Funny videos lead to consumer engagement and can raise the social currency of a brand, especially if the brand prominently features in the video or is 'baked into the joke'. This is because viewers tend to share funny content, thus it is very easy for it to become a viral video.
However, creating a funny video is no easy task as it involves the risk of being ridiculed by its viewers. According to Peter McGraw of the University of Colorado, for something to be funny, it must be a seemingly harmless violation. A video can be funny and seem lame, or have too much violation and become offensive. These two situations will have a negative effect on the reputation of the brand. So, how do you go about creating funny YouTube videos that can go viral?
It is possible to create videos that will serve your business goals and yet be funny and engaging to your audience. To do this, you need to strike a balance between what is benign and what is offensive. For your content to be funny, it needs to 'violate' how you understand the world in an unexpected way. A company that is really successful with its funny videos is HBO Go. It has the 'Akward Family Viewing Series' where they show how awkward it is to watch the HBO show with your parents.
Factors to look out for when creating funny videos
1. RelatabilityThe content of your funny video must be something that your audience can relate to. Better still, the audience should relate to the videos in a personal way. People are likely to laugh when they see themselves in the scenarios captured in the videos. Some brands that are adept at this include: Fiat, which partnered with a comedy website called Funny or Die on a series titled 'Neighbors Series'. This has resulted in higher web traffic and deeper engagement with the brand.
2. Video LengthYour videos should not be longer than a minute and 45 seconds. However, if you need to make it longer, you need to hook your viewer from the word go. This may still put viewers off as many of them make quick mental calculations whether they are willing to invest even the few minutes watching your video. Longer You Tube videos are more likely to go viral if your brand has a large and loyal subscriber base. If this is not the case, then it is very difficult for your video to become a viral video.
3. DistributionYou need to consider your viewers’ online habits.
4. The Brand’s benefitsAs much as one of the aims of creating funny videos is to engage more viewers, you need to know whether these videos are actually driving conversions. You need to reinforce a benefit of the brand or show how the product brings about value to your viewers. However, do not show your product immediately the funny video starts to play.
How to create funny YouTube videos that can go viral
- BrainstormingThe first process in the creation of a viral video involves brainstorming. You can begin by writing the names of songs, celebrities and anything else that may come to mind. Try and link those words together. For instance, 2 celebrities in totally different fields and niches. Try to come up with a funny idea that can link them, for instance, a doctor singing a celebrity’s song. Think of a way to package the idea, for instance as a parody or animation.
- ShootingYou then need to go ahead and shoot the video. Here is what you need:
- A good video camera or smartphone
- Video editing software
- Choose a setting that will work for the video’s message. Edit your video and give it a title that will capture your audience’s attention.You can also create your videos on YouTube Mobile. This makes it available on handheld devices and even on smartphones.
Making Parodies as your funny videosYou can choose to make a parody as your funny video.
How to get ideas for parodiesA parody is a humorous imitation of an event, cultural idea or person. Here is how you can get some ideas for a parody:
- Research the various types of parody, satire or farce in art, literature or entertainment.
- Track your laughter by writing down jokes or funny situations as you read or watch parodies. You then need to analyze what makes the situation humorous.
- Write interesting situations. Come up with character sketches for your parody.
- Put the characters into certain situations and imagine their reaction
Here is how to create a parody
- Choose a videoChoose a video that can be interpreted in many different ways. Alternatively, take a funny video and tweak it, including your own funny idea.
- Change the title and theme of the videoA funny title will arouse interest in the viewers
- Create an outlineThis helps create the basis of the parody. You can insert jokes and humorous situations
- Record the videoAfter deciding on the way to package your parody, record the video and use editing software to edit it. Some good editing software includes: Vegas Pro and Final Cut Pro. However, if you are on a tight budget, use Windows Movie Maker on your PC, or iMovie on your Mac.
A few more tips
- Do not be self-conscious, for instance about your weight
- Before you upload the video on You Tube, allow your friends and family to see the video. They may point to important aspects that you may have overlooked or even help you decide to cancel the whole idea.
- As aforementioned, do not go overboard with violations. This may make your You tube video to go viral for the wrong reasons. It will destroy your brand’s reputation and your account may be deleted for showing inappropriate content.
- Never copy other people’s work. It shows a lack of creativity and effort, and you could get sued if the content is copyrighted.