Perhaps you’re bored, procrastinating, vacant. But wait, what’s this? A cat in a Pharrell hat riding a skateboard. A fashion show conducted mid-skydive. Whatever it is, it’s shareable. Really shareable. But how do you and your brand tap into that?
If you think about the formula of a viral video, there is very little in the way of consistency. The only things you can almost guarantee that will make a video shareable is if it is humorous and/or thought-provoking, inspiring and/or cathartic, beautiful and/or exciting. The content, as long as it is a charming cocktail of one or more of these things, can consist of an unimaginable amount of subjects.
The form, however, is extremely important. Make it short and snappy to keep those easily distracted members of the public engaged. Thanks to the information highway, people nowadays are perpetually bored, and the last thing they want is to click on a video that is over ten minutes long.
Absolutely no one likes to feel like they are being preached or advertised to, even if they know that that’s what is happening, so for the love of God don’t come across like a sleazy salesman. Cadbury is particularly excellent at this. Of course, there’s the famous Phil Collins playing gorilla on the drums, but what about the office worker dancing to Yes Sir I Can Boogie on his swivel chair? Neither of these is blatant adverts; it is only when the branding appears towards the end of the film that it becomes obvious that this is an attempt to sell. By this point, the audience is probably unperturbed by your attempts to take their money because they are so thrilled by your video.
Increasing the chances of getting those all-important shares is something you can certainly affect. Tell your audience exactly what they’re going to get. If it’s a good video, the title will speak for itself: “Cat in Pharrell Hat Riding Skateboard”, for example.
The same thing applies to the image you select as your cover. Choose a still from your video that encapsulates exactly what makes your video so awesome.
Basically, let everyone know why scrolling past would be a mistake.