A few years ago, announcing something “went viral” would have caused a bit of a panic. Today, that same phrase causes quite a stir, but for entirely different reasons.
Creating a YouTube video that goes viral is what most marketing agencies dream about. It’s the ultimate way to get people talking and sharing, and can turn a brand into an overnight sensation. Of course, creating a viral video is no easy feat. But before you start thinking viral, you need to get the basics right – and you’d be surprised how many brands fail to do just that (of course those ‘fails’ are often the ones that go viral, but that’s not always the approach you want!)
Here we gather some tips from author, serial entrepreneur, investor and blogtrepreneur writer Adam Toren, who has learned through experience how to create videos that “capture the attention of the masses”. These simple tips can help you to turn a standard (read: boring) office video into a smart, interesting marketing tool that engages viewers from the word go.
- 1) The 3-minute rule: Adam’s first rule is brevity, and advises video producers to keep it short in order to catch and retain the viewer’s attention. “Good videos get the point across in three minutes or less.”
- 2) High quality: Be wary of shaky iPhone footage or filming in poor light. Use a tripod where possible and, just like photographs, take your film on a clear day with plenty of sunlight. Use lamps or interior lighting to brighten dark areas. When adding a voiceover or soundtrack, ensure it is crisp, clear and easy to understand – especially as your viewers may not be native speakers of your language. “Nothing will make a viewer click off faster than a video filled with static and mumbled speech,” says Adam.
- 3) Editor for a day: Adam recommends free editing tools like www.youtube.com/editor, Microsoft’s MovieMaker or Apple’s iMovie to help structure and tidy your video. You should also add branding – such as a company logo and your business centre details at the start and finish.
- 4) Optimise: When writing the description, use YouTube’s keyword tool and a website link to optimise your video and help drive more traffic to your website. You can also include keywords in your video title and, while you’re at it, be a little creative – don’t just settle for “London Office Video”. Perk it up a little, for instance: “Step Inside London’s Newest Office Space” or “Discover The Gruesome Secret of This London Office” – you get the idea.
- 5) Pick the right ‘still’: Choose an intriguing image for your video thumbnail and one that’s likely to attract attention. Ensure it’s not blurry and still looks good when it has been resized as a thumbnail.
- 6) Use captions: Captions help the hearing impaired, and also those who choose to watch your video without sound. Plus, Adam notes that “adding captions to your video is another trick to ranking higher in the search results.”
- 7) Promote it: Add your video to your website, blog about it, include a link on your email footer, and splash it across your social media channels. Don’t just mention it once either – be sure to refer to it every now and then, and use hashtags or ‘tag’ relevant people to bring it to their attention. Encourage interaction and remember to reply to any comments on YouTube.
- 8) Think differently: Above all, the more creative you can be, the better. We love this madcap timelapse video from Orega – it’s fun, quirky and it really showcases the flexible workspace concept. What can you do that’s different? How can you go beyond the standard video tour concept? Take tips from other videos you enjoy and be inspired. It’s your brand – go for it.
What other hints or tips can you offer? What videos capture your attention? Let us know.
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