‘Going viral’ has become a buzzword that gets banded around when creating video content, with everyone setting virality as the goal when making a new video. But, if you are wondering how to make a video go viral, you may be setting yourself up for disappointment. 

It’s one thing for YouTubers with millions of views on every video to expect their next video to go viral, but branded content is often much more niche and shouldn’t be held to the same standard. 

A viral video’s popularity is often unexpected, becoming more popular than was ever intended. Therefore, your goal shouldn’t be to make a viral video, it should be to make the highest-quality, most value-adding and shareable content that is relevant to your target audience. If you hit those marks, then your video is much more likely to get the views you need to help your brand succeed.

This doesn’t mean you shouldn’t aim for success, a broad reach or maximum engagement. It might just be time to let go of the word ‘viral’ as your primary goal or measurement of success. The term is vague at best anyway and might leave you disappointed or frustrated, even when your video is doing as well as can be expected for its subject area. 

We have put together some steps you can take when creating and sharing your video content that can help increase its reach and engagement. 

Identify your goals

The first thing you should do is set concrete and measurable goals. If your goal is to make your video go viral, ask yourself what you really mean. Do you want your video to be shared across different platforms? Are you looking for a certain number of views? 

Even if those are your goals as a brand, what are the results you would like to see from that success? It might be more sales, more signups, more website traffic, or just increased brand awareness. Plan the creation of your video with these goals in mind instead of just ‘going viral’.

Know your audience

A huge part of viral videos is their broad appeal. They reach millions of views because they are universal, appeal to a wide demographic, and are easy to share. However, if you are creating branded content, you need to have a specific audience in mind. For example, you might be trying to reach your current demographic on a wider scale, or you might be trying to reach a new market of customers. Either way, these are the people you should be tailoring your video for, as their views might turn into sales.

Start with a brief

Planning is essential for your video and a brief outlines what you want to achieve and how you plan to go about it. Are you trying to create something with a narrative that will tug on people’s heartstrings, or would it be better to make something humorous and relatable? However you play it, your video should logically link to your goals, such as your products or services if you are trying to increase sales.

Get people hooked from the start

People on the internet don’t have much patience and they are inundated with content. Having a strong opening will help your video stand out from the crowd and make it much more likely your audience will watch through to the end. Viral videos should have an opening that makes people realise that it is going to be worth their time. 

Upload the video to all your channels

Viral videos are all about shareability. If you want to maximise the reach of your video, then you should be distributing it across multiple channels so that it is as easy as possible for people to share, link to and comment on. This means you should be looking to upload your video to your website and all your social media channels, as well as video-sharing platforms such as YouTube and/or Vimeo.

Post at optimum times for your target audience 

To reach your target audience effectively, you need to know when they are most active online. This way you can post your videos at the times that they are most likely to see them and reduce the chance that they will get lost in the sea of content. For example, if your audience is mostly 9-5 workers, then posting during a lunch break or in the evening might be best. 

There’s nothing wrong with wanting your video to go viral. After all, who doesn’t want their content to reach a huge audience? However, video virality shouldn’t be your main goal. Instead, you should focus on how to maximise your video’s reach and engagement through measurable metrics that result in real results for your business.If you have any more questions about creating a captivating video that is positioned to boost reach and engagement, you can get in touch with our team of videographers.