What does it mean when a video goes viral? Like it’s namesake aka a “virus”, a viral video is one that spreads like wildfire and reaches a vast audience in a short amount of time. You might know some older ones like the good old ‘Keyboard Cat’ video or ‘Chocolate Rain’, for instance.

Why would you want to go viral? Well, if you’re trying to reach a broad audience in a short amount of time then a viral video is the perfect tool that will give you exposure and a focused group in record time. But just how do you do it?

The first thing you want to do is to keep your video short and sweet. The attention span of people has drastically shortened over the years, true, but a short video will get the point across in less time and also has a higher chance of getting more replays as the audience becomes more and more engaged with it. Something as simple as thirty seconds to the length of a short song is the range that you want to aim for.

The subject is also going to get you far. Some of the most popular things that go viral tend to be funny videos, political videos (especially satire) and videos that are concentrated around music. For instance, two popular viral videos at present are a Bad Lip Reading of the Presidential Debate and Ten Second Songs singing the ‘Friends’ theme in nine different styles. Your video should provide something to the audience or tell a story, whether it is for comedy, satire, or something more serious.

One of the tricks of the trade is to release on a Monday or a Tuesday. Why? There’s a lot of bored workers out there who are going to be looking for something, or someone, who is upbeat and positive to counter those early week woes.

Don’t be afraid of marketing. You should post to as many social media channels as you can if you want your video to go viral, especially to sources like Reddit that have a massive user base active during all hours of the day. You can also try and partner up with another content creator that has a big following – just make sure your content is similar to theirs, or at least that the work compliments each other. A Let’s Play channel might not exactly fit with a blooper reel of cats, per se.

You should also do your best to relate it with current events or other viral videos in order to generate more of a response. Don’t expect everyone to agree, of course, but if you can create content that is informative, engaging and relevant then you should have a much easier time finding your video going viral. Be sure your title is catchy and creative, as well, and remember to include your name in the actual video. There are plenty of people out there who will be more than happy to repost your work as their own, if given the chance.

It all lies in how you approach the material and the method to getting your work seen. Sometimes, a complete fluke or random video can go viral just because it is odd or catches people by surprise. Other times, you can follow the viral video formula and see massive success. Following the tips above will definitely point you in the right direction. Just remember: make your video as good as it can be, follow the steps listed above and be prepared to follow-up with more content once your original goes viral.

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