How To Create Videos That Go Viral

Roller CoasterEmotions Rule — People are ruled by their emotions. That’s why your brand needs to activate emotions through its content. For this article, I’ll share what you need to know about emotions before developing video content.

There’s a connection between the way people feel after watching a video from your brand and how they feel about your brand. Want to engage and motivate people through video content? Tap into their emotions. But, be careful . . . not all emotions will result in positive feelings and the actions your brand is hoping to motivate.

Recent research indicates that videos designed to produce negative emotional responses in viewers – especially anger – leave viewers feeling manipulated. And, when this happens, you lose the opportunity to have a relationship with people.

So, which emotions should you attempt to activate? Read on . . .

Videos That Excite Go Viral — It’s important to create emotional excitement quickly. Hit your audience hard and fast with strong emotions . . . amazement, curiosity, anticipation, surprise, amusement. Keep the branding to a minimum. Heavy use of branding can cause viewers to disregard the content as a sales pitch . . . resulting in loss of interest, and you’ve lost the opportunity to build a relationship.

When you develop video content, create an emotional roller coaster ride for your audience. Begin by creating emotional excitement then present different emotional levels. Using this technique, your viewers won’t become bored with a constant stream of low levels of emotional engagement or overwhelmed with a constant high level of excitement.

Think about your favorite roller coasters. They shoot out of the station, then begin climbing before the breathtaking drop or corkscrew. This continues until the end of the ride, when the coaster slows to take you safely back to the station. How do you usually exit the car? Exhilarated and wanting to tell your friends all about it. That’s the way you want your viewers to feel!

By the way, as long as I’m using a roller coaster analogy . . . let’s talk about video length. From the time the roller coaster leaves the station until it gets back is usually around 3 minutes. The time of the actual ride, from the first hill until ending brakes, is about 1 – 1 ½ minutes.  Use this as a time guide for your video . . . never any longer than 3 minutes – unless you’re posting a TED Talk – and it’s best to keep the video “ride” to 1 – 1 ½ minutes.

Activate Sadness With Caution — We’ve all seen it . . . the sad content from American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals. When you see the mistreated dogs, don’t you just want to avert your eyes or close the video? We don’t want to feel this sad.

If you’re telling a story though video, activating sadness is OK, but only as 1 part of a 3-part story line. Part I – Present the situation (this could be sad); Part 2 – Present a solution (this should be uplifting); Part 3 – Motivate action (this should be aspirational).

If all 3 parts of your video are sad, it may not be shared. BuzzSumo’s analysis of the 10,000 most-shared content on the Internet indicates that only 1% emphasized sadness.

Don’t Fake It! — The biggest danger in producing emotional content is creating something that feels manufactured. You know what I’m referring to . . . those videos that are so cheesy they’re cringe-worthy. No one likes them. How can you avoid this? Don’t manufacture emotions . . . no crocodile tears! Share stories that are real and true . . . draw on genuine experiences to share an emotional story to engage and motivate.