A Guide to Imperfect Art

Valor. Many brands want to go viral, but creating viral content is more of a mystery in the digital age where the most unexpected content can be viewed millions of times overnight. There is no secret recipe for the perfect viral video, and yet there are videos that get millions of views each year. Whats the secret?

Unfortunately, virginity is more of an art than a science. While there’s no tried-and-true formula for virality, there are a few elements we consistently look for — and knowing that gets you one step closer to achieving viral glory.

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So let’s identify some of the similarities that may have made them internet-famous.

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From the latest trending Twitter or TikTok moments to some of the oldest viral moments coming from YouTube, like “keyboard cat” either “Charlie bit my finger,” The science of a viral video is an ever-changing imperfect formula.

How do videos go viral?

While for today’s YouTubers, it may take a lot of luck, some common elements of viral videos can set you up for success. According to HubSpot research in 2022 Video Marketing ReportThese are the most popular features:

  • Title Length: Video titles were short (3 words or less)
  • Run-time: The playing time of the video was short (3 minutes or less).
  • Grabs the audience’s attention in the first few seconds: Videos showing an element of surprise (defined as seeing or hearing an expression of surprise, such as a scream or gasp) or interesting propositions break the norms.
  • The material is related in nature to: Videos depict relatable situations, situations or subject matter that viewers from many different backgrounds can relate to.
  • Production Quality: The video displayed a musical element that showed high production value in resolution, props and well-thought-out ideology.
  • Talent: Many viral videos are made of songs, dances or performances that require practice and talent.

The Art of Viral Videos: Applying Data to Real Life Scenarios

The marketing report also includes survey data from marketing professionals about which factors are most effective for creating viral videos, with the most commonly cited characteristics being:

  • Short and concise title (3 words or less) and run-time (3 minutes or less)
  • Uses an engaging storytelling format
  • invokes pleasant emotions such as laughing
  • contains elements of irony or surprise
  • Allows participation to be made public
  • is practically useful

You can translate this list to craft a unique, viral message that represents your brand, and we’ll walk you through how to tap into each.

And while some of these items (such as short title and run-time) are self-explanatory. But others (such as story format, elements of irony and surprise, public indicators of participation, and practical use) may need to be more explicit, so here are some suggestions for addressing these more complex factors.

1. Tell a Story

Since the beginning of language, humans have been programmed to consume stories. Stories influence our thinking and provide sensory experiences. These reactions lead to people being drawn to content in the traditional story format.

make sure you have Traditional Elements of a Tale (the beginning, character, conflict, climax, and resolution) are present in your video, and your audience will recognize it as a story.

You can also experiment with using well-known tropes in your video — for example, you can convey an idea through a simple story like a pirate’s tale to make it easier to use ” how is”Sleek CRM for rough seasLike HubSpot:

This ad explains how offering our CRM platform to characters like pirates will change their stories and help them find the treasure they seek. A video like this is a cute, fun way to incorporate that theme while focusing on the brand’s mission.

2. Be Ironic

Irony is one of the most common factors among viral videos in 90% of the videos surveyed. This gives it a higher priority when crafting your viral message.

How do you incorporate irony? You do what most of the sample videos did — demonstrate breaking social norms.

Think: Are there any social norms associated with your brand or product? Can you break one of those relevant criteria in an ironic yet on-brand way?

Let us see an example. Marvel published a wonderfully ironic video for the 2011 release of Thor.little thorThe video is a parody of Aaradhya Volkswagen Super Bowl Commercial which starred a little boy dressed as Darth Vader trying to harness the power of the Force.

In “Little Thor”, a girl dressed as Thor is walking around the house, using Thor’s hammer to wield great power over a dog (appropriately named Loki), a doll, and her peanut butter and jelly sandwich. trying to use.

The Art of Viral Videos: Being Ironic as Showcased in THOR Ads

As we see it, this is practically identical to a Volkswagen commercial, and we believe this is probably another video in the same series. Eventually, the father comes home, and she runs outside with her hammer for one last attempt. We’re supposed to assume his dad will set off the car alarm, like the dad in the VW Super Bowl commercial, but instead – the car explodes! Then we learn that this commercial is not for Volkswagen but for the upcoming Thor movie.

