The following are five problems of viral video advertising identified by researchers in the HBR magazine article titled “The New Science of Viral Ads“. Here we have converted the five problems into five rules:
Rule No. 1: Brand subtly
Viewers get put off by prominent branding. By inserting your brand or products unobstrusively throughout the video, you could increase viewship by up to 20%. In our opinion, if you really feel the need to display your brand or URL prominently, insert it at the end of the video.
Rule No. 2: Have an attention grabber
With so many distractions on the web, viral videos that fail to entice the viewer within the first few seconds of the ad will almost certainly be ignored. While it is necessary to grab the audiences’ attention early, the type emotions created by the video is just as important. According to the researchers, the emotions of joy and surprise emerge as the winners when it comes to keeping viewers engaged.
Rule No. 3: Build an emotional roller coaster
Once you have the viewer’s attention, don’t wait too long before the next high. The conventional method of slowly building up to a grand finale risks dropping viewers along the way. If you have a lengthly viral video, insert little surprises here and there to retain viewership.
Rule No. 4: Surprise, but don’t shock
While controversial videos may arouse curiousity, people are less inclined to ‘like’ or share them. This is possibly due to the fear of what their family and friends might think of them. Unless you are targeting an open-minded segment, it is probably best to play it safe by sticking to a G or PG rating.
Rule No. 5: Make friends with extroverts and egocentric people
Invite people whom you know to be extroverted or egocentric to view the video even if they are not your target customers. People of such personalities are more likely to share viral videos. If you don’t have this bunch of friends handy, you might have to cast a wide net before your video virally explodes.