O'Reilly logo

Free Marketing: 101 Low and No-Cost Ways to Grow Your Business, Online and Off by Jim Cockrum

Stay ahead with the world's most comprehensive technology and business learning platform.

With Safari, you learn the way you learn best. Get unlimited access to videos, live online training, learning paths, books, tutorials, and more.

Start Free Trial

No credit card required

CHAPTER 35

MAKE YOUR VIDEOS GO VIRAL

By now you've likely heard the term “viral video.” When a video begins to get a lot of attention and traction and is being passed around social networks it is said to have gone viral.

Of the tens of thousands of videos that are uploaded to YouTube.com daily, what is it about a handful of them that makes them go viral? Several people have attempted to identify a formula, or they have claimed to be able to make it happen repeatedly, but few have achieved any sort of predictable consistency. There are some common elements, though. These elements include videos that:

  • Make people laugh
  • Are cutting edge with their content or delivery
  • Surprise the audience
  • Feature an uplifting message
  • Are cute (kids, animals)
  • Tell a compelling story
  • Are short (less than two to three minutes)

While many of these factors can be fairly hard to achieve intentionally, you should constantly be alert and aware of events and circumstances around you that may lend themselves to being content in a viral video.

A more predictable strategy for gaining attention on YouTube.com is to focus on creating a consistent stream of useful content that includes a clear call to action (i.e., “Join our mailing list”). Even if only a handful of people ever see your video in the first year, there could easily come a time in the future where the subject matter of your video becomes fodder for a larger conversation and at that point it could get passed around virally. As long as the content ...

With Safari, you learn the way you learn best. Get unlimited access to videos, live online training, learning paths, books, interactive tutorials, and more.

Start Free Trial

No credit card required