This year's top viral videos

If you’re interested in video editing for business, or even if you’re an amateur who wants to be the next big YouTube star, you’ve probably heard of the mythical beast known as the “viral video”. These videos are usually compelling (and entertaining), so much so that everyone wants to share them with their friends. Before you know it, the video has taken off like a virus, and the whole internet is watching it. If you’re a business, this is great, because it is free advertising!

Now, we don’t have any explicit instructions on how to create a video that is interesting enough to “go viral”. That’s up to you, and if you’re unsure about where to start, just check out YouTube to get some ideas. But be forewarned: not every video is destined to become an internet sensation, no matter how¬†adroitly you and your team implement the tips below.

But if your business has created a video you think has the potential to go viral, try out these tips to help things along:

1. Put it everywhere
If you want to improve the odds of admirers actually seeing your video, put it everywhere, on every video sharing site you can find. YouTube and Vimeo are just the start; other sites such as Daily Motion receive a significant amount of traffic. Note: Some sites, such as Vimeo, do not allow explicitly commercial uploads, so be careful!

2. Promote it everywhere
Twitter and Facebook are obvious choices, but how much do you know about G+ as a social sharing site? LinkedIn is also a no-brainer, as well as the company blog. You can try emailing out a link, but be careful not to get labeled as a spammer!

3. Keep it short
30 to 60 seconds max, and something ought to happen in the first 3 seconds. There, that’s all we’re going to write.

4. Keep it funny
A no-brainer tip if there ever was one, but humorous videos (and pictures of cats) power the Internet!

5. No ads
Nothing ruins a truly magical video like product placement. Viewers feel slightly cheated, and cheated folks will never pass on your link to their friends.

6. Keep it simple (Part 1)
Don’t worry about quality or production values – focus on capturing funny moments that occur spontaneously. Your viewers will overlook everything from shakey camerawork to out-of-focus shots if it’s funny.

7. Keep it simple (Part 2)
Don’t use copyrighted music other other images. The last thing you want to do is to create a successful viral vid that gets taken down because of copyright infringement

8. Keep trying!
You never know what’s going to become a big hit. And for the videos that didn’t quite catch on, you can always upload them to your corporate YouTube site, optimize them for video SEO, and dominate the front page of Google search results.

Nevin Thompson frequently blogs about video editing for business

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