Our Method: The Four Rules

Most of what we all know about creating compelling video simply doesn’t apply to viral video.  Why not? Because what works in television does not work online.

Learn more about our method in our talk from TEDxDirigo.

For sixty years, television has been getting better and better at keeping you from changing the channel – no matter what.

And the production and editing techniques developed for television – multi-camera shoots, dolly shots, crane shots, crazy camera angles, lots of quick edits, news crawls at the bottom of the screen, and the like – do that beautifully. Television has developed a style that taps into the animal part of our brains and holds our attention whether or not the content itself is compelling.

But to go viral online, if all you do is hold our attention, you’ve failed.

Here, your job isn’t to keep viewers from changing the channel, it’s to get them to love what you’ve made so much that they want to tell their friends.

Viral video is about connecting with people.

That means that all those tricks television employs for holding viewer attention aren’t enough ­­– and they actually work against you when you’re trying to create viral content.

So how can you make a video that is contagious?

The most contagious content is driven by active, positive emotion – things that make us laugh, things that amaze us.

There are four core principles we’ve found are crucial to understand if you want to make a video that people will share:

Be True
Don’t Waste My Time
Be Unforgettable
Ultimately, It’s All About Humanity

Follow these four simple rules and you too can create videos that go viral.

You’ll find more information here on this web site, in our blog posts, and in our book, The Viral Video Manifesto.

So join the conversation.  Make comments.  Ask questions. And most of all, make videos.  Go out and start your own epidemic.

NEXT RULE: Rule One: Be True →

The Four Rules: One Two Three Four

You’ll find more details on the four rules and lots of ways to apply them in our book, The Viral Video Manifesto.