How to Make a Viral Video, Gangnam Style (Part II)

make a viral videoIn part one of this post, I wrote about the characteristics of a good viral video, based on the hit sensation “Gangnam Style.” In this second post, I’m offering up some tips to explain how to make a viral video.

If you want to make a viral video, here’s what you need to do:

1. Develop and Document a Concept — Coming up with a great idea for a video is often just as hard as creating the video itself. Start by thinking about what one point you want your target audience to take away from watching it. Maybe it’s knowing who you are, understanding your product, or knowing how to solve a specific problem. Understanding who your audience is and what it needs will help ensure that you’re on track. Once you are, create a storyboard for the video that captures the following components:

  • Messaging — What key points do you want the video to make and how will those messages be communicated? Try to limit yourself to no more than one or two to ensure your video stays focused.
  • Visuals — Will the video be animated, use live shots or stills, or a combination of all three? Are you going for a modern look and feel or something more traditional? The more you can specify how your video should look, the easier it will be to bring your vision to fruition.
  • Audio — What kind of music will accompany the video? Will there be a voice a voice over or other sound effects?

The point here is to get as many of your ideas down on paper so that you have a framework for what you’re trying to create. In the process, make sure to also consider your budget. While simple videos can be produced relatively inexpensively, creating advanced animated videos can quickly become very expensive. Before you set your sights too high, make sure you know how much you’re willing to spend.

2. Test Your Concept — It’s always a good idea to get some feedback on your ideas before you start spending money. Find a few members of your target audience and ask them if they like the concept you’ve created. Ask them these questions:

  • Does this video sound like one that you’d be interested in watching?
  • Do you think it would help you understand topic X better?
  • Does the format we’re proposing sound interesting to you?
  • What would this video need to include for you to feel compelled to share it with others?

3. Engage the Right Resources — Most of us don’t have the luxury of having an extensive creative team at our disposal. If that’s the case, you’ll want to engage the right freelancer or agency to help you create your video. A few affordable agencies you might want to contact include:

Once you’ve got freelance resources you can use, check out these tips on how to work with them.

4. Promote, Promote, Promote — No video is going to go viral on its own. You need to promote it hard. Get it out on social media and see if you can get influencers and tastemakers in your industry to share it on your behalf. Doing so will help you dramatically increase your reach, increasing the number of viewers who could potentially watch your video.

To be sure, making a great video, let alone a viral video, is no small feat. However, if you can pull it off, it can definitely get you a lot of attention. Just ask Korean rapper Psy.

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