How to Make a Viral Video: Steps to Online Popularity
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How to Make a Viral Video: Make Content That Spreads Like Wildfire

How to Make a Viral Video: Steps to Online Popularity

Have you ever wondered how to make a viral video? Don’t worry, you’re not the only one! Going viral is now considered the ultimate form of success on the internet. If you can make your content spread like wildfire, you’ve pretty much hit it big. Previously unknown brands or publishers can have their 15 minutes of fame if their content is engaging enough.

However, it is not that easy to create a viral video although some people do make it seem like it’s a piece of cake. But marketers know that this is a difficult feat to achieve. That’s why most of them just set out to make videos that will strike a chord with their target audience — whether or not they end up getting a lot of views is often not important. Still, it would be nice to see your video shared across various social media platforms and websites.

Is there some way you can make this happen? Yes, there is! Many content creators and small business owners can confirm this. You can learn a lot by watching their viral videos!

While you’re looking at that content, we’ve decided to list six principles you should follow to produce your own video that can become the talk of the town.

But before we delve deeper into them, let’s go over some basics.

What Is a Viral Video?

“Viral video” is one of the hottest buzzwords in the industry. It became especially popular with the increase in social media usage. But what does it mean exactly?

A viral video is a video that becomes popular because it gets a lot of shares on the internet. This video is typically short, engaging, and informative. Sometimes it can be serious and deeply emotional. However, it usually features entertaining and humorous content.

What’s more, viral videos gain traction at a rapid rate with the help of social media. That’s why they reach people who haven’t seen your content before. If they get really popular, many larger publications tend to repost them and at that point they blow up even more.

Their success is really beneficial. So, it’s no surprise that many marketers and publishers wonder how to make a viral video. If you want your video to get a million views, you should follow certain principles. Of course, there is no perfect formula that guarantees viral success, but you can still try achieving it.

Stick around to discover how to make a viral video!

Before that, we can’t help but ask what makes a video go viral. Let’s see!

What Makes a Video Viral

According to one study, 300 hours of video are uploaded to YouTube every minute. With such a huge amount of content available, it’s not easy to get viewers to watch your video. That’s why many marketers and publishers want to know what makes a video viral. Why does some content catch fire, while others barely manage to gain traction?

Well, there are three things that can get you thousands (or millions) of social shares:

  • Novelty
  • Curiosity
  • Emotions

The stronger the emotions the content elicits, the more likely viewers are to share it with their family and friends. And it is through this act of sharing that a video gets popular.

Let’s take a look at the above three elements so you know how to make your video go viral.


Viewers can’t wait to watch a piece of content that introduces something new and encourages them to dig deeper. Indeed, novelty plays an important role on the internet. While spending time online, customers mostly see similar content which stops being interesting after a while. How many times can you watch the same choreography done by different people until you decide you’ve had enough? Exactly!

So, if you’re wondering how to make a video go viral, the answer is: By bringing something new to the table. Internet users will recognize your creativity and express their gratitude by watching and sharing your video.

Now, novelty isn’t the only element that you need to pay attention to. There’s also another element that explains why some videos go viral.


Curiosity is perhaps one of the most powerful drivers behind viewers’ decisions regarding what to watch. People tend to read, play, and share content whenever they feel that they might expand their knowledge about a particular topic. As a result, content creators and publishers want to produce content that is useful, relevant, and actionable.

If your video fills the gap in customers’ knowledge, they will feel motivated to share it so that other people can learn something new as well.

Let’s continue with our article on how to make a viral video!


Your video has to trigger emotions in people so that they feel compelled to help in its viral spreading. Indeed, emotions are the number one factor that contributes to a video spreading like wildfire on the internet. You need to ensure you stir up a feeling in the hearts of your viewers.

According to one study, here are the top ten emotions that are most likely to become viral: 

  • Amusement
  • Interest
  • Surprise
  • Happiness
  • Delight
  • Pleasure
  • Joy
  • Hope
  • Affection
  • Excitement

As you’ll soon see, we also mention that you should elicit emotions in our guide to how to make a viral video. 

Now that we know what a viral video is and what makes it spread like wildfire, let’s discover more about it.

Qualification for a Viral Video

When is a video considered viral? It’s not easy to give a short answer to this question because there are many factors to consider. The most important factors are:

  • The number of views and shares
  • How many unique users have seen the content
  • The lifetime of the video
  • How fast the content is consumed

Are you wondering how many views makes a video viral? Well, some video data analysts say that 100,000 views is enough to qualify a video as being viral. This is because half of YouTube videos get fewer than 500 views. However, in all honesty, experts can’t really agree on the number.

Most definitions state that a viral video is one that spreads quickly and widely. For instance, if your blog post gets seen 350,000 times by internet users in a span of six years, it’s not viral. On the other hand, if you post a video that reaches 50,000 people in a few hours, then you have viral content. So, in this case, the factor that plays a role is the rate at which the content is consumed.

