5 Traits of Viral Videos

What TV commercials do you remember? It’s probably a different answer for each person, but I’m guessing there are some similarities. The eTrade commercials with the talking baby, the Chick-Fil-A spots featuring cows with signs that say “Eat Mor Chikin”.

What about YouTube videos? Which ones stand out?

We often have clients who tell us, “I want a viral video.” Easier said than done–and while there’s no sure fire way to make a video go viral, here are common traits we’ve noticed in viral videos:

  • The videos are different
  • Something unexpected happens in the videos
  • They are funny
  • They often tell a story
  • They focus on just a couple of key points

Here’s a great article about how telling a story can help promote a company’s brand and enhance business communication [http://www.fastcompany.com/3020314/bottom-line/how-screenwriting-guru-robert-mckee-teaches-brands-to-tell-stories ]

It sounds very simple but it’s true – people like stories, read stories, and respond to stories. They work.

There’s a book titled Made to Stick by Chip and Dan Heath and we reference it here at Ydraw all the time.  It really helps (it’s a must-read for any business owner or marketer). The authors give a number of great examples of how a story can deliver your message better than most any other approach. They even start the book with a story!

When we’re creating a video we try to answer these 3 key questions:

Will the viewer understand it?

Will the viewer remember it?

Will the viewer enjoy it?

If we can get a “Yes” for all three, then we’re on our way (we get those positive responses by using the elements from the bullet list included above). If not, we rework it until we do. It’s a different approach for sure, but by including a narrative in videos and business communication we’ve seen better responses, higher retention rates, and more interested customers.

Give it a try! We’d love to hear your comments and your success “stories” using narratives in your efforts. Don’t be shy, you can do it!

Once again, we encourage you to Tell a Story to Make a Viral Video!