If you’re a millennial or someone who remembers the world before the turn of the century, the phrase “going viral” could have two different meanings. So, in addi- tion to meaning the spread of a virus, which is a bad thing, the term refers to the rapid spread of a video, and that’s a great thing.
When an uploaded video goes viral in the good sense, it becomes a sensation that users share and share and share — in the process gathering more numbers of viewers than there are grains of sand in an hourglass. Having your video go viral is like releasing a hit record or having your book make the New York Times best seller list, except that you’re unlikely to get anywhere near as rich from going viral even if you get a couple of million hits.
Planning on a video going viral is like planning on winning the lottery. It could happen, but you shouldn’t bet on it. If you are seriously interested in earning some ad revenue from your video content, work on creating a range of compelling content for your channel, rather than hoping on that one-shot, grand slam home run.
There’s no way of telling whether a video will go viral, but there are some traits that successful ones share. Though we discuss ways throughout this book to improve the odds of your video going viral, here are some factors that can make a video a runaway success:
» Spontaneity: There’s a real in-the-moment feel to a viral video that captures a random and decisive moment that you could never repeat. The popular video “Charlie bit my fi — again!” and its more than 800 million clicks comes
» Be light-hearted: People love stuff that’s silly and that makes them laugh and think — or that even make them consider trying something, much like the
Coke-and-Mentos video collection that has drawn hundreds of millions of
» Get it out on social media: Yeah, you can rely on chance that someone stumbles across your video, but that’s sort of passive, like waiting by the phone for someone to “fi you” for the job. A better tack is for you to let social media know about your latest masterpiece. Just a few tweets here, a
Facebook post there, and then maybe an announcement on Reddit can instantly start turning the wheels of virality.