What Makes Something Go Viral?

eHow Tech Blog

Wouldn’t it be nice if you knew how to make your videos spread like wildfire? How to effortlessly create that special “OMG, you have to see this!” factor?  Yes, you (and everyone else) would love to have that magic formula, but a viral video is hard to predict and even harder to create.  Hindsight is 20/20 however, and looking at some of the big viral video hits of the past can produce some helpful takeaways.  Let’s look at some of the tips you should consider when creating a (hopefully) viral video.

Awwww! If babies are cute and laughing babies are cuter, then babies that bite their brother’s finger are hilarious. Two of the biggest YouTube videos involving babies – Baby Laughing Hysterically at Ripping Paper and Charlie Bit My Finger – don’t have fancy sets or ornate lighting, but do have the big “awww” that makes people want to watch them over and over again.

Make ‘em laugh. It’s doubtful that comedian Judson Laipply knew that his Evolution of Dance sketch would garner more than a hundred million page views. Not only is his dancing hilarious and spot-on, but there’s something about the video that every viewer can relate to in some way (maybe you’ve got a kooky uncle who loves to do the twist at parties… maybe you are that kooky uncle). Humor is always works for getting those views.

It’s weird… and I like it. Who would think that an orange with human teeth that enjoys watching his fellow pantry-mates get sliced would rank as one of the top viral videos series of all time? Annoying Orange is just one of those mega hits that few could have predicted— it’s just plain weird, and that’s what people love about it. 112M page views and counting. Go figure.

The “Wow” Factor. Whether inspirational, moving or simply compelling, there are certain videos that stop you in your tracks. No doubt that Susan Boyle’s audition on Britain’s Got Talent inspired millions. And the shocking genocide-awareness video Kony 2012, made people want to stand up and take action. And many TED videos go viral due to their novel ideas and brief, innovative presentations.  If something is powerful enough, people will want to see it.

Often there’s no rhyme or reason why something’s a hit (hey, that’s show business), but incorporating any or all of these winning attributes into the creation of your content may be your best bet for being the next big thing.

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