A new video that I will be launching next week has taught me a lot about how to make a viral video. In this article, I am going to share with you what I learned so that you too can make a viral video that will be shared widely throughout social media sites and blogs.

From the team at ManMade, here are tips for making your video go viral:

1. Consider Doing a Parody/Spoof of a Familiar Thing

Playing off something that most people know such as a popular movie, song or TV show can make your video viral. This is because people will have a reference point and will relate to your video. Al Yankovic did this and became famous. It is all about creating a video of something familiar in a new way.

2. Add Music to Your Videos

One of the best ways to make your videos more entertaining and engaging is to make them stimulate the other senses (except for taste or smell). If you decide to add music to your videos, it is advisable to either create your own music or choose music under a Creative Commons license. Keep in mind that YouTube can remove sound from your video if you use copyright-protected music without getting permission from the copyright owner.

3. Shorten Your Videos

When it comes to content creation, it is always good to “murder your darlings”. Make sure that your video is easy to consume if you want it to go viral. Don’t cram everything into one video. Instead, cut it down to the absolute minimum. Remember that shorter videos can capture and keep the attention of your viewers.

4. Keep the Music Up-Tempo

I know that there are some exceptions to this tip but generally, it is a good idea to keep the music up-tempo either as a focus or background as it hooks the attention of your viewers and makes your video more exciting. I have come to realise that faster music is more effective than slow music.

5. Edit Your Videos into Sharp, Quick Scenes

Your main aim when creating a video should be to create a video whose every second keeps your viewers’ attention. Spending 15 seconds or more on one scene can make your viewers get bored. To avoid this, consider quick scenes which may be between 3 and 10 seconds each. The good thing about quick scenes is the fact that they can arouse curiosity and keep the attention of viewers.

6. Don’t Be Funny to Yourself Alone

If you would like to be funny in videos, avoid inside jokes. Ask yourself whether the video you are creating will be humorous to your viewers. For instance, an inside company joke may not be humorous to outsiders as they may not understand it. Before publishing a video, test it on a few people outside your company.

7. Don’t Focus Too Much on Quality

Did you know that a good video does not have to be recorded in HD, on an expensive camera, or edited using a film editing pro? A good video is made with creative ideas and does not rely on gloss.

8. Be Bigger Than Life

People like watching crazy things that they never see in everyday life. You can take advantage of this and capture a remarkable thing on camera. Create ridiculous office scenes, act silly, or do amazing but safe stunts. Being bigger than life is what brought SNL to the top.

9. Shock Your Viewers in the First 5 Seconds

You have to hook your viewers in the first five seconds of your video. Otherwise, you could end up losing them forever. So think of ways to grab the attention of your viewers before they move on to something else.

10. Get Rid of as Much “Corporate Friction” as You Can

I agree that this can be hard for businesses that create content as part of a marketing program. If you choose to throw your log everywhere and have a sales-related call-to-action, people will see it as something commercial and will not share it.  Strike a balance between being subtle and being creative in your videos. Is it possible for you to ask your viewers to do something that indirectly relates to your business?

Do you know of any other tips for making a viral video? What are some of your favourite viral videos?