10 Steps to Create a Viral Video

Viral videos are ubiquitous to the internet and our interconnected society. When done right, they offer immediate exposure to millions of people worldwide and become a social talking point. Yet for every successful viral video, there is an internet graveyard of failed attempts that decay into obscurity. Of course, much of what makes a viral video successful does not actually become apparent until it has happened, and many viral videos are unintentional. Although there isn’t really a magical formula that guarantees success, by understanding the way viral videos work and the audience they’re produced for, you’re more likely to succeed in grabbing the attention of the masses. Here are our 10 steps to create a viral video.

What Exactly Are Viral Videos?

Before we break down our steps, let’s see what a viral video is. In sum, a viral video is a video that becomes very popular, often without any advertising or promotion to support it. They are mostly start life on web forums like Reddit and through social media. Internet users essentially drive this content without being asked or pushed to do so. Businesses attempt to infiltrate this platform with advertorial videos, which they hope will take off. Although not traditionally a viral video, they can achieve the same legacy. So how do they succeed?

  1. Know Your Audience

The internet and social media platforms are complex and diverse, but you need to understand the exact niche that you are targeting and what kind of content works best with your target audience.

  1. Piggyback Similar Videos

Nobody likes a copycat, but one easy way to enter the viral video world is to jump on a trend at exactly the right time. Keep track on what is going viral and parody, reference, respond to or in some way link with it.

  1. Feature Children or Animals

Simply put, the internet loves children and animals. If you produce a genuine video with a cuteness level that is off the charts, viewers will bite. This is hard to manufacture but get it right and you will be looking at a proven winning formula.

  1. Use Spontaneous Content

A lot of what makes viral videos popular is their spontaneity. Catching moments off guard, whether funny or informative often goes viral. The key is to make your video look natural and not highly scripted and planned.

  1. Go Public

We don’t just mean publishing your content on the internet and promoting it but engaging the public in the video itself. Taking a camera out into the real world and engaging with the public is a way to achieve step 4.

  1. High Quality; But Not Too High

You need to be professional about your video, particularly in its editing and the final output. A video with good editing rhythm, clear picture and crisp audio goes a long way. Just don’t go too pro; viewers love “low budget” content, even if it’s a planned aesthetic choice.

  1. Using Songs or Music

Many viral videos incorporate songs or music in a fun or engaging way, whether through a remake, parody or soundtrack. Cleverly using a well-loved song is a good trick for going viral, but be careful about copywrite laws!

  1. Be Different

Unlike step 2, try being different. By standing out, you increase your chances of trending on social media by offering something that nobody has seen before. This can be one of the hardest steps to get right, so start with a solid concept before filming.

  1. Hidden Camera

Hidden camera videos made the internet. If you can catch something genuinely interesting and under the radar, you may just grab the public’s attention. This can be amazing if you can get customers to recommend your business or product without it looking scripted.

  1. Create a Guide

This may sound delimiting, but some of the most viewed videos on the internet simply offer how to guides or instructions about a product or subject. Go viral by doing this differently and subverting expectations as in step 8.

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