Viral videos are all around. They pop up out of the blue and the person making it would never have thought how popular it would be. I have seen many viral videos while browsing the likes of YouTube and Vimeo, including babbling babies, crazy cats and stupendous stunts. But how can you make your video go viral? Is it really possible to do?

Popcorn and Movies
Credit: Idea go/

Do what the movies do to get your video out there.

You Need to Market Your Video

Marketing is essential if you want your video to go viral. Don’t listen to those who say they sit back and let the magic happen; they don’t at all. They will get out there and share their video and then encourage others to share it with their friends. Some of this marketing starts well before the video is even complete.

Think of it like a TV show or movie—I will use the new Batman/Superman film as an example. The movie is only in its starting stages and is already big news. People all around the world now know who will be playing both the main characters and have opinions about how well/bad they will do. People know about the producers, the writers and when the release date is currently set to be (sometime in 2015!).

That’s two years away and there is already information about it. This is what you need to be like with your videos if you want them to go viral.

Another example is the Hillywood Show. I started watching their parodies of Twilight back in 2008. Since then, they’ve created many other parodies, including Harry Potter and Pirates of the Caribbean. Before the sisters even start working on a video, they will release information about it. They let their fans know about the different stages, offer sneak views into certain parts of their lives and share their experiences on set. All this leads to a big shout-out when the video is released. Thousands of people wait to watch their parody videos and then excitedly wait for the next one. The videos go viral in a matter of days.

Yes, your marketing might not work out but isn’t it better to try and fail then not bother at all? If you are constantly afraid of failing, you won’t see the success that you’re dreaming of having.

The Hillywood Show does Vampire Diaries

Keep Sharing on Social Media Websites

The best thing you can do is use social media sites for sharing. The more you share, the more chance you have of the video being picked up by the right people. Don’t just rely on Facebook and Twitter. You need to utilise all the different social media sites, including Reddit, Tumblr and StumbleUpon. You may be surprised by how well they help you get a viral video.

Encourage bloggers to write about your video too. Maybe you could give them your story about it or share an insight. They’re not going to write about it if it isn’t useful or fun though and don’t hassle them! Look out for bloggers and writers who cover similar topics to yours or have shared videos in the past. You may find people asking for permission to use it in their pieces after spotting it on various social media sites.

As it is shared more and your video gets more views, it will appear on the first page of YouTube. This instantly helps to improve its visibility and it will go viral. A little patience and you will get there.

The Viral Video Manifesto

The Viral Video Manifesto: Why Everything You Know is Wrong and How to Do What Really Works
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(price as of Oct 13, 2015)
Do you need to know all the steps to get your video viral? The Viral Video Manifesto takes you through all the things not to do and the things you need to do to stand a chance.

Watch Out for Major News Stories

Avoid releasing your video on a major news story day. Keep an eye on things that are happening to try and time it right. You can’t always guarantee that something won’t happen but you can do something about possible stories hitting. If you find something has broken in the news just before posting, hold off posting your video and let the news die down. People will be more interested in the reports.

Focus on posting during the week days, preferably Monday or Tuesday. The weekends may sound like a good time but they’re slow for videos. More people spend time with their loved ones and friends. They don’t sit in the house to watch out for new videos. During the week, people are at work and looking for ways to pass the time.

Cameraman at the Ready
Credit: imagerymajestic/

You have the skill, now it's time to get the content to make your video go viral.

Have Great Content and Tell a Story

Ok, so now you know about marketing and timing, you need to make sure your video has great content. You can’t just post a video of anything and expect it to go viral. Some of the best viral videos include stupid pranks, funny animals and babies and sports mistakes. Take a look at the list of viral videos and get an idea of the things that you could do.

If you want to link it into your business, that’s fine, but it still needs to be good content. Getting your friends to share is sometimes easy—you just ask them to do you a favour—but you want their friends to share too. This isn’t going to happen if your video is a snooze-fest.

Like good content, your video needs to tell a story. You need to connect with your audience and give them a reason to share with their friends. There is one video called Girl Learns to Dance in a Year. It shows how she went from not being able to dance at all to being pretty good—not as good as the pros but still decent.

That journey helps others know that it is possible to learn how to dance. It is possible to go from being wooden to having moves. This helps people connect to it more and improves the chance of it being shared with others.

Making a video go viral involves a lot of factors. You will need to tell a story and have great content but it doesn’t stop there. Make sure you get out there and market it. Don’t be afraid to try. If you don’t market then people won’t know it exists and you won’t get the views that you want to see.

Get Yourself Ahead in the Marketing Game

The New Rules of Marketing & PR: How to Use Social Media, Online Video, Mobile Applications, Blogs, News Releases, and Viral Marketing to Reach Buyers Directly
Amazon Price: $24.00 $9.22 Buy Now
(price as of Oct 13, 2015)
It isn't just about video marketing; you need to use all types of marketing. The New Rules of Marketing & PR takes you through everything you need to do to reach out and get yourself noticed.