Tips For Making Good Viral Videos

Viral videos are an excellent way to generate some buzz about your brand. And it’s also a good way to save money in the process because your distribution costs are kept low. You’re not paying for print-runs, airtime, or pays-per-view/click, because most of the distribution is handled by the consumers themselves . So your content has got to be good. Here’s some tips for achieving that:

  1. Be Original

  2. Have you ever seen a really great movie and then six months later seen advertising for another completely unrelated movie with a similar plot? And usually starring the unknown siblings of the stars from the first movie? Well viral videos can be like that. Don’t copy other viral videos and hope to ride on their coat tails to success. It probably won’t work.

    When Bowiechick waxed lyrical about Logitech webcams the idea of a vlog as a viral selling tool was new and original. Now its passé and overused.

    Also don’t make a traditional commercial. Most traditional commercials are not viral because they are not interesting. They’re a selling tool usually without any story or artistic method beside the fact that they are a commercial.

  3. Incite Wonder

  4. I remember studying comedy in my high school English class and being told the one thing that all comedy must have is incongruity. Good viral videos are similar. They must surprise the viewer. It doesn’t matter whether it is a ROFL gag or a how the f*** did they do that moment of slow-motion magnificence.

    A viral video must incite enough interest to not only cause the viewer to remember it fondly, but also prompt them to pass it onto their friends and associates. Realise you’re creating a bite-sized chunk of sheer-joy entertainment, not a piece of marketing.

  5. Touch an Emotion

  6. Want to know why reality television is so popular? It’s all about the characters. Great stories are always about great characters and that means they must elicit an emotional response. Even if you hate the format that is an emotional response. When it comes to your viral video it must generate a similar vehement ‘gut’ reaction. Dare to express an opinion or rebut an idea. Touch upon prejudices . Expose hypocrisies.

    If you can make the viewer laugh, cry or scream then that’s a good start. If you can manage all three then you’re on a sure winner.

  7. Make a Series

  8. If can do it once, you can do it again, and again. Each time you spread the net further and further, exposing new consumers to your brand.


Think outside the box. Create a powerful story and interesting characters. Make it artistic. Even arty is okay. You may not even need to mention your brand at all. Subtlety is the key.

About the Author: skribe

Based in Perth, Australia, Antonio Barimen (aka skribe) is a writer, digital media consultant and social media producer.

He is available to help you develop social marketing and digital media strategies, improving communication between staff, partners and suppliers or just increasing the number of fans on Facebook. He has developed successful digital and social media projects for clients including CBS, Evian, Procter & Gamble, Discovery Networks, Pernod Ricard and American Express.

Connect with him on Twitter or Google Plus.
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Post Under Advice, Business, Marketing April