It used to be that a funny/outrageous/weird television commercial was something worth discussing later. One problem with that method was that  you might not remember the brand name they were trying to lodge in your brain with that ad. It took me months to realize the amusing lizard ads were for Geico. Nowadays, something funny/outrageous/weird can spread like wildfire over the internet within mere moments via facebook, twitter, email, etc… so if you can make a video go viral, you have struck internet “gold”.

But how?   Can you even orchestrate this feat or do you just luck into something like that? Here are a few tips to bringing about the kind of attention you’re wanting with your online videos.

First Two Rules of Thumb

Evoke Emotion & Keep it Short

Overall, people need to feel something when they watch the video, something fundamental that makes them laugh, cry, worry, or be fearful And the video needs to be only about 3 minutes long. People just don’t have time for more.

 The Right Type

You have to create the right kind of video.  A business “how-to” video is informative, educational and not likely to go viral because it’s not really intended to. To go viral with a video, yours has to fall into one of a few categories:


Anything truly funny goes viral because a person feels that all of their friends will also find it hilarious, amazing, or whatever and they will spread it to their friends, and so on, and so on,….


Likewise, something strange or unusual will go viral for the same reasons. You wouldn’t necessarily want this one for your business marketing strategy but who knows? Marketing Outrageously’s Jon Spoelstra has sent rubber chickens to people in the mail to get their attention with great results, so what’s the video version going to be?

Big  Budget-Type

Larger Companies have been able to get their videos to go viral because they have a bigger budget from which they can produce special effects to amaze and delight internet audiences, like those amazing rollerskating babies….


Cute often works like the talking dog who was dismayed by his owner’s bacon treats being fed to the cat, or just kittens and babies! People love ‘em!


Steve Jobs speaking at graduation, an interview with a hero or people who have risen above a tragedy to help others – the kind of video that truly touches the heart and inspires will spread rapidly.

 Post it Correctly or DIE!

Possibly more important than the video itself (because no one is going to open it if this part isn’t a grabber), are your thumbnail and title. They have to be captivating, intriguing so that your audience will take a peak. Then the video does the rest.

 Distribute it Well

  1. First send it out to your own network.
  2. Share it with your Influencers. There are bloggers with huge audiences and sites with millions of visitors and you need to get your video in front of as many of them as possible. 

Now if you’ve followed all the steps and with a little luck, you can achieve viral fame and fortune! Good Luck!


Source Material:

Make Your Videos More Likely to Go Viral by Steve Strauss from Business on Main