There’s never a guarantee that a video you make is going to go viral, but it can never hurt to try. April Storey, a 24-year-old California-based health coach, frequently posted videos to her social media accounts showcasing her workouts, and they’d usually rack up a few hundred views on a good day. Until she posted this one, a workout that incorporated wine.
Over the course of the next few weeks, Storey’s video was shared by actor George Takei and on a page called Once Upon a Wine, which gave her more than 30 million views, filled up her inbox and left her phone ringing with calls from morning TV shows and national magazines.
“It was about a month after I posted it that I had friends and family seeing me all over, and at that point it had a million views, which I thought was crazy,” she says. “But every hour I checked on it, it would go up another million views.”
Here she shares her tips and tricks for shooting, posting and managing a viral video.
KEEP THE BASICS IN CHECK
All videos go back to the basics: A good camera, great lighting, a steady hand and something worth sharing. Storey used her iPhone 6 to shoot the video, but set it up on a tripod to make sure it’d be a balanced shot. “Make it a clear image because videos that are blurry aren’t going to go viral,” she says. “Think about if you’re a viewer: would it catch your eye or would you want to share it with other people?” She also says it’s also important to edit the video so it’s not too long. “People can easily lose interest, so I put it together so people can see all the moves to do but it doesn’t take 10 minutes to watch,” she says.
CONSISTENCY IS KEY
Storey was a regular with her posting before her video went viral, and she attributes this frequency to her video’s success. “Just be sharing consistently, every single day,” she says. “I put this out there not expecting it to go viral. I didn’t have to do that much work for it to go viral because I was always posting and putting myself out there.” In a space saturated with fitness and health videos, sharing a one off won’t get you any traction.
At first, a few news outlets were sharing Storey’s video without crediting her, so she suggests making sure there’s a credit actually in the video somewhere. The other way to guarantee credit is to be sure to post the video on YouTube. “I put it up as an afterthought and by that time, other sites had already put up the video, but if it’s on YouTube, you can get the credit for it,” she says. Plus, YouTube videos are easy to share on all social media sites and are easily embeddable for media outlets.
CAPITALIZE ON THE MOMENT
Once you’ve credited your video, make sure there’s a simple way for people to contact you. Whether that’s through a personal website, putting an email in your Instagram bio or making it easy for people to message you on Facebook, it should be very stress-free to find and take action. “Once the video seems like it could go viral, be prepared,” Storey says. “When I started getting contacted, I needed to devote a few days just to do interviews, and as soon as you get that, you have to really capitalize on that 15 minutes of fame.”