We were there to attend our friend’s wedding.
On the spur of the moment, we decided to do something fun.
We decided to make a viral video.
At the time, the song “Call Me Maybe,” by Carly Rae Jepsen, was at the top of the music charts, aided by a bunch of viral YouTube videos (like this) that people were making to her song.
I happened to bring one of my DSLR cameras and one of my friends brought his GO-Pro camera.
This was all the equipment we needed to make a viral video.
There were about six guys and six girls with us, so after brainstorming we decided to play “Call Me Maybe” every time we were together, no matter what activities we were doing.
We played the song when we were on the beach, swimming in the deck pool, riding bikes, and even at the wedding itself.
The cameras were recording at all times during these activities.
When the weekend ended, we were all excited to edit the video, post it on YouTube, and be famous.
We clicked to upload the video and stood back waiting for comments and play counts to roll in.
To date, years later, we still only have a few thousand views. Mostly from our friends and family.
Why did this viral video fail?
Why Videos Go Viral
Videos go viral every day.
Very often, this virality is by accident.
For example, this accidental video went viral with over 61 million views after a victim of a break-in voiced his concerns to the media.
But sometimes, virality can be strategically conjured.
For example, this Taylor Swift music video, “Shake it Off” has over 1 billion views on YouTube.
Obviously, Taylor Swift already has a very large following and with her popularity, combined with a great song and high quality music video, it’s possible for her to get millions and even billions of views on her videos.
But can a small or even medium-sized business make a video go viral?
How To Increase Video Virality
Most businesses don’t have the media budget necessary for a full TV commercial.
A good alternative is to create a viral video.
You can quickly create these types of videos and test them for your business until one of them takes off.
The key is to keep testing, even if the first few videos don’t get a big response.
Here are three ways you can start making viral videos for your business…
1. Catch a random incident at work on camera.
There are several videos that went viral because they captured an exciting and interesting random event.
Random events that are worthy of being shared are rare, but they do happen.
The key is being in the right place at the right time, and having a camera rolling.
For example, this homeless man was caught playing the piano when he didn’t realize he was being recorded.
This video has over 14 million views.
You might be thinking, okay, these videos are great, but how can I catch a random incident at my business?
Your business may not involve a homeless man or a farting hippo but you can still catch a random incident on camera.
All you have to do is get in the habit of recording office events.
Let’s say you have a big shipment coming in of a new product you’re about to launch. You can record the shipment coming in and everyone being excited to unload it.
Let’s say you have a big marketing meeting where people are going to be pitching different ideas. You can record it and if something interesting happens, use it as a viral video down the road after the ideas you came up with have been executed.
These kinds of videos have the added bonus of building trust with your customers.
You’re showing them the behind-the-scenes of your work, bringing them in on the fun.
2. Have a great idea and execute as if it was random.
There are several viral videos on YouTube that look like it was a random incident caught on video but, in reality, the incident was staged.
For example, Jimmy Kimmel staged a random incident of a girl twerking (dancing) against a wall and then falling on a table and catching on fire.
This video was shared over 21 million times.
Here is an example of this type of video that was made on the Jimmy Kimmel show.
As another example, a guy in Australia staged a random incident of him swimming in shark-infested waters and barely escaping an attack from a Great White shark.
Last example is this video of a young boy and little girl acting like they are expecting a child.
The video was staged but still garnered over 32 million views.
You can do something similar in your business by recreating an exciting, interesting, or fun incident that happened in your office.
By staging a random incident that involves your products or services, you can drive traffic to your company website for free.
The key is making the video as real as possible.
The more real the video seems, the more likely it is to go viral.
3. Make a professional looking video that is entertaining and encourages people to share.
If you have a good idea for a viral video, map out a budget and hire a production company to make a high quality video.
The higher the video is in quality, the more likely it is to go viral.
For example, this video made by Megan Nicole, was a very high quality video of her singing a cover of Taylor Swift’s “Shake it off”. It generated over 14 million views.
But this nearly identical video by Shanny Ramsamy is of much lower video quality and only generated 42k views compared to 14million.
Once you’ve created a high-quality video, you need to actively share it with your customers, fans, and followers.
Make sure you’re proactively sharing it on social media and through email marketing.
If you don’t know where to start, consider making a high-quality parody of a video that has already gone viral.
For example, this group of moms made a parody of Iggy Azalea’s Fancy song, I’m So Pregnant.
They changed the words but kept the music the same, making the video very entertaining for their fans.
The video now has over 26 million views.
There are three ways to make your video go viral—capture an exciting and interesting random incident, stage an exciting and interesting random incident, or make a professional entertaining video, such as a parody. By doing this, you can increase the exposure of your business without spending a lot of money.