Viral videos will be a hot topic in 2012. With high-end cameras and editing software becoming more affordable and readily available to the average Joe, the opportunity for you to showcase your business while generating massive amounts of buzz via viral videos has arrived.

First, let’s define what a viral video is:

“A viral video is one that becomes popular through the process of Internet sharing, typically through video sharing websites, social media and email.” (via Mashable)

The Internet has essentially provided more avenues for you to reach your customers and with more and more consumers preferring video content to any other form, many companies have turned to video production in their advertising initiatives.

So here are 5 steps to help you make your next advertising video go viral.

1) Quality:

Sure, most videos that go viral are either filmed on a webcam or mobile phone. However, when it comes to representing your business neither of these will do.

The good news is, most video recording devices and the software to edit your video have become more user friendly and inexpensive than ever before.

Providing the best quality of video will be crucial with most formats being in high definition (HD).

 

2) Different Platforms:

The wise hunter sets more than one trap. In this case, though YouTube is a great place to start, there are many more options available, and with viral videos, the more places one can find or stumble upon your content, the better.

Submitting your video to sites such as Facebook, Twitter, Tumblr, Vimeo, Reddit, StumbleUpon or other industry-specific platforms will help generate more traffic.

 

3) Length:

This one is hard to judge when it comes to video content. Some of the most successful viral videos are anywhere from 30 seconds to 5 minutes.

The ideal length for your video really depends on production quality and the message you are trying to relay.

Keep the content concise and easy to follow with one call of action or message throughout the entire piece, and be sure to delete anything that isn’t strictly necessary to your video.

Sometimes viral marketing is more than just a single execution, it can also be an integrated campaign.

4) Understand Your Audience:

Sometimes humor may not be the best medicine. Understanding your audience and the reasons they would want to share your content are very important to remember.

After all, their online reputation is at stake, and nobody wants to share something with their network that they themselves don’t enjoy. Will they share your content because it makes them stop and think, or because it is moving and deeply emotional?

Also, creating content relevant to mainstream media or trending topics is a good avenue to focus on. Finally, consider the feedback your audience is providing your content and use it to improve your future projects.

5) Ask:

Sometimes the most overlooked part of creating viral content is asking your audience to share it. Chances are if they enjoyed what they just watched then they are thinking about sharing it and asking them to share will motivate them to do so.

Do your part and make it as easy as possible for them to share.

Use social sharing buttons for people to Tweet or post to Facebook. Some videos have even gone as far as providing incentives for sharing (ex: once this video reaches 1,000 views we will provide you with a coupon code or we will donate to XYZ charity).

Some companies have even turned to crowd sourcing (or asking their audience to submit their own related content) with video contests that ask for testimonials or informational pieces.

Finally, and maybe the most important task, is to ask people with authority (influential social media users) to share your content with their existing audience. This is beneficial whether the authority is an industry leader with a massive Twitter following, or someone whose Facebook page has numerous fans in your industry.

These are just a few tips to get you started. With so much content on the Web, going viral should be a major goal for the content you produce.

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