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5 Tips For Creating A Viral Video

Posted on by blog guest

Viral videos have led to increased business sales, web traffic, recording contracts, script deals, and general notoriety.  True, gaining millions of views can be a happy accident.  But more and more often they come by careful consideration.  A few key elements can help you craft a clip that will attract seven figure hits.  Read on and have fun!


1. Make ‘Em Laugh

picture of laughing man
This seems like a no brainer.  But laughs are what kept “America’s Funniest Home Videos” on air for years.  Audiences want to laugh.  But now they turn to the Internet.  Sites like YouTube and Vimeo continue to give people what they crave: funny stuff.


Pranks, slip-ups, kids talking like adults, animals being animals–all situations that beg for views.  But if you really want to make a sensation, make it authentic and make people laugh.

2. Put A Cat In It!

picture of a laughing catAfter a quick YouTube or Vimeo search for “cats,” you’ll see that they have carved out a hefty little corner of the viral video world.  What is it about these little fur balls that have the masses clicking away?  Well, if they’re not kittens killing audiences with cuteness, they’re making us laugh with their folly, sass, and indifference to the world.  People have long been obsessed with their pets, subjecting others to holiday greeting cards and long explanations of their latest adventures at dinner parties.  Now pet owners can share their obsessions worldwide.  With the ubiquity of smartphone video technology, let’s face it–cat videos are here to stay.



3. The Element Of Surprise

Everyone loves a surprise.  YouTube and Vimeo are flooded with pages and pages of unexpected marriage proposals, family reunions, weddings, birthday parties, etc.  The more well planned a surprise the better the chances that a video will grab millions of views.  Whether you catch a raw real time moment or orchestrate a surprise scene with actors, a good surprise goes a long way.

4. Parody Away

One Internet sensation births another.  After “Shi**Girls Say” went viral an onslaught of spinoff videos popped up with titles like, “Sh** Actors Say,” “Sh** Yoga Teachers Say,” and “Sh** Hipsters Say.”  It seemed everyone was jumping in on the sh**-people-say action with a handful of clever videos going viral themselves.  But the parody market is not limited to homemade videos.  Spoofs of news clips, celebrity slip-ups, and political events are ripe with possibility.

5. What Do You Know?

“How to” videos are quickly amassing hits.  What do you know how to do that is specialized, unique, or awesome?  The sky is the limit for creating a great how-to video.  Well made instructional videos on cooking, beauty, sports, ecommerce solutions, computer applications and academics have not only secured subscribers for YouTube channels, but have also help launch careers.  For example, Khan Academy began as a few YouTube videos created by Sal Khan to help his young family members with their math homework.  Their YouTube channel now has over 200,000,000 subscribers and has grown into an organization with a mission to change the way children learn around the world.

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Rachel Woods is a social media manager from Los Angeles, CA who follows ecommerce industry trends.

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