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11 Best Ways to Make a Video go Viral

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Our client Webtel.mobi wants you to help them go viral with a new video competition on Zooppa. The videos from our last viral competition with Webtel.mobi have received almost one million views online and we want to see if we can beat that number with the new competition.


To help you become the next viral sensation, the Zooppa team has put together some tips on how you can set up your video for viral success. Below is a list of common characteristics in the viral videos we’ve been talking about most at the office:

1. Video length:

Most viral videos are short (between 30 seconds and 2 minutes).

2. Remixability:

If people want to riff off of your video to the point that it becomes an internet-wide in-joke, then you’ve pretty much made it. We love this ‘Somali Pirate/I’m on a Boat Mashup’. It is a great example of someone remixing an already viral video with a relevant current event. In bad taste? Maybe a little. Entertaining? Yes.

3. Is It Real or Fake (or what I like to call ‘The What!? Factor’):

How about Kobe Bryant jumping over a speeding Aston Martin?

4. Celebrities Getting Mad or Surprised:

Kanye West at the MTV Video Music Awards anyone? ‘Imma let you finish’ has become a world-wide in-joke with entire websites devoted to remixes and a constant barrage of entertaining viral content. It will be a while before we forget the Christian Bale and Alec Baldwin rants as well.

5. Animals Taking on Human Traits:

Who can resist lions with object permanence that give hugs to their long lost human ‘parents’? I would argue that the ‘Christian the Lion’ video also falls under ‘What!? Factor,’ ‘Incredibly Cute Things,’ and ‘Inspiring Moments’ categories.

6. Incredibly Cute Things:

I’m sure most of you have seen the ‘Evian Roller Skating Babies’ video. Its cute. Really. Cute. and funny. Plus, the CGI is pretty impressive.

7. An Ending You Can’t Believe:

This is a slightly different incarnation of ‘The What!? Factor’ listed above. ‘Drunk Ewoks on the Today Show’ was a brilliant move and it is on its way up the viral charts. I find it slightly painful to watch this one, but it is crazy enough to make you think…‘Did I really just see this?’ and click Play again.

8. Inspiring Moments:

Many of Obama’s speeches went viral. On a less serious or political note, scores of millions were moved by Susan Boyle’s performance on Britain’s Got Talent.

9. Things Relevant to Who We Are:

I would place ‘David After the Dentist’ in this category. Everyone hates going to the dentist, especially when it involves surgery. Poor little David didn’t quite know what to expect. We can all relate to his plight. While we laugh our faces off at his drug induced ontological crisis. But, this type of viral phenomenon can occur amongst smaller subcultures or demographics—like sports videos going viral on campuses or tips about raising kids going viral on the Mommy Blogger scene.

10. Videos Relevant to Pop Culture Trends or Current Events:

If something is already on the public radar, then people are much more apt to watch and share new ideas on the same topic. ‘Auto-Tune the News’ is hilarious, yes, but it had a little help going viral because it had a built-in audience with all of the cultural hype surrounding T-Pain and the release of his iPhone app.

11. Recommended Lists:

A major key to success is to get enough initial views to be included on Recommended Lists on the home page of Youtube or other social media sites and search engines. You may have the most amazing video in the world, but if you don’t land a spot on the Most Viewed or Recommended lists, then your video could remain a proverbial needle in the giant haystack that is online content.

If you want to learn more about the anatomy of viral, here are some great resources:



Smart Planet article on how to create viral content
Clickz.com article on what makes a video viral
Advertising Age article on successful viral ad campaigns
TechCrunch article about viral video strategy
Web Ink article on viral success on Youtube


Now that you are finished reading, check out the upcoming Webtel.mobi viral video competition on Zooppa, sign up now, and start making your own viral video.


Thanks for reading the Zooppa Blog. Your top destination for all things crowd-sourced creativity. Check out our active video, design, and interactive competitions for top brands. Sign up for Zooppa to submit your ads and vote for your favorites from other creatives.

Meme E

One Comment

  1. Pretty good tips and very practical on how to make videos viral. If you have a quality concept and turn it into a video, always keep it mind that it has to be something catchy and significant to your target market.

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