See? You need to take a lot of factors into consideration! This is what makes people ask, “What is considered a viral video?” The bottom line is that the benchmark for going viral is relative. However, the more times a video is shared, the more discussion it creates online and in the real world.

Now, we’re going to give you a few pieces of advice that can make your content seen by a lot of people. If it reaches a wide audience, you can always tell us what happens if a video goes viral! We’d love to hear the story!

Let’s see our guide to how to make a viral video!

How to Make a Viral Video

Video is the ultimate content type. As many as 86% of businesses use it as a marketing tool. Customers love to see it as well. In fact, people watch an average of 18 hours of online video content per week. This medium is engaging and consumers would rather see a branded video than read a blog post. One of the reasons for this is that videos can convey complex information in a more digestible way.

As our attention spans are decreasing, video content marketing is now a go-to method for promotion. Indeed, this content seems to be all over the internet, especially on social media. It’s almost impossible to scroll down your feeds without seeing a dance video, courtesy of TikTok, or explainers that answer customers’ burning questions.

Given the amount of content online, your brand needs to find a way to stand out. The best way is to discover how to make a viral video. As we previously said, this won’t be easy. However, if you follow the below steps, there is a chance your video will explode.

Think Outside the Box

According to Cisco, video will account for 82% of all internet traffic by 2022. This is a large percentage that proves video’s popularity won’t decline anytime soon. So, it’s time that you develop a video marketing strategy that will get the attention of your consumers.

Here’s our first advice on how to make a viral video: Think outside the box! As we mentioned in the article, video is widely used across different industries. Over the years, brands have realized that this content type is the most effective way to engage their target audience and promote their products or services. So, to get noticed, you have to create something that hasn’t been seen before.

Furthermore, you only have a few seconds to capture and maintain the attention of internet users. You need to hook them immediately if you want them to reach the end of your video. Think about which message you want to convey. Then, find the most creative way to present that information to your audience.

Be unique and you’ll be one step closer to creating a viral video!

Here are our other tips if you want to know how to get a video to go viral!

Keep Up With Current Trends

This point goes well with the last one and it can help you in the video production process. While coming up with ideas for your next video, it might be useful to research current trends on the internet. Check out what viewers are talking about. See whether there’s a challenge your brand can participate in, and start making your video! Perhaps you’ll learn how to make a viral video during this process.

Just to give you some ideas, we’ll mention a person that took the internet by storm in January. Bernie Sanders became the star of a meme in a matter of days because of the outfit (and mittens!) he wore at the inauguration of Joe Biden. The hashtag #BernieSits started trending around the world, and brands realized they had an opportunity to appeal to their consumers. That’s why many of them created their own versions of the meme.

This move helped them get noticed online and customers felt that they were just like them. Here’s one brand that published a post that addressed the trending topic:

In this case, brands made memes to catch their customers’ attention. However, you can also follow video trends and see which one your business can engage in. If you nail it, your customers will share the video quickly!

Don’t worry, if you still need some tips on how to make a viral video, we’ve got you covered!

Keep It Short

Welcome to the digital age where our attention spans are shorter than ever before! What does this mean for publishers and content creators? It means that rarely anyone wants to watch a ten-minute video nowadays. Customers are always on the go, and they crave content they can consume while commuting to work. So, if you want to make a great video, try to keep it as short as you can.

Additionally, content that goes viral is usually short, ranging from a few seconds to a couple of minutes. As videos usually go viral on social media, short-form content is the best solution. While checking their social media feeds, customers are met by a wide range of videos. Your content needs to break through the noise and catch their attention. If it’s short and effective, it will surely do that.

So, for all those asking how to make a viral video, the answer is: Think about your audience. The majority of them would rather sit through a video that is 15 seconds long and has a point than watch ten minutes of content that doesn’t tell them anything.

Here’s an example of a short video that went viral to help you:

Evoke Emotions

In most cases, content goes viral because it elicits emotions. Customers will share videos with their family and friends because they have a reaction to it. Making people feel humor, positivity, compassion, or other happy feelings is a sure-fire way of gaining traction.

Sometimes, thought, a viral video evokes negative emotions. For instance, that widely criticized Kendall Jenner ad for Pepsi. The video faced backlash for its content, but it was still seen by millions of people around the world. Obviously, you should strive to ensure your video sparks positive emotions, especially if you want your brand to come across as relatable.

Tell Stories

Want to know how to make a viral video? Tell compelling stories!

The art of storytelling is as old as the world itself. Today, with the help of technology, we can tell complex stories in just a few minutes. A branded video is perhaps one of the best and most effective ways to tell your story and promote your products or services to your customers. An eye-catching video forces your customers’ attention on your company and increases brand awareness.

So, create a video that tells stories that resonate. You can feature your employees, customers, partners, or talk about how and why you decided to open your business. Regardless of what you decide to go with, your clients will love videos promoting the company.

