What it takes to make your YouTube video go viral (VIDEO)

Clients ask me “how can I make my video go viral?”

This video — created by YouTube mega hit-maker Danebo — provides the answer to that question.  It’s tongue in cheek, but most of the points are true.

There are other ways than humor and puppy-cuteness to go viral with your videos, but there are no guarantees.  If you have a nationally popular brand, or you have lots of time to create well-produced videos that present how-to tips on a topic that lots of people want to learn about — such as Michelle Phan’s makeup tutorials — you may have a shot.

But really, let’s be honest, you have a better chance at a whole lot of good things for your business than getting a viral video.  Here’s a compilation of truly viral videos on YouTube, and most of them involve amazing stunts or incredible fails.

The truth is, most of us on YouTube will never achieve viral status for our videos.  I have several channels, and the most hits I have everachieved with an individual video is about (to date) just over 17,000 views — and that’s quite a bit short of a million!

So, going viral isn’t a legitimate goal for most of us (companies, nonprofit organizations, and government agencies).  But there is still tremendous value in producing YouTube video for your company.  YouTube video increases search engine results for your company; adds life to your website, blog, and Facebook Pages; and showcases your subject matter expertise.  Your video still has value even if it’s not viral.  One million people don’t have to view it; just one — your next customer.

Meanwhile, if you want to have fun with your videos, and (it’s right approach for your brand), you can piggy-back on the popularity of viral videos by creating a “tag” video on a popular topic (such as what’s in my purse/what’s in my bag, this or that, 5/10/50 random questions, shopping haul, etc.).  These videos tend to get more views, just from the title and tags they carry. Here’s an example.  It may seem like a silly thing to do if you’re not familiar with the genre, but these videos really do get their share of views and comments.

Okay, admittedly, these videos are really targeted at young women.  But what about creating a tag video that’s specific to your industry or issue?  Wouldn’t that be fun?  In fact, I have a few PR and marketing subscribers on YouTube. I think I’ll start some tag videos on those topics. I’ll try it and let you know how it goes.  If you try it, let me know in the comments!

Otherwise, try some of these tried and true YouTube video ideas for companies.

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About Mary Fletcher Jones

Mary Fletcher Jones is a public relations and marketing consultant, and owns Fletcher Prince (www.FletcherPrince.com). Follow Mary on Twitter @FletcherPrince.

Posted on September 10, 2010, in Fletcher Prince News and tagged , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 1 Comment.

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