The Science and Art of Viral Videos

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True, we have YouTube Head of Monetization Baljeet Singh contribute to the blog here, but consider this some supplemental reading. Just after the holiday, Inbound Internet Marketing blog Hubspot tossed up a pretty comprehensive post about the common qualities all successful viral videos have. Baljeet did a similar post for Inc. Well back in December, but an outsider's perspective is always good, too.

Hubspot's summary of these traits is somewhat extensive, so if you're even slightly curious you should hop on over already, but in case you need your whistle to be moistened and then whetted, here are a few zoomed-out takeaways.

Videos like the infamous eHarmony "cat lady" are genius because they prompt the viewer to wonder whether it's real, and will inspire people to forward it to friends to get their take on it. It's a risky move for a brand to do, letting its presence recede into the background. But on the other hand, you can't talk about that video without saying it's associated with eHarmony. I mean, obviously, it's fake, because why on earth would that woman upload a video to a dating site where she's sobbing uncontrollably about being unable to hug all the cats in the world. Too bad all the cats in the world won't be able to distract some people from speculating that it's allegedly an anti-gay Christian recruiting site. But I digress.

Humor can also be your friend, but, obviously, know your strengths. If you aren't funny, don't attempt it, and if you're uncomfortable with hiring a firm to do a funny video for you that you don't really understand, it might not be worth your money. But Hubspot suggests capitalizing on parodying a popular event, person or song, or keeping your videos funny regardless, are two ways to catch on like gangbusters.

Like I said, there are more tips on Hubspot, so read the full article there

David Wolinsky is a freelance writer and a lifelong Chicagoan. In addition to currently serving as an interviewer-writer for Adult Swim, he's also a comedy-writing instructor for Second City. He was the Chicago city editor for The Onion A.V. Club where he provided in-depth daily coverage of this city's bustling arts/entertainment scene for half a decade. When not playing video games for work he's thinking of dashing out to Chicago Diner, Pizano's, or Yummy Yummy. His first career aspirations were to be a game-show host.

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