The Art of Viral Videos: Thor's Ironic Plot Twist in Ads

The irony in the making of the viral video is shown in the plot twist

This video is ironic on many levels. First, it’s a satirical parody of a popular ad. Second, the child dressed as Thor is a girl, which goes against gender stereotypes (and breaks a social norm). Third, the car explodes, which is ironic since the video is a mockery of a car advertisement.

Such an ironic video is a hilarious way to introduce yourself brand personality,

3. Surprise the audience

Half the viral videos had an element of surprise.

Why do people like to be surprised? In a world where we see thousands of advertisements daily, people are tired of seeing the same thing over and over again. A Surprise is a nice, refreshing change of pace for that monotonous material.

So how do you incorporate elements of surprise into your videos while still making them relevant to your company?

Your company should be surprised.

More specifically, your company’s benefits should be a surprising element to your video (enjoyable, funny, hilarious, etc.).

Take the iconic Old Spice commercial, “The Man Your Man Could Smell Like,” video campaign. This is a classic example of using the element of surprise to exaggerate the benefits of their body wash in a fun, ironic way.

The ad features the towel-clad actor in a bathroom with a shower running behind him. He says that, while your man is unfortunately not him, your man can smell like him with Old Space Body Wash. Then all of a sudden, the shower background is pulled right behind him to reveal that he’s on a boat! The story continues with constantly changing wardrobe, props and background.

Viewers are constantly surprised and excited to see what “The Man Who Can Smell Your Man” does next.

While not every brand has the budget to create a video like Old Spice’s, think about how you can surprise your audience in small and big ways – it can help to get your video shared.

4. Encourage Sharing

Berger said people are more likely to participate if they can publicly indicate their participation. Why? Because people like to show off and feel like they are in the know.

This is handy for people who interact with you in person – a branded T-shirt, bumper sticker, or pen will do just fine. But it’s hard to provide public engagement indicators for the people you interact with online.

Correction: It was hard to make them available before the advent of social media.

nowadays, social sharing buttons There are practically every type of online content: YouTube videos, website articles, audio clips, etc. It allows people to share the content they like with their friends, who can then share it with their friends, etc.

By including social sharing buttons in your videos and wherever you host them, you meet the need to share your viewers’ experience with others.

5. Think Practicality

The two things we all have in common is that we all have problems, and we are all looking for solutions to fix them.

People are always searching for informational content, from headache remedies to finding recipes for last-minute potluck dinners. Chances are, your customers are also looking for information about your sector or industry. And it’s in your best interest to provide it to them.

By creating insightful, useful videos, you accomplish a few essential things:

  1. You provide information to those who prefer to seek it themselves.
  2. You can encourage those people to share that information with their networks (accommodating those who seek advice from their friends).
  3. You establish yourself as a helpful tool and source of information, increasing trust (and hopefully loyalty).
  4. if you strategically placed calls to action In your videos, you can convert viewers to the next step in the buying journey.

Can your video provide the insightful information your customers are looking for? is a good first step Identify your customers’ problem and provide information on how they can fix it.

Maybe you sell makeup, and you have a lot of customers who aren’t sure how and when to apply it — you can create how-to videos for makeup tips and tricks. Or maybe your company offers eye exams, but many first-time visitors are intimidated by the visit — you could film a tour of your office, with moms showing their kids the steps of an eye exam— There may be a step-by-step explanation.

By providing this useful information, you help connect people to you with solutions — that work when they want to buy something.

Pillsbury’s Video for “Take It”crescent mummy dog,” for example. Here’s an instructional video that shows how you can make a fun, entertaining treat for your kids on Halloween. Parents might want to try a recipe like this one for their child’s school party. are looking for, and Pillsbury has provided the recipe and how-to video with it. That way, they make this recipe as easy to follow as possible, so parents who try it love it and You’ll be more likely to share it with your friends—and heck, maybe even buy Pillsbury Flour to make the recipe.

Set your next video up for success

There’s no magic formula for the perfect viral video – but there are some general guidelines to help you get there. By understanding the elements that make content successful, you can anticipate (and even create) the content that will become popular. This will allow you to create videos that are strategically more likely to be widely distributed online.

Editor’s Note: This post was originally published in June 2014 and has been updated for comprehensiveness.

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