Whenever we make a video for our blog or company, our goal is always the same. We want our videos to be popular. Here are the key ingredients of a popular video:

The Role of your Audience

Creating a video is time-consuming.

Even a short 1 or 2-minute video takes a couple of days. You need to:

  • Come up with the idea for a video
  • Do research
  • Write a script
  • Record and produce the video

After putting in all that time and energy, you want your video to be watched.

It’s true that anyone can turn on a camera and tape themselves talking. But it’s rare that this type of video gets wide circulation.

Unless you’re famous or you have a large following or a big mailing list, your only chance of having a video viewed widely is if your audience “shares” and “likes”. You are totally dependent on the good graces of your audience.

Your audience is not the destination of your video, they are the vehicle that will transport your creation to other audience members.

The key to writing a great script and producing a popular video, is empathy. You need to empathize with your audience. You need to walk in their shoes.

Imagine yourself as an audience member and be brutally honest. Will they just watch the video or will they be interested enough to “share” or “like”?

Ultimately, it is your audience who decides whether your creation is worthy of praise.

Down the Rabbit Hole

When most people hear the term “popular video” they assume you’re talking about a funny, outrageous or super cute video. The kind we all see every day on social media.

If you have the talent to write and produce a funny video that serves your message, go ahead. As long as your sense of humor is in sync with your target audience and you’re as funny as you think you are, you have my respect and admiration.

But most people are not comedy writers and most subjects are not funny, outrageous or cute.

Don’t despair. If you know your subject and you’re passionate about your work, you can create a popular video that will connect with your audience.


broadcast material that is intended both to entertain and to inform.

Every subject, however dry or technical, is potentially interesting if it is presented in the right manner.

In this era of Reality TV, we’ve seen everything from buying a house to building furniture turned into entertainment.

No subject is boring, if it is presented in the right way.

The key to making a subject interesting, is to realize that your audience doesn’t care why you find the subject interesting. They need to know why the subject matters to them.

If you’re creating a video about a widget you’re promoting, you need to find a connection to the audience. A reason why they should care or be interested.

In the following example, you will see two videos we made for our product MondoPlayer.

In the first, we focused on the features of the product and some industry statistics. We were focused on the message we wanted to deliver:

In the second, we focused on a message that connected to our audience. We thought about their perspective and what they would find interesting enough to share with their friends on social media.

Not surprisingly, the second video received 100 times more attention on Facebook and Twitter.

The second video didn’t contain all of the information we wanted to convey about MondoPlayer. But, to be successful, we needed to make a popular video that put our own needs second and empathized with our audience.

How to Test Your Video Concept

You need to ask yourself one key question:

What’s so interesting about {insert your subject}?

Imagine having a conversation about your subject at a party with “real people” who aren’t from your industry. Would they interact with you and ask questions? Or would they politely excuse themselves?

If you’re not sure, you should test your video concept on a few people outside your industry. So in my case I would ask, “Are you interested in finding out how you can be more popular on social media?”

Keep in mind, your video is not a test of loyalty. You want ANYONE to click like or share, whether they know you or not.

When someone clicks like or share, they may not be a potential customer but their friends may be, or the friends of their friends. So the more relatable the message, the better.

Serve Your Audience

In the end, the most important part of an infotainment message is the entertainment. If you can relate your subject to an audience in a manner that is relevant to their needs and interests, your message will get viral reach.

Photo Credit: Espen Sundve