7 Breathtakingly Simple Ways To Create Amazing Shareable Viral Video Content

July 26, 2017 Comments Off on 7 Breathtakingly Simple Ways To Create Amazing Shareable Viral Video Content

I’m a helpful sort. I like to pass on my knowledge and share it with others in the hope that it makes their life easier or happier. So here is my foolproof guide to creating viral video content.

  1. Either find or produce a video. It can be good, sure. It can be heartwarming or it can showcase the profound stupidity of some human beings, or it can be really kinda meh. It doesn’t really matter – you make or find something that works for your purposes.
  2. Write a title, ensuring that every word is capitalised. It doesn’t matter that society has been moving away from the overuse of capital letters for decades now (Estate Agents aside, as the Guardian style guide notes). You go right ahead and capitalise everything, like some latter day mediaeval monk who hand letters manuscripts with a proper quill if that makes your little heart happy.
  3. Ensure the title makes a promise it probably won’t keep. “You Won’t Believe What Happened When…” or “It Was Just Another Wedding Until…” or “You’ll Be Blown Away When You See…” You will believe it. It was just another wedding. You won’t be blown away. Trust me. That bridegroom isn’t much of a dancer.
  4. Break the most important rule of great writing. This might be point four, but it’s the most important one. That rule is simple: show, don’t tell. Or as Anton Chekhov wrote, “Don’t tell me the moon is shining; show me the glint of light on broken glass.” But what did Chekhov know of likes and shares?! Pffft. You tell your little heart out, baby. Tell me what’s in the video. Tell me why it’s breathtaking. Tell me some background too, why dontcha? Tell me every damn thing you can think of to say about that video till I’ve scrolled down through your telling for at least three minutes trying to find the damn thing. And then maybe tell me some more just in case I don’t feel told.
  5. Include some screenshots of the video. These should look like they are the video, but not actually be the video link. You have to be careful with these – just enough for me to click, realise my mistake and move on, but not so many that I lose interest and click away. Quelle horreur! We can’t have people navigating away!
  6. Make sure the video is somewhere on the continuum between slightly disappointing and complete crud. Those are the ones that gain the most traction.
  7. Right after the video, have the most enormous Facebook and Twitter sharing buttons the world has ever seen, and have at least a paragraph exhorting people to share the love, pass it on, delight their friends and neighbours and Facebook stalkers. EVERYONE NEEDS TO SEE YOUR VIDEO! And it is other people’s job to make sure that happens – not yours. Use passive aggression, smarmy sales phrases, blatant manipulation – whatever you need to do to get that video going viral!

But please, whatever you do, don’t ever create something simple and elegant that speaks for itself, and doesn’t need any preamble whatsoever other than a short, sharp, intriguing headline. We can’t have that kind of thing circulating on the internet.

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