How to Ruin a Potentially Viral Video

Things you should avoid if you want to make a viral video

The holy Internet is full of amazing videos. Some are amusing, some are inspirational and some are profound. But for every great video you see, there are a number of videos that are just plain awful. Many of these videos actually have the potential to be viral, but sadly, lack in execution. Below are things you should avoid if you want to make a viral video:

1. Great description, poor quality

Enticing video title and informative description are very helpful to get users to watch your video. But when they’re followed up with a grainy, low-res video, you’ve disappointed the legion of loyal YouTube viewers who had high expectations of your well-titled ‘masterpiece’.

2. Unnecessary commentary

When watching an amateur video, especially an impromptu one, viewers might expect there’s going to be some some chit-chat about what’s going on. What they won’t expect is a play-by-play commentary of the event. No one can stand people ruining a good video by providing unnecessary commentary over it. If you think it’s worthy of being filmed, just film it and keep your commentary to a minimum.

3. Cutting off too soon

Every story has a sequence. In more complex terms as it relates to literature or movies, there’s something called the dramatic structure: introduction, rising action, climax, falling action, and the conclusion. With shortened videos on the web, these five things can occur within a matter of seconds. But some people, for whatever reason, cut off videos right after – or even worse, right before – the climax, leaving the viewer unsatisfied.

4. Sideways video

When avid YouTube viewers encounter a sideways video, they move on regardless of the content. If you happen to have developed a habit of filming horizontally, you need to open any video editor (no need for a fancy one here) and rotate the video 90 degrees either way before uploading it.

5. Video too long

In the internet age, you’re lucky if you can grab your viewers’ attention for more than a handful of seconds before they move on to something else. If a video doesn’t get good within that time frame, you’re usually screwed. And anything longer than five minutes, regardless of what’s going on in the video, will usually put them to sleep.

Things you should avoid if you want to make a viral video