To Go Viral, Your Video Needs to Have These 5 Things

With more people staying indoors in quarantine and spending time online, many people are wondering how they can create a viral video to earn some money. Unfortunately, there’s no magic formula guaranteed to make your video to go viral. For each video that goes viral, there are likely hundreds of similar ones that fail to gain traction.

However, the good news is that it’s more possible to go viral when you know what the most successful videos have in common. A majority of these videos have a handful of similar traits and features — understanding them can help you be more strategic when you’re creating content.

Some of the most common characteristics of viral videos are:

1. Relatability

Videos go viral when people feel motivated to share them with their social networks. Keep in mind that when people share something online, they are showing a piece of themselves to the world and trying to demonstrate their personal taste. While everyone has different taste, some content is simply more relatable to a larger number of people. Viral videos generally appeal to a wide range of different people, no matter their background, age, gender, or location.

People must want to be associated with your content for it to go viral. Humor and relatable emotions and experiences (love, friendship, and so on) are excellent examples of content that is almost universally relatable. Because of this, videos touching on these themes may go viral quite fast. When creating content, it is always helpful to ask if the content is relatable to a large number of people, or if it is more niche.

2. Universal appeal

There’s a difference between relatability and appeal. Relatability refers to how people identify with the content, whereas appeal speaks more to the content’s ability to maintain integrity across different cultures and groups of people.

For the most part, viral videos do not contain anything that can be misinterpreted by people of different backgrounds. Viral videos tend to be fairly basic and simple in their content, which promotes their universal appeal. When videos are too complex or the premise is confusing, people will need to interpret the message, and the meaning can get lost.

While videos that stir controversy can also go viral, they often do so for the wrong reasons. These only create headaches — or worse! — for the creator. To go viral, a video needs to be straightforward and easily understood by a wide range of different people.

3. Emotionality

Emotionality refers to the observable reaction caused by deeply felt emotions. Viral videos generally have a very strong emotional appeal to audiences. Humans are inherently emotional. Emotions are a universal language understood across cultures and language barriers — we all know happiness, pain, sorrow, anger, and so on.

People are naturally drawn to experiences that arouse emotions, so viral videos often perform the best when they invoke empathy from viewers. When a video gets people to feel an emotion deeply, they’re motivated to share it with others so that they can have the same emotional experience.

In a virtual environment like social media or the internet, expressing your emotions can be difficult, since there’s a screen separating us from the people we’re trying to connect with. The need to express emotion more effectively led to the creation of emoticons and emojis. Viral videos take this idea further to become a sort of shareable emotion. That’s why creators need to pay close attention to the emotions that their videos evoke.

4. Short length

Viral videos rarely last longer than three minutes and almost never more than five. When people are on social media, they are usually multitasking, and they rarely view long videos completely before moving on to something else. If the video takes too long to get to the punchline or communicate a point, people may not stick around to finish it. In addition, brevity is important because Instagram only supports videos that are 60 seconds or less.

Spend some time editing your videos so that they contain only the most necessary content. Short videos are more likely to be watched in full and shared.

5. Timeliness

Videos that go viral often speak to current events. You can use memes or other of-the-moment popular topics to create a video. When viewers are already somewhat familiar with the content, they are more likely to watch and share if they enjoyed what they saw.

Timeliness can refer to current events, but it can also be something related to popular culture, holidays, or simply seasons. Moreover, timeliness can also provide some sort of escape from current events. For example, while much of the viral media surrounding the coronavirus pandemic dealt directly with COVID-19, people were also more interested in content that allowed them to escape from their everyday reality. Thinking about how a video could fit into the larger zeitgeist is extremely important when it comes to achieving virality.

If you have a video that’s gaining traction online or going viral, consider licensing it through Jukin Media. The professionals at the company will work to promote your video and get it featured in advertising, TV, and film — allowing you to earn money from your content.

Jukin Media is one of the largest licensers of viral videos and represents more than 50,000 independent video creators.

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Jukin Media

Jukin Media

Jukin Media is one of the largest licensers of viral videos and represents more than 50,000 independent video creators.

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