Everyone always wants to know how to get a video to “go viral”
While there’s no secret recipe or formula, there are some rules of thumb that can be applied to increase your chances of gaining traction in the world of social media.
One of the primary rules is that you need to balance SEO and production. The SEO side of things ensures that your video is searchable and visible to the masses, while the production side ensures the quality is on par with something that people are actually interested in engaging with and sharing.
Getting the SEO Right
There are a lot of different ways people can come across a video you produce, but without a basic SEO strategy in place, it’s unlikely that you’ll ever gain any traction. Think of it like a beautiful waterfall in the middle of a forest.
Sure, someone could stumble upon it if they were lost in the woods and just happened to find themself in the right place.
But it’s much more likely that lots of people will arrive if there’s a clear map with conspicuous signposts directing hikers to the oasis.
A video SEO strategy is like a map. It tells people how to find your video in a sea of millions of other pieces of fragmented content.
There are plenty of different ways to optimize a video for search, but one of the most important aspects is the title.
“Crafting a compelling video title is a balancing act—you have to make the title SEO friendly and make it clickable,” says Puranjay Singh of Single Grain. “Ideally, you should follow the same convention in your video titles as you would in your blog posts: to get clicks and shares, include keywords as well as power words.”
You also want to pay attention to the video description, tags, and metadata.
Nailing Video Production
It’s not enough for people to find your video. If they simply watch it and move on without any further action, you’re extracting very little value from each individual view.
Using the previous example, even the best map in the world doesn’t do much if hikers arrive at the waterfall and are underwhelmed.
Once people get there, you want them to be captivated, take pictures, share with friends, and invite them to come with you the next time you visit.
Moving back to the marketing side of things, the hope is that people will see your video and share their experience with friends.
This is where you have to think about production.
Today’s best videos are optimized for the mobile experience.
For starters, this means short videos perform best.
As social media expert Donna Moritz puts it, “Short videos suit our busy lives, brief attention spans and the need to consume content easily and quickly. Because fans are consuming content via their mobile devices while they’re on the go, the shorter the content is, the better.”
You’ll also notice that a lot of today’s most viral videos feature subtitles, which is also aimed at maximizing the experience.
Social media users often access video content when they’re in public places where sound isn’t appropriate. Therefore, the subtitles allow for engagement in any situation.
Reaping the Rewards
All too often, marketers make the mistake of only focusing on SEO – or only worrying about production. The truth is that these two seemingly independent aspects must be appropriately leveraged and balanced in order to achieve optimal virality on any social media platform.
If you want to reap the rewards, you have to put in the work.