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How To Make A Video Go Viral

Updated on December 4, 2014
JoyLevine profile image

Joy Levine is a freelance writer, photographer and videographer, while maintaining a real-world job in aviation.

How Do We Get It Out There?

You know you have a good video. But like so many other people out there, you just can't figure out exactly how to get national exposure.

So how do you accomplish this?

It's actually simpler than you think. With a little creativity and some ingenuity, you might just see your video out front. And that's what we all need in order to be marketable and profitable.

So, let's go through some steps we can take to make sure you get your video out front.


Content is the first ingredient. Make sure your content is something that people would want to see. Is it humorous? Is it informative? Does it find a better way of doing something that is already done out there?

Ask yourself, "Is my video content original?" This may sound like a simple question, but it can be more complicated than you think. Is your content fresh, original, and new? Or do you have clips of something strung together that has already been viewed or video taped by another person or already posted on YouTube?

How about your music? This is something a lot of people don't think about. Everyone gets a cute clip and wants to put it to music. Yes, music sells and it is probably what makes most videos. However, there are so many copyright issues and infringements that we could get into, but that s a whole other topic altogether.

Bottom line is, wouldn't it be nicer and much safer, if you just came up with your own original content? That may not be possible. But if it at all is, this is the way to go. This way, there are no issues whatsoever down the line, should your video go viral.

So try, if at all possible, to make sure you have original content in your video, and original music. At the very least, make sure you have permission to use whatever music or content that you don't personally own that you display in your video.

Comedy and Humor

Comedy and humor are probably what sells most.

We all like to know we can laugh at ourselves (or others). So if you have a video where you can make fun of yourself, or have humorous content of animals or the like, chances are this video is more marketable than many others out there.

We have to be serious most of the day as humans. So comedy is a relief and an escape. If you provide people with an escape, even if it is only ten seconds of freedom, they are going to remember that forever.

Again, with the emphasis on fresh, original content, provide some humor in your clips, do something unexected, and you will have a recipe for success!

Be Shocking or Controversial

The other thing people love to do the world over is debate. So if you want to catch people's attention, then say something shocking. Get the conversation started and see where it leads you.

There are a lot of controversial subjects out there. Politics, religion, morality, race, ethnic diversity, to name just a few. If you want to get something started, raise an issue, and then wait for the fallout.

Just remember though, don't start something you can't finish. Find something you are passionate about and use it. If you start something, finish it, if you are courageous enough. If you're not, choose another subject...

Like I didn't...

Visual Content

Use Visual Content

If you want your video to go viral, focus on the visual content. Don't rely on obscure images, pixelated or distorted imagery. Make sure you have quality content, in structure and format and also in composition.

Bright, vivid imagery will go a long way in making people remember your content and tell others. Who knows? Maybe you will end up on the next Today show. Whatever the case, what you want is to make your video stand out from the throngs that upload every day.

How do you do that?

Catch their attention. Bright colors, vivid imagery, original content, do something unexpected... capture the moment and then make them believe that they are right there with you. Make them look at you!

Attila The German Pointer with her Wild Friends

Pip the Wild Deer and her best friend the Dog

Amaze and Mesmerize

Find something amazing, something that no one has ever seen before (or at least has not seen captured on video) and focus on getting that out there.

We've all seen it, the averted disasters in take off or landings of aircraft. We've seen amazing acts that animals do. We've seen interactions of unusual animals like dogs and deer, cat and mice, raccoons and bears.

We've seen talent... amazing talent. We've seen people who can play piano with their feet. We've seen autistic people who can give concerts.

Where have we seen it? YouTube! Capture something amazing on video and guaranteed, people will want to see it!

Focus, focus FOCUS on content!!!

This cannot be reitorated enough. No matter what your video is, it will not be picked up if it is only mediocre, or if a million others have similar content just like you.

Find something that has not been done before, or not been seen before and focus on that. Find something interesting, new, original, jaw dropping, something that makes you go... hmmmm....

Capture a moment that has never been witnessed and then share it with the world.

That is your assignment, that is your goal. Find something absolutely amazing and then edit your content so that it is not boring and dull, and like every other video out there, ten minutes of the same thing, but highlights of the amazing video you captured and relate it to the world as if you alone were the reporter. Make them see it through your eyes.

Remember the four C's of video: Content, clarity, charm (marketability), and keep it concise.

THAT is the key to success. Short, sweet, and direct and to the point.

Get Interactive

Another useful tool in marketing is to interact with people.

Do you want to get your video to the front page of Youtube? Then list it as a video reply to another famous front page video on YouTube. You will get tons more traffic and exposure just by doing this.

Invite people to respond to your video. Start a contest. Post to Facebook, Twitter, and other media sites. Do not be afraid to use your contacts to get your video out there.

If your video has content that might appeal to special interest groups, then find those special interest groups and ask them if you can post a link on their website. This is a great way to get your content out there and kill two birds with one stone, as it were.

If your video is marketable locally (has to do maybe with the area you live), or if it is artistic in content, or anything that can appeal locally, use your local contacts. Advertise your link on radio stations locally, local magazines, local festivals, advertise on your car, etc. There are endless possibilities in regards to getting your content out there. Sometimes you just have to get creative.

Salma Hayek
Salma Hayek | Source

Current Events

Current events are something that never goes out of style. Whether you choose to focus on electronic media, computer related equipment, or gadgetry, or whether you stay abreast of current news stories and media or travel markets, the point is that whatever is in the eye of the public right now, is what they are focusing on.

Capture their attention with something they are already attuned to, and half the work is done for you.

Watch the news. Read the trending articles on the internet. Listen to the radio. Find out what the public is interested in and find a way to tap into that.

Only by staying abreast of current events will you be able to find a way to capture your audience.

Keywords and Tags are Key

Pay close attention to Keywords and Tags. This is very important since your content will only get discovered if people are typing into the search engines the same keywords and tags that describe your content. Make sure you type your phrases that describe your content into your headline, description and throughout the text body if it has more written content. Remember that platforms like YouTube, Tumblr and Twitter also make use or tags or hashtags, which can also help you show up in search results.


Don't Forget the Emotion

Don't forget the emotion. Emotion is a basic human need and if your video content captures an intense basic of all emotions, it will transcend all barriers worldwide.

People who share your video will simultaneously want to identify themselves with your content, empathize with your content, align themselves with the feeling your video shares and discuss the emotion it evokes in others.

So, be ready for the conversation.

Information Nation

People are hard wired to want to learn everything. If your content imparts knowledge, you're already a step ahead.

If your content includes new, engaging, original information, you are guaranteed that your video will be shared, liked, and otherwise catapulted across the electronic media platform. This will be especially true if your content encourages people to look at something they are already familiar with in a different way.

Our ideas and ideals are challenged every day. Every day, we find new ways to improve our lives and the lives of those around us. So, if you find a way of capturing on film something that will improve the life of someone out there, you can rest assured, people will undeniably find it... and use it.

Go Viral

We are all interested in what is currently trending on the big search engines and in the public eye. Even if we are not interested in specific articles ourselves, remember that we are all interested in and curious about what other people are interested in.

Therein lies the key. Keep abreast of hot topics, find out all you can about current trends in news and fashion, etc. What do people want to the know the answer to? What do people care about?

Where does their interest lie?

Find out what people are interested in and then locate content that you have that you can match to those interests... interesting, original and fresh content.

Maybe your video will be the next video we see go viral.

*All videos and photos used with permission


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