Check out this video that tells the story of Coca-Cola:

Let’s check out our last advice on how to make a viral video.

Share It on Social Media

After creating your content, you should start thinking about where you can share it. Of course, you can post it on your company’s website where it will be seen by your usual visitors. However, for a video to go viral, it needs a little bit of help from social media platforms. That’s why we suggest you share the video across different networks.

Many existing viral videos owe everything to Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter. These networks number more than a billion users together, so there is a high chance your video will explode on them… just as long it is engaging.

Leverage the power of social media and work on making a viral video!

Going Viral Across Different Platforms

You now have some understanding of how to create a viral video campaign. Remember to follow these steps if you want your content to reach as many people as possible. Of course, as we said, there is no perfect formula that can promise you success on the internet. However, if you put effort into what you do and create something unique, customers will stop to see what you have to offer.

Once you create your content, you will want to share it across different platforms. Most publishers and content creators decide to post videos on YouTube, Facebook, or TikTok. So, is there some advice on how to make videos go viral on these platforms? Let’s see!

How to Make a YouTube Video Go Viral

With more than 2 billion users, YouTube is one of the most influential social media platforms of all time. Many aspiring content creators have found success on this network, becoming influencers after their videos got millions of views. Seeing how they exploded, it’s normal to wonder how to make a YouTube video viral.

We suggest that you follow the principles we laid out above, but also take the below into consideration when creating a YouTube video:

  • Do a keyword research: Keyword research is an important part of every marketer’s life. By conducting this research, you will know what kind of content to create and what your audience wants to see. Check out which keywords are trending on YouTube relating to your industry and brand. After discovering what’s popular, see if your brand can jump in and join the trend.
  • Come up with an effective title: This point goes well with the previous one. To catch the attention of your viewers, you need an effective title and one they can find by searching YouTube. This means that it’s crucial that you add keywords to your title. Then, try to be descriptive but concise. The end result should be a title that makes people want to click to see more.
  • Write an engaging video description: When posting a video on YouTube, you shouldn’t forget about the description box. It’s important for your video’s SEO potential. Write at least 200-300 words that include keywords and phrases that are connected with your industry. Make sure that this description includes sentences that give insight into the content of the video.
  • Optimize your video for smartphones:  According to YouTube, over 70% of the platform’s watch time comes from smartphones. So, you can’t afford to forget about your customers who access the network from their mobile devices. While YouTube content is already optimized for mobile, you should still research how you can improve the mobile experience. Keep an eye on your stats which will tell you how you can enhance your content for mobile viewing.

And that’s our guide to how to make your YouTube video go viral!

How to Make a Video Go Viral on TikTok

TikTok has exploded over the years, with 800 million internet users active on the app. It’s a go-to platform for all of those who want to share or watch viral video content. In recent years, many brands joined the app, capitalizing on its growing audience and their love of videos. If you haven’t, you should consider making an account on TikTok as well.

With that in mind, the question is how to make your video go viral on TikTok. Apart from the steps we mentioned in our guide, here’s what you should remember as well:

  • Follow the trends: TikTok is filled with trends, and it seems we get a new one every day. From dance routines to engaging phrases, anything can go viral on TikTok. If you want to get noticed on the app, your brand should do a bit of research to see which trend is taking TikTok by storm. Determine whether or not your brand can join in!
  • Use hashtags: The discover page on TikTok reveals the trending hashtags. So, you should include hashtags in your description to ensure more people view your content. We suggest that you add a combination of broad and niche hashtags for better reach.
  • Post often: Marketers are often wary of posting too much on social media. But, in TikTok’s case, you can post as much as you want to increase engagement! We recommend that you post at least once a day to capture the attention of a diverse group of consumers.

Okay, we now know how to make a TikTok video viral, which means that it’s time to move on to Facebook!

How to Make a Video Go Viral on Facebook

Today, social media is a staple for any brand and marketer. Among various social media platforms, we can safely say that Facebook is the behemoth. The network has 2.6 billion monthly active users who love to watch, consume, and share content on it. For this reason, we’re here to see how to make a video on Facebook go viral.

Take a look at our tips:

  • Don’t post a link to your video: If one thing dominates this app, it is definitely the Facebook native video. Although it might be tempting to just post a link to your video on your business account, you shouldn’t do this. Links aren’t shareable material. People are more likely to share a native post than a link on Facebook. So, upload a native video on Facebook!
  • Create an ad campaign for your video: Facebook enables marketers and publishers to boost their posts to get more reach. We suggest that you launch an ad campaign for your video because this will ensure it’s seen by a larger audience. Organic reach is sometimes enough, but if you want to go viral, paid is the way!
  • Don’t forget about sound: Facebook users will come across your video on their feeds, but you should keep in mind that that video will play without sound. The app doesn’t want to disrupt user experience, so autoplaying with sound off is a must. This is why your video should include captions. Of course, you can only highlight the most important parts of the video.