Video is a powerful medium for spreading your message, whether you want to advertise your business or show off your creative skills. However, it is easy for videos to slide into obscurity. How can you craft a video that has the potential to go viral? Use the following tips for your next video.

Keep It Short

The New York Times reported on a survey with findings that reveal that almost 20 percent of people stop watching a video within the first 10 seconds, and almost half will abandon a video after the first minute. If you don’t already have a loyal audience, create short videos that are easy to watch on mobile devices. Make sure your videos quickly get to the best part, and use things like BGM (background) music, animated backgrounds, and hd clips to add a professional appeal. One of the most successful YouTube videos of all time, entitled “Charlie Bit My Finger – Again!” is less than a minute long.

Don’t Be Annoying

You might unwittingly have some elements in your videos that will drive viewers away. Things like distracting background noises, poor video quality, or shaky camera movements may be your downfall. Also, make sure that if your video contains dialogue, anyone who speaks has rehearsed ahead of time so the video feels natural. This is particularly important for instructional videos, such as this hair-trimming tutorial.

Appeal to the Heart

HD clips, animated backgrounds, and BGM music will enhance your video, but the most important factor is the emotional one. If the message doesn’t tug at your audience’s hearts, it is unlikely to go viral. “Kony 2012,” a documentary about children suffering in Uganda, got more than a 100 million views in less than a week, in large part because it evoked tender emotions in viewers around the world.

Be Unexpected

Videos often go viral because they depart from the ordinary, whether they do so with humor, controversy, or heart-touching stories about humanity. One of Evian’s advertisements went viral because it featured rollerblading, breakdancing babies. Susan Boyle’s first audition for “Britain’s Got Talent” received 100 million views in less than two weeks because no one foresaw that Boyle would have such a beautiful voice.

Add Finishing Touches

Don’t simply film your video and post it on YouTube. Take the time to edit it and add in library music and after effects templates so your final product has a polished appearance.

Creating a viral video is a daunting task, but you have a better chance of accomplishing it if you follow the above tips.