How To Make A Viral Video

By: Jenner Brown

YouTube and Vimeo are going to have a dramatic effect on the way we share our message in the future. Short-format online video is exploding, check out these YouTube facts:

- 500 years of YouTube video are watched on Facebook daily.
- 60 hours of video are uploaded every minute.
- Over 800 million unique users visit YouTube each month.
- Over 700 YouTube videos are shared on Twitter each minute.

- More people watch online videos than broadcast TV now. (iPhones!)

And this is only the beginning. Major brands are now hopping on the online video bandwagon in droves. Internet video channels are popping up like the new Ulive.com from the folks at Scripps (Food Network, Travel Channel). Brands are also reaching out to bloggers in innovative ways to create video featurettes that cross-pollinate audiences. This is one trend you need to ride for all it's worth!

Content is king in all of this. Deciding what kind of video to blog is critical. Here are some ways to rack up views and grow your following.

1. Choose a purpose for your vids.

Will they be Instructional, like a tutorial or How To? Are they for entertainment? Will you take a personal approach and share your experiences? Finding the right tone and voice will enhance your written blog and show your audience a new dimension. Decide what your approach will be and then get to work!


2. When in doubt go with a "How-To" video (aka, Viral. City.)

How-To videos are having a great run right now. The web is flooded with written how-to posts on Pinterest and blogs, but people almost always prefer to watch something being taught when possible. These are becoming a massive piece of the online video world. Do you make jewelry? Are you a talented chef? Show what you know and drive viewers to your blog. Be sure to include lots of detailed close-up shots and maybe even a voice over (sign up for the Alt Channel filmmaking classes for more tips!)

3. Niches are nice

There may be a hundred videos showing how to make bread, but a tutorial on making gluten free bread is more likely to find a specific audience. Pinterest needs you. Oh, and the word on the street is that holiday themes are the next video gold rush (October is around the corner!). 

4. Shoot for shares and pins.

Sharing is the key to viral videos. If you make a compelling video you can sit back and watch as it goes viral on Facebook, Pinterest, Tumblr, Twitter and everywhere in between. A video of beauty is a joy forever...Or at least it will bounce around online gaining views and guiding people to your site forever. ;)

5. Have a call to action.

Make your videos work for you. Ask people to subscribe. Ask for a Kickstarter donation. Have a contest and require people to follow your social media or comment, or repost. I know bloggers on Instagram who have gone from 500 followers to 50,000 in under a year doing just that. Encourage action in interesting ways. Surprise people! And most of all have fun because that comes through above all else.

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Eden Hensley

Marketing creative, community engagement specialist, technophile, photographer, food and wine enthusiast, and the founder and editor-in-chief of The Road to The Good Life, a lifestyle blog about appreciating and enhancing your life by being grateful for the "haves" instead of lingering on the "wants." There you will find personal stories about my life and family weaved in with real-life, achievable entertaining tips, recipes for hearty home cooked meals, and DIY projects for capturing and sharing memories. I believe the best place to swap stories is over a shared meal, preferably a Thai-meal served family style, and teach an online introduction class to Thai Flavors and host the Family Dinners at The Station supper club in San Francisco.