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The rules of viral video

REELSEO has outlined a list of rules for any viral video production company. The word ‘viral’ feels a bit out of place though, because the five criteria could apply to basically anyone producing video or film. However, the article then compares these five rules to a popular review of Star Wars: Attack of the Clones which has gone viral. As it turns out, the video review follows none of the rules, and yet it’s hugely successful. What does that mean? Well, let’s consider the five rules first.

1. Keep it short: Consider your favorite online videos, viral or otherwise. The most popular videos often end up being a couple minutes long. Producing short, concise content is an effective way to ensure viewers watch all of your work.

2. Have good sound: There is consumer and professional level audio equipment that helps people record high quality audio. Good sound is critical to practically any video, and using music or sound effects to compliment speech or dialogue helps videos pop.

3. Avoid copyright material: Using popular music or movie clips could cause trouble when your video is published. If it gets too popular, the owner of that material could ask you to remove it or seek legal action. Besides, it’s better to be original anyway.

4. Reinvent yourself: It’s a good idea to produce more than one video to represent your brand or business. However, offer some variety within your videos. If you use the same formula every time, fans might get tired and lose interest in your work.

5. Be timely: Your video should relate to matters that are happening, recently happened, or will happen in the near future. Otherwise, why would anyone care about what you have to say? If your content isn’t somehow timely or relevant, viewers might feel like it doesn’t apply to them.

However, REELSEO discovered an anomaly; an exception to these five rules. The Star Wars review, in total, is about an hour long. It is separated into nine episodes, but each of them have hundreds of thousands of views. A few have more than one million views. And as Jeremy Scott points out in the article, the reviews don’t follow any of the five rules.

Turns out, rules can be broken. Also, the review is very, very funny. What does all of that mean for people producing corporate videos? Basically, be careful and aware. Following all the rules doesn’t guarantee video success, and the rules aren’t nailed to the ground either.

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