Out of every dozen or so “Harlem Shake” YouTube videos, a couple of those will be from big-name production studios and brands that are attempting to add their own flair to the meme-of-the-day. While their efforts could very well net hundreds of thousands of views, very few people would consider their content “viral.” Why? A “viral” video or trend comes out of spontaneity and exceeds your original expectations of the video; you can’t force your video to go “viral.” Here are five things to consider when trying to get your video to go “viral”:
1. Inconsistency Doesn’t Help Your Chances of Going “Viral”
Despite the fact that many YouTube channels are getting so much publicity for their own versions of the “Harlem Shake,” chances are you’ll probably never hear a peep from them again, and it will be hard for them to replicate their success with another “viral” video. Jimmy Tatro, whose “Life According To Jimmy” series focuses on the college frat boy life, preaches consistency as a way for making that video of yours go “viral.”
Tatro told NMR: “We’re always thinking what’s hot right now, what are people going to share with their friends, what is something that someone is going to take and post on their friends’ Facebook wall, or what is something their friend is going to tweet to all their friends and be like, “Check this video out. This is so us.” I always think what’s the most relateable, what is the most up to date with current events and consistency, because if people know what they are going to get from me, they know they are getting a video every Monday.”
2. “Viral” Is About Exceeding Expectations, Not Meeting Them
“Viral” is more than just asking your friends and your fans to share that cover of “Thrift Shop” you made last night; it’s also the fact that the video exceeded your expectations in terms of sharing and views. Take for instance Coca-Cola’s ads featuring security cameras catching good deeds. They used a mix of actual YouTube viral videos and their own to create an ad that has so far garnered millions of views on their channel. Of course, since Coca-Cola spends millions on advertising each year, we can expect that they will reach a wide audience and be shared by people who like Coca-Cola. Congratulations, Coca-Cola, you’re meeting your expectations, not exceeding them.
3. The “Viral” Bar Is Always Changing
What’s the ideal number of views for a “viral” video? Is it 100,000 views? 1 million views. In reality, the bar is always changing says Portal A Interactive co-founder Kai Hasson in his interview with NMR. Hasson adds that instead of just wanting a video to go “viral,” creators should ask why they want a viral video in the first place and who they want to target: “Tell us why you want a viral video. That is what we’ll try to accomplish. It’s not about getting 10 million views on a video. It has to be a certain video placed in certain places so a certain audience watches it.”