Viral Videos - Beware!

By Patrick Campbell

Let’s face it, we’d all love our marketing videos to go viral – content “blowing up” on the internet, reaching millions of people in the process and increasing conversions indefinitely. Your video spreading like wildfire could be the boost your business really needs – but just how likely is it that you’ll start knocking up hundreds of thousands of views overnight?

In this blog we’ll discuss the potential impacts of viral video, and why video production companies should never sell you a video with the idea of it going viral.

Oh, and before you ask – no, we’d never promise such a thing!

What are viral videos?

The idea of a video going “viral” is for it to be viewed and shared hundreds of thousands – or even millions – of times across social media or websites within a short period of time.

Boffins* say a video needs to reach millions of views within a period of around 3-7 days of first being uploaded for it to be classed as having “gone viral”.

*we really love that word. More people should be called “boffins”

How a video can go viral

Put simply, a video needs to provoke emotion. Whether it makes someone laugh and feel happy, or make them sad, angry, or shocked, it’s the emotional kicker that hits the spot.

Videos are also more likely to go viral within a shorter period of time if they’re ‘timely’, aka relevant to current affairs.

Other ways a video can go viral is through having an inspirational story, upbeat message, or short and snappy storylines.

Why you should be cautious

All of this sounds great, doesn’t it? But, as the late John Peel used to say on those TV adverts about dodgy “You’ve won!” letters, if it’s too good to be true, it probably is.

Whilst we would all love our videos to be rapidly reaching a rather large audience, viral videos are actually quite rare. There’s no guarantee of any video going viral, which is why you need to be very cautious of anyone who tells you they can pull a viral video out of thin air for you.

Rather than aiming to make a viral video, you should instead focus on ensuring your video’s content has all the key information it needs in order to be a success.

Our experiences

OK, it might not have reached a million views, but a video we created for Compton Hospice certainly felt like it had “gone viral”!

Our video – embedded below – hit over 250,000 views in a matter of days, made BBC Midlands Today, and was a huge success for the hospice (which obviously is the most important thing)!

It wasn’t our intention for this to “go viral”, which goes to show – when it comes to viral videos, you just never know what might take off!

Can't find what you're looking for? Let's talk... Get a quote