Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Buzz Builders Gone Viral! 5 Tips for Creating Viral Videos

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Originally posted on Likeable.

Welcome first-time guest blogger, Amy Kattan, a Buzz Builder from our Queens office who blogs about her experience trying to create a viral video.

Last week the Likeable offices were all about viral videos! The Buzz Builders in the Queens, Manhattan, and Boston offices were challenged to create music videos relevant to social media that were creative, entertaining, and have the potential to become viral. As college students and recent graduates, our Buzz Builders are no strangers to viral videos. Thinking back on my college career, I can recall countless hours of browsing the most popular videos on YouTube while I probably should have been studying for exams. However, watching these videos was not a waste of time; you don’t spend hours procrastinating without learning a thing or two along the way. When creating our videos, we thought about what YouTube’s most popular videos had in common with one another, what made people want to watch them, and why people would want share these videos with their friends. Here are 5 tips to keep in mind when creating viral videos:

1. Keep your videos short and sweet. If people are watching your video, chances are their minds are already wandering away from something else they are supposed to be doing (e.g. studying for exams!). If your video is too long, people watching may become tired, lose interest, or end up turning to sites such as Facebook and Twitter as their new source of amusement. Videos that are short, direct, and succinct are the videos that even the busiest people will watch over and over again.

2. Know your audience. If your video contains content that is perceived as valuable to your target audience, the likelihood that your viewers will pass your video on to their friends is high. Disney Parks utilized this concept with the creation of its “Disneyland Musical Marriage Proposal” video. Disney fans tend to value things such as family, happiness, celebrations, music, and fun. So, what Disney fan wouldn’t want to watch a video featuring a musical marriage proposal at the happiest place on earth? With the video receiving almost 3 million views, it is safe to say that Disney Parks did a fantastic job of creating video content that would appeal to its audience.

3. Your focus should be on content over quality. Since most successful videos are made by amateurs, it seems that relevant and creative content is more important than high production quality. If people like what they see, they will most likely be willing to overlook a fuzzy picture or muffled audio. Using humorous content is often a great way to engage viewers in your video. In addition, referencing content that is relevant to today’s world can be especially beneficial. By using the song “Down,” by Jay Sean in its video, the Providence St. Vincent Medical Center set a great example of how you can include popular content (e.g. songs) to draw attention to your video. Now every time “Down’ comes on the radio, I think about this video and its attempt to increase breast cancer awareness (and the hospital staff’s crazy pink glove dances, of course).

4. Promote, promote, promote! Your video can’t go viral if no one can see it! The easiest way to promote your video would be to utilize your social media resources. Upload your video to YouTube and other video sharing sites, share it on Facebook, post a link on Twitter, and ask bloggers if they would be willing to write about it. Also, don’t forget to tell your friends to tell their friends!

5. Have fun! If it doesn’t seem like you enjoyed creating the video, no one is going to want to watch it. Don’t worry about looking or sounding foolish: Remember that laughter is contagious, so the goofier you look and more “over the top” you go, the better!

Based on some of these tips for creating viral videos, the full-time staff here at Likeable voted for their favorite 2010 Buzz Builder music video. Congratulations to Likeable Manhattan! Check out "I Want To Be A Buzz Builder" here!


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