Viral videos have been an obsession for many brands, since the concept became a marketing goldmine a few short years ago. Recently with the massive popularity of ‘Gangnam Style’ and ‘The Harlem Shake’ I’m asking the question – what makes these videos so darn special? And how can you make yours equally as special?
Why Have These Viral Videos Blown Up?
#1: Viral Videos like these both focus on silly dances that took the world by storm. These are dances that people can do in their homes, in clubs and with friends. They are repeatable!
#2: Both of these virals are location-specific. Gangnam Style focuses on South Korea, and The Harlem Shake focuses on Harlem, New York. They have a cultural heritage in other words that the global internet population deem ‘cool.’
#3: Both viral videos are refreshingly offbeat, almost bizarre. They don’t conform to any norms, and as a result – are surprising to watch. The element of surprise in a video is becoming more and more valuable in virals.
#4: Gangnam Style and The Harlem Shake are both incredibly entertaining – which makes them highly watchable and sharable. You can watch both viral videos more than once, which means viewing it with friends is even more fun than watching it alone.
#5: There is one strong central character in each of these virals. In Gangnam Style, Psy, the Korean horse-rider is the main character who leads the dance. In The Harlem Shake, there is always someone with a motorcycle helmet on, or their face obscured by a mask that begins the dance. People identify with the quirkiness of these characters.
#6: There are few things more human than dancing. Viral videos that are deeply humanized tend to do better on Youtube, because people strongly relate to them.
#7: Gangnam Style and The Harlem Shake both contain scenes with lots of people, which seems to promote trend setting in viral videos. If all of these people are doing it, I want to do it! This is seen at the end of Gangnam Style when they all dance together, and in the latter part of the Harlem Shake, when everyone joins in the craziness.
#8: Both viral videos are highly marketable. Because of the strong dance moves and firm characters in each, these are brands that can be packaged, marketed and sold. It also makes them easily recognizable, or memorable.
#9: Be original, or at least be a really good copy. Truth is that while Gangnam Style made a ton of cash from Youtube, so did many spoofs of it. The Harlem Shake was one of those viral videos that everyone joined in on. If you can do a good one, you are guaranteed millions of views because of the trend.
#10: Both videos are absolutely hilarious! Gangnam Style and all of the Harlem Shake videos are funny, and humor is the fastest spreading virus online! If you want your video to be watched make it funny.
#11: A little known fact about Gangnam Style is that it was launched on a platform that already had 2.5 million subscribers. They used this network to accelerate the viral speed of the video – and it worked. The Harlem Shake has similarly been launched on many top subscriber Youtube feeds.
#12: If you have access to famous people – use them. One recognizable face is enough to get viral videos in the media, which is what Gangnam Style did. They had a famous Korean entertainer, a comedian and a kid from Korea’s Got Talent in it. Use this fame to get more views early on.
#13: Both videos had serious momentum in the media. Blog after blog, magazine after magazine – even news stations covered the Gangnam Style and Harlem Shake phenomenon. Get as much media attention as you can! Have an interesting back story!
#14: YG Entertainment masterminded the Gangnam Style video sensation, that made it one of the only viral videos to ever exceed a billion views on Youtube. This proves that with enough planning and marketing know-how – it’s possible to create a viral video.
#15: The Harlem Shake proves that production value isn’t everything –as long as you have entertainment value. Part of the appeal was watching different people do the Harlem Shake in different ways – in offices, schools, fire trucks and outdoors. It was truly global!
#16: Facebook and Twitter fueled the Youtube fire for both of these viral videos. Gangnam Style was tweeted by Britney Spears, which sent over a million tweets with that search term bouncing up and down Twitter. Get your fans and friends to Tweet and Facebook about your videos!
=> Infographic Source
#17: Both viral videos inspire CURIOSITY. If you hear about people doing a funny dance, you want to see it. There is a question there that people need answered. The more people that see it, the more curious you get. And that’s how a billion people find and watch a video.
#18: These viral videos are both positive, edgy and they make you smile. You’ll notice that not very many negative videos go viral. People want to improve their days, not ruin them!
#19: The music in both videos loops, and is very contagious. These viral videos have notes that stick in your head, so you might play the video again just to solve that problem. In a way, they create a kind of – repetitive song that you WANT to hear again.
#20: The Harlem Shake follows a set structure, with music that makes all videos the same length – just a minute or so. This means that people can watch these viral videos quickly, share them quickly and enjoy them again and again.
How would you make your videos viral?