Hello! I am Vicky McNaught-Davis, the online content manager at toast and one of the Go Viral contest judges. Here are my top tips for going viral:
1. Know what a viral is
A film going viral is the dream of many a brand, scriptwriter and production company. Essentially, it means being watched and promoted through the sheer force of the entertainment value of the video. The first viral video that I remember was Ok Go’s ‘Here It Goes’. It’s a surprising, low-fi video that energised an otherwise fairly average song through a labyrinth of a dance routine. This highlights the need for unexpectedness to ‘go viral’. ‘Here It Goes’ was so weird and entertaining that it evoked a strong reaction in everyone who watched it, so they shared it.
2. Know what type of viral works
Large quantities of viral videos arrive from incidental circumstances, such as Fenton the dog chasing deer across Richmond Park. But those types of virals don’t have a message to convey and arrive through sheer luck. If you want to script a viral, you have to put on a display for the bored at work network to want to share. The Obama girl was an entertaining piece of political campaigning, as are Cassette Boy’s parodies of UK TV. These things were shared because they have a social point that appealed to the middle classes at their desks.
3. Know your audience
These people, myself included, have a short attention span. So, a viral must be succinct and easy to share. A top tip from Marketing Week Live 2012 for me was that cats rule the internet. I found this to be true when I Tweeted the advice and it got re-Tweeted to thousands of others. This is because people across the globe love cats and pictures of cats, but it’s still a personal eccentricity that’s shared by a huge online community.
4. Get inspired
Ad Age recently launched a YouTube monitoring service, which shows you the top viral videos of the day that you visit it on. So, you can see what trends are popular at the moment and the types of videos that are receiving the most shares. That said, originality will make your work a more enduring accomplishment, so don’t be a copycat.
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