generate empathy or disgust, but do not make people want to share it further (anger does though).

And if your video can use several of these four emotions, it is even better.

The « new selfie » (donut selfie) she created was a pure product of vanity and awe. And people loved it!

3/ Make people look good

The success of her « donut selfie » video is not only due to her doing this great video. She instinctively noticed that people would love to be able to do the same. So she created a bunch of simple tutorials so that as soon as people would see her video, they would immediately try it, and spread the video.

People want to look good and thanks to her sharing this tip, they could become really cool.

4/ Fake it till you make it

Well, it would be great if virality was always spontaneous. Truth is, in most cases, it isn’t. When it is, it is very unintentional (like her first video).
You need to support the process.
You need to create the conditions and pretend until it catches attention.

Your target is the media. So if you find a way to catch their attention, they will make it become viral.
For her donut video, that’s what she pretty much did.
At the time she did it, she only had a few views (a dozen). So she asked a few connected friends (a bunch of influencers) to do theirs. Then she called a press magazine to whisper about the new trend (cosmo magazine) saying, « hey there is a new trend and people are doing it ». And it worked

It is actually their headline that made it go viral.

4/ Facebook is different

Youtube used to be the place to be for videos. Now there are more videos on FB than on youtube. Videos become more viral on facebook than on youtube. Their type is different but one of the reasons it becomes viral easily is the auto-play by default. It breaks the barrier of action. People start to see the video, like it and want to see more.

It is definitely a better medium to make it go viral.

The happy story did not end there

And then the buzz reached brands

The buzz around her donut selfie got Beats interested. Beats by Dre asked her to turn her donut selfie into their next advertising.

And not only did she get a million views.
She also got brand attention. And this very simple idea became a business of its own, earning not only attention but revenue.

I really liked the presentation she made on stage and wished I could have attended her workshop.
And now that you know all her secret tips, I hope you will create lots of viral videos.

And if you do so after reading this article, please come here and share the result!

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