Who said vlogs are the only blogs that should have video blog posts? All blogs should incorporate different types of media in their posts, because not all of your viewers stay interested in a blog that never switches up the way it posts its content.
Rich media blog posts tend to capture a large amount of readers, especially if you post your video using YouTube, which expands your audience from the readers of your blog to your YouTube subscribers, as well as all other YouTube users.
And if your video is good enough, it will spread through other social media sites and blogs, reaching audiences across the Internet; in other words, it will go viral.
So the question is, how do you create a video that’s good enough to go viral? Well, there are a few key ingredients to make a vlog post viral.
1. Make it helpful or interesting
For a video to become viral, it needs to teach something really helpful, or be very interesting.
You could be giving gamers a new tip or cheat for a certain game, you could be showing at-home cooks a handy cooking trick, or your video could be about the craziest extreme sports on the planet, or the most expensive dogs money can buy…
Whatever your topic, the video needs to capture attention, and give the viewer an incentive to share it. Either it was so helpful to them, or it was so interesting or cool that they couldn’t help but share it.
One informational video that went viral was the How To Moon Walk Like Michael Jackson video, which had over 30 million views. It’s a brilliant idea for a how-to video with viral potential.
Another video that was so interesting and entertaining that it became one of the most watched videos on YouTube, with a whopping 203 million views, is Judson Laipply’s amazing Evolution of Dance.
2. Use humor
Humor is key for a video to go viral. But it has to be the right kind of humor.
Think about who your target audience is, and who’s going to be doing the social sharing. Wacky humor is a great tactic for a younger audience, with content that’s original and often a little odd. There are tons of videos like this sweeping the Internet among Digital Natives (a.k.a Gen Ys). For example, a funnily dubbed voiceover of the famous Twilight duo, Edward & Bella—A Bad Lip Reading, garnered almost 11 million views in less than a month.
On the other hand, if your target audience is older, or in a specific niche, be sure to choose a type of humor that suits them. The wrong kind of humor for the wrong audience can take your potential viral status from ten to zero.
3. Go over the line
This brings us to the next factor, which is content that steps over the line—it’s slightly shocking, raunchy, politically incorrect, adult-themed, etc. Now you don’t want to go too far and offend a bunch of people, but if it’s inappropriate in a hilarious way, you may just be on your way to viral success.
People share videos that are funny and out of the ordinary, and what makes a video even more viral is adult humor. Take the Jackass skits for example, which use a great mix of humor, raunchiness, and shock-value to create funny, extremely viral videos.
Another example is this post on funny diamond commercials, some of which are adult-themed and odd. Taking into consideration that their average viewer is not a genius, they target the average to low IQ. Remember, in most cases you are targeting the lowest common denominator. The more people who “get” the joke or find your content humorous, the more sharable your content is.
4. Give it a twist
Videos that have a slight twist—that appear to be ordinary at first and end in a hilariously unpredictable way—really get people’s attention. Even if it starts off weird, getting weirder as it goes makes the video that much better.
For example, in this funny Snickers commercial, a football game is going normally until a player suffers an injury and is convinced he’s become Batman. Another good example is the “That’s Why I Chose Yale” video in this Best College Commercials blog post.
5. Ride on the coattails of a popular trend
There’s nothing more sharable than content that alludes to a popular trend or current fad that people (especially Digital Natives) recognize and relate to. A video that incorporates something like an expression, song, word, dance, or style that is currently sweeping the media can be pure genius. When a Digital Native sees something that caters specifically to their generation and humor, they love it and share it with their friends—and from there it spreads like wildfire.
For example, the expression “YOLO” is currently a huge fad. It means “You only live once.” Yes, it sounds stupid, but it’s popular, and if a video blogpost were to incorporate this expression, it’s almost guaranteed to become viral.
Another example? The once-colossal trend of True Religion jeans. Back a few years ago everyone had a pair; if you didn’t, you weren’t “cool”. It was a gigantic fad.
Along those lines, a current idea might be a video riding on the huge trend of Spanx, brought to fame by the Kardashians and other celebrities. This would get a lot of attention—especially among females, who actually make up the majority of social media users.
Coming up with your own brilliant ideas can be hard, so riding on the coattails of existing trends and popular fads is an alternatively sure way to viral success. Like this spoof iPhone 5 ad, which hilariously and ingeniously rides on the iPhone 5 mania currently sweeping the planet. After two weeks online, the ad had over 7 million views.
What’s your viral vlog idea?
All of these factors can help make a video go viral, and get shared via social media, blogs, articles, and word of mouth.
All it takes is for you to think about who your audience is, who’s going to be sharing the video, where, and what will make that audience want to share the video.
These five key ingredients are a surefire way to help your video blogpost achieve viral success! But if you have other tips, share them with us in the comments.
Chloe Spencer is a 21-year-old entrepreneur, online marketer, web developer, and professional writer and speaker. Chloe created and monetized her first website, NeopetsFanatic.com, when she was just 14 years old, and has since moved onto individual consulting for SEO and web development, as well as working on some upcoming projects such as a men’s fashion website based around how to tie a tie.