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Why making a viral video is challenging

This semester, our major requirement in our Communication Trends and Styles class is to make two viral videos. Easy?

Yes, to the ears. But everything is easier than done. Everything is so interesting at first. And so, I admit that our group has been having some difficulties in making a viral video that is at par with the other viral videos circulating the Net.

The first viral video that made its way to YouTube (more):

Our first task was to have a viral video from a topic we had chosen. But this time, for the second time, we were asked to make a video that will help a cause-oriented organization. The mere fact of this makes everything even so complicated.

Viral video: To what extent should it be planned?

In my observation of viral videos in YouTube and Facebook, there is a few ones or perhaps none that an organization has launched. I don’t know but my limited knowledge on videos (since I am not that video freak) tells me this. Most of the viral videos I know seem to be done with its makers not knowing that it will go viral. I say that viral videos ideally should work and spread like a virus- they have multiplied (or in this sense, have been viewed or shared) in large numbers before you know it. Netizens may have several and different tastes on what kind of videos are they going to share or recommend to their friends, and so their behavior could be predicted at the very least. But then, even Psychology can’t accurately predict the likelihood of results of a certain behavior at all. Making strategies on how a viral video should be promoted entails a lot of research and effort for the Internet is a battlefield of information. I think intentionally making all netizens be informed by the video seems to be next to impossible.

Viral video: What should be considered?

Imagine making a 2-minute viral video that is worth  P5 million. It’s make or break; your client wants to make it viral in 10 days and it should have 1 million hits at least. 2 minutes, 5 million, 10 days, 1 million. And of course, count the sleepless nights.

Making a viral video is challenging because there is a lot to consider. Since it characterizes how viruses spread, mechanism of virus spreading should be also considered and there you can find some parallelisms. The following are the factors:

  1. the size of the population of opportunity
  2. the number of days contagious
  3. the number of people with whom an infected person comes in contact
  4. the probability of contracting the virus from contact with an infected person

And its counterparts in marketing:

  1. the target market, or audience, and its size
  2. the best time for launching or promoting,a.k.a right timing
  3. the prospective audience that a target market, audience, or people as opinion leaders will influence
  4. the extent or likelihood of their influence

Viral video: Its chances of being such

Viral videos depend on their audiences. But still, there are some common qualities present to viral videos no matter what kind of audience there is. First, I believe that netizens will view your video if they think, in the first place, it’s worth their time. A video should capture one’s attention and of course, interest. Creativity is definitely the measure here. Second, an excellent viral video should contain a controversial, hot, or timely issue presented in a different light. It should not be conventional or predictable. Stereotypical nor ordinary. It should have the ‘new’ factor although it seeks to address common unresolved social problems. And third, a striking video should possess a challenging statement or message. It should put one’s emotions and reasoning to test; so, it will make itself outstanding from all other available videos.

One of the videos I can vividly remember sharing on Facebook:

But in the end, a viral video should not stay as a viral video. The message it present does not end on the video’s last second, in the Internet, in monitors. It should compel people to feel and think beyond what it presents. They should act. A true value of a viral video comes in two things- lesson and inspiration- viewers get that they will never forget.

Be updated on the top viral videos here.

Know more about viral videos here.

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