I have a background in television. So I know that medium extremely well.
Recently I did a ton of research on viral videos. What makes them viral, why do they go viral, which ones are more viral than others. I wanted to see if there was a formula that could be duplicated. Could I transfer those secrets to the nightlife biz and start to coach and produce amazing sharable content? Television production is very different than viral video development. Trust me when I say that. Two different mediums and not just because the screen size. I am talking about the social proof aspect that changes the game entirely.
While you can’t guarantee that a video would go viral there were a few fundamental concepts that need to be used when developing and producing your video. The things that push your video into the viral scene. Without these your video is just another TV ad and will have much less impact.
I found that while there were a few similarities across most of the videos that had millions of views there was also that luck factor that no one could duplicate. Right timing, right base of social followers, right topic. Yes you could boost your chances by advertising the video and give it a boost or plant a few influencers (people with major followers) into the mix and have them share the video for you, but again that only goes so far.
With that said I found that the one similarity across the board was emotion. There was always a large emotional factor in the video. Whether it was a home style video that lasted 10 seconds but hilarious (a kid biting his brother) or a well thought out and well produced video with an amazing ending (like the recent Westjet Airline Christmas ad: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zIEIvi2MuEk) – It was sharable. Every single viral video had the ‘I need to show someone this’ factor.
The majority of videos were not professionally staged videos. Many were shot on a cell phone. With all of the research I have done, people like real. They don’t want to be tricked into thinking a video is real but find that everyone is an actor. They don’t want to watch TV ads on the internet.
Think about the amount of times you went to YouTube and had to wait the 5 second countdown of an ad before you can click and skip. I am willing to bet that NO ONE sits and watched the entire ad. You count 5, 4, 3, 2, 1, Skip Ad. And why would you, those videos are well produced and polished and most are actually the same TV ad that you see on TV just put on the internet. Big deal. Not effective at all.
You don’t need major production money to create a viral video. It does not have to be in the same quality category as a television ad. Think about different was of featuring your self, product or service wrapped around an emotional strategy. And don’t always think product placement. You don’t need a kid biting his brother but holding your product. Think outside of the box. Maybe the action happens at your venue. Or behind the scenes. Sometimes there is no good way to integrate your product so just leave it out but place a 5 second slate at the end with ‘Hilarious right? YourVenue thought so to’.
If you are going to spend the money to make the video look super professional make sure it still falls under the ‘real’ category. Much like the Westjet ad that was very well produced, it was still a very real situation. None of the people were paid actors pretending their emotion. Everything was real. That is viral video.
Think about that when creating your own video. Whether it is for youtube, your website, Instagram, etc. What captures the viewer within 5-10 seconds. Is there enough emotion (laughing, crying, excitement, unbelievable-ism, fear, pain, etc) in it to share? Definitely forget everything you know while watching regular TV ads. For the most part that will NOT work on the internet. Be real. That is a key in making it social and sharable and then viral.
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Nightlife Marketing Strategies | Social Media + Digital Creative Agency | Producing Live Events