How to Create a Viral Video Sensation

Viral video marketing is perhaps the easiest and most time efficient way to bring hoards of traffic to your business, website, product or service. The internet has allowed the average person to reach out to the world with minimal effort using this marketing technique. It’s the process in which a video is so entertaining that viewers begin sharing it with their friends, who share with their friends and so on. In this post I would like to cover a few examples of viral videos, why they became viral and how you yourself can initiate a storm of traffic with your own viral video.

Firstly, you can never be certain that a video will be popular enough to spread like wild fire. However, you can definitely influence the chances that it will be. I guarantee that at some point you will have been involved in viral marketing without even knowing that you’re promoting somebody else’s business.

A brief look at some well known examples

Charlie Bit my Finger

This video contains footage of a baby biting his siblings finger, yes, that’s it. How many views did this video get you ask? Currently the views are just below 500 million! It’s important to know that videos like this were never intended to go viral, in fact the father who filmed and uploaded this clip never dreamed he would spark such a hit. With it’s success Charlie bit my finger now promotes a series of products including t-shirts and apps direct from the YouTube page itself.

The Annoying Orange

The annoying orange was created in 2009 and since then has gained an impressive 123 million views sparking a series that consistently reaches 30 million+ views per video. This is personally one of my favorite viral videos because it shows incredible innovation from the creator. The ability to create different sketches relating to pretty much anything you can think of just gives the marketers an endless supply of possible ideas. The annoying orange quickly began selling merchandise following it’s huge success and who can blame them?

David After Dentist

This video features David, a 7 year old boy returning from the dentist still feeling the effects of the drugs given to him. The man recording (David’s father) was doing so to ease his fear of doctors appointments, teaching his son that anticipation is worse than the event itself (probably not the best example). Little did he know that he would soon be the founder of a YouTube sensation. David after dentist now sells merchandise and promotes it’s very own website dedicated to hosting similar videos. I would like to add that the annoying orange did a parody of this which became very popular also.

Dramatic Chipmunk

Now we come to the dramatic chipmunk, the title says it all. There are many different viral animal videos but this one is particularly special because it’s only 5 seconds in length, possibly the shortest viral video with a respectable 36 million views. The clip was taken from an existing video found here. It was simply cut out with some dramatic backing music and viola, a viral YouTube sensation.

Evolution of Dance

Judson Laipply who loves to dance recorded himself at a gig one evening and it was perhaps the best thing he could have done. The video has gained 206 million views and has initiated a flood of variety dance videos including several sequels from Judson himself. He now promotes his website via his YouTube page where he even sells his very own book titled “might as well dance”. He does accept bookings to perform his evolution of dance act, although I have a feeling it won’t be cheap.


So what can we learn about existing viral videos that we can implement ourselves?
Well, let’s be brutally honest, most viral videos were never intended to be that way and you might be inclined to think that you just have to be in the right place at the right time to catch something spectacular. This is partly true but I can say with certainty there are ways to create an online sensation with that intention in mind and that is by following as many of these steps as possible.

Ingredient 1 – Keep it short

As we have already seen time and time again you’re much more likely to succeed if your video is short, it is recommended that you keep it between 10-30 seconds. If your video drags on for too long you will lose peoples interest very fast.

Ingredient 2 – Make It Changeable

If people can easily remix it, manipulate it and have fun with it then you’re onto a winner. This is not always as important but this aspect will leave room for other opportunities to expand.

Ingredient 3 – Don’t Make an Advertisement

Nobody likes ads and nor will they share them, your video should be intended as a way of advertising but this does not mean the video itself. Your media is what will bring people to your page and your page is where you can provide links and further information to whatever product or products you may be selling.

Ingredient 4 – Target an Emotion

Be sure to know what reaction you are aiming for, whether it be laughter, curiosity, fear, compassion or even shock. Once you know this, really try to amplify that reaction as much as possible. Make the viewer want to share that emotion and essentially share your video.

Ingredient 5 – Choose Wisely

Proven video subjects include the following:

Babies and Young Children (pulling faces, being stupid)
Animals (displaying human emotions, being stupid)
People Getting Hurt (sports, accidents, stunts)
Pranks (friends pranking friends, public pranks)
Parodies/Spoofs (acting out popular movies/show etc.)

Ingredient 6 – Get on the Most Viewed Page

YouTube videos on the daily most viewed page get enormous amounts of traffic. To appear on the daily most viewed list you must have had a significant amount of interest in your video. This is the hard part because you need to spread your video high and low using social media, blogs, forums and you should even ask friends to do the same for you to get as much exposure as you absolutely can. You should not be afraid to go for some paid advertising at this stage. If the video is good enough it will begin to take off into a sharing frenzy.

Ingredient 7 – Title Optimization

Include terms like “leaked” and “exclusive” in your titles to attract attention. Once you appear on the daily most viewed page you should change your title to something more intriguing, try make it really catchy and possibly even misleading to an extent. Give anybody a reason to want to click on your video, remember, humans are curious by nature.

Ingredient 8 – Provoke Conversation

A great tip is to create several YouTube accounts and start commenting on your video, get a conversation going. This will invite users to have their opinion and will essentially give your video that interactive element that it lacks.

Ingredient 9 – Thumbnails

Thumbnails are what you see in the listings before you click the video. YouTube will generate a thumbnail for you using the exact mid-point of your video. You should edit your video to include the image that will most appeal, I even suggest throwing in something completely unrelated if it will make people click on it.

Ingredient 10 – Optimize Tags

Don’t use obvious tags, if you’re making a video with a laughing baby try to avoid tags like baby, giggling, laughing. Instead, use synonyms like little, babyish, cackle and snigger. If you’re having trouble with that you can always use Google for example, “other words for laughing”.

Ingredient 11 – Track Your Growth

Monitor your videos progress by checking out analytics to see where you’re getting the most clicks and expand on that. Keep testing new methods and develop the ones that are working for you, this is all part of viral video marketing.

That’s it!

My 11 ingredients for making a viral video all in bite-size form. Just remember it’s not easy to succeed, Just continue to persist with new ideas and you will find something that works.After all, there is still plenty of innovate content appearing on the internet after more than 20 years of it’s birth.

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