By 2019, it’s said video will account for 80% of all online traffic. Each day, we watch 500 million hours of video on YouTube alone.
And more than 500 million people watch videos on Facebook every single day!
Video is everywhere, and with the launch of IGTV (which lets you upload long-form videos to Instagram), I don’t see any of these numbers going down.
Personally, I love this!
I love how easy it is to create and share content and develop relationships with my audience no matter where I go in the world. But there is a problem, and it’s something I’ve noticed both for me and our clients over the last couple of years.
Creating content is easy, but making sure A LOT of people view it… that’s another thing.
I recently met up with my friend Wayne Reilly, who manages the social media accounts for some of the largest artists on the planet. When it comes to creating viral content, Wayne knows all there is.
After we talked about how to create viral videos in the future, these are the 8 tips we came up with…
1: Be Original
When it comes to creating a viral video on Facebook (and on pretty much any other platform), originality is the most important thing.
You can take inspiration from other people, but as soon as you find yourself trying to be like someone else, you’ve failed. Be original, and create something that doesn’t yet exist.
2: Target “Trending” Topics
As important as originality is, you have to create something that people are interested in.
This means you have to learn how to twist new trending topics and make your own content out of it.
Since Facebook removed their ‘what’s trending’ feature, this is a little harder to keep up with, but most other platforms still highlight them, like Google and Twitter.
If you make content that coincides with a trending topic and create something original and unique, you can easily work your way up the trend cycle and rack up millions of views in a short period of time.
3: Ask Yourself… “Would I Share This?”
Honestly, this has to be one of the most important things of all…
You need to make sure you take a step back, watch your video, and ask: would I share this?
Would you tag your friends in it?
Would you share it with someone over messenger?
Would you watch the entire video to the end?
If the answer’s no, chances are you don’t have a viral video.
Now, just because you love your video doesn’t mean it will go viral, but if you don’t believe in what you create, will anyone else care?
4: Collaborate with Similar Creators
Unless you have a huge audience, it’s hard to go viral on your own (or without a lot of luck).
So find creators that make the same types of videos as you, and figure out a way to get them to share your content. Reach out to them and connect with them, and help share their own videos.
Nobody will give you a free ride unless they’re feeling very generous, so be generous to them first by offering to help them (and share new ideas).
Once you start to collaborate with similar creators (ideally, people with a bigger audience than you), you’ll see your videos spread a lot faster, and reach A LOT more people.
5: Always Focus on High Quality (Always!)
You have to have high standards if you want to create videos that go viral again and again.
Good production value, good audio, no dead spots, great lighting.
The internet is like a brain hyped up on caffeine, and Facebook is possibly the worst place for it. You have to hook people in an instant, meaning the first 5 seconds of your video are the most important of all.
As they scroll on their phone, will your video capture their attention? Will it “hook” them enough to watch? Will you impress them straight away, so they watch the rest of the video?
6: Timing is Everything.
Seriously, this point is huge!
You need to post your video at a time when people are awake and on their phones.
(1pm-3pm is the best time to get your video uploaded and set)
If you post your video too early or late, it’s doubtful you’ll gain traction – which makes going viral a lot harder.
7: Focus on Your Community
Look, I know you want millions of new people to watch your video, but the best way to make this happen is to focus on your existing community first (no matter how big or small it is).
Take care of them. Make sure they get access to your content first.
And look… prove to them you care and actually read their post. Reply to them,
listen to their ideas,
ask them questions.
Not only does this build trust, but each time you reply to a comment it places your video back onto their newsfeed, which means more views and more engagement, and more chance that they tag their friends or share it with their own audience.
8: Have Your Audience Turn on “Push Notifications”
This final tip is one SOOOOO many people forget about, but it makes a huge difference.
Right now, go ask your existing audience to turn on their push notification from your page:
Seriously, this is one of the most important things to go viral, because the first hour means everything!
Social media platforms (whether it’s Facebook, Instagram, or anything else) catch on to what’s trending, so the more people who watch, like, and share your video in the first hour, the better.
(If your followers have ‘push notifications’ turned on, they’re likely to see your video as soon as you upload)
This last tip alone is enough to create a huge spike in views!
Of course, if you use all 8 of these tips, you’re sure to see your videos go viral. Both Wayne and I have used these to create engaging and viral content, not only growing our audience but building deep relationships with them.