Creating a viral video is often thought of as the golden chalice of online marketing. When you log onto YouTube and see that gurgling baby with 74 million views, it’s temping to think “how can I attract that much attention?” But not all attention is good, and creating a video that gets lots of attention but doesn’t achieve your goals is really a marketing failure.

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Charlie bit my finger…

Viral video has become so commonplace that it’s gotten its own verb form: “Going Viral.” The grandaddy of them all is a little gem called “Charlie Bit My Finger.” If you’re one of the three people on Earth who hasn’t seen it, click the link and prepare to be amused. But if you browse the top-viewed videos of all time, they’re almost all music videos. There’s nary a commercial video in the top 200.

There are a couple of reasons for this. First and foremost, people (and especially the young people who dominate social media) fiercely resist being marketed to. If Charlie’s brother removed his finger to reveal a dollop of Oragel, it would have been a great bit of marketing but the video would never have gained the traction that it did. The lesson? Viral video cannot be forced, and it should not be your goal when planning your video. The New York Times recently did a story about what makes a viral video. The bottom line is that people are driven to share videos with an emotional impact. Usually an uplifting one, but even a video that provokes is more likely to become a viral video than something that is merely depressing.

The Anti Viral Video

When you are planing your video, you want to consider how the audience will receive it. It’s much more important that your audience find your video informative than that they be driven to share it all over social media. One share on a very targeted Pinterest board is worth a thousand shares on the type of sites that establish viral videos, like Reddit. When you are ready to create a video that will both inform and entertain, if not spread across the internet like wildfire, give TeeFour Productions a call and let us help you conceive and execute your video vision.