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The ‘Diet Coke & Mentos’ Mastermind Reveals 4 Keys to Viral Videos

When it comes to producing viral videos for big brands, Stephen Voltz is about as experienced as they come. If you’ve ever seen a YouTube video demonstrating what happens when you combine Diet Coke and Mentos, you can thank Voltz and his team for that.

With his viral videos for big brands being viewed over 150 million times, Voltz took the stage at Inbound 2015 to share what he believes to be the four key elements found in almost every viral video.

1. Be True

According to Voltz, no one likes a video which tries to pass itself off as being real, when it clearly is staged. In order for people to share your content, they have to feel like it was authentic.

Voltz gave the example of a video in which a guy proposes to his girlfriend at Disney World. The video is shot from multiple angles and clearly was choreographed.

This, according to Voltz, was what someone shouldn’t do if they want their video to go viral. The opposite example was a dance number done at a wedding, done with just one camera angle.

To Voltz, it was clear that this was not some sort of faked stunt – this was really something that happened at someone’s wedding.

2. Don’t Waste My Time

“Viral video is the 21st-century side show,” says Voltz. “Contrary to everything you are taught as marketers, don’t tell the story. If you have a woman who can swallow a sword and live, don’t start the video by telling me about her, start it off by showing me right away.”

Voltz says it’s important to get to the point of your video fast; “nothing but the money shots.”

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3. Be Unforgettable

“It’s all about the hook,” says Voltz.

Do something that no one expects or no one has done before. One example he gave was the iPhone in a blender video; people just didn’t expect to see it.

4. It’s all about the humanity

According to Voltz, very rarely will a video go viral if people are simply content with the video. People also do not like to share videos that make them feel sad.

However, if you get people angry and afraid (think Kony 2012) or happy and amazed, those are the feelings that get people to share your content and help your video go viral.

“Content carries itself if it has an emotional connection,” says Voltz.

With 94 percent of viewers skipping online advertisements, it’s important to follow these four rules to grab people’s attention and help your content go viral.

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About Shirien Elamawy

Shirien Elamawy is Cision’s Social Media Manager living in the D.C. area. She is known by some of her peers as a “YouTuber” for having amassed over 32,000 subscribers and millions of views on her channel. You can follow her @ShirienEG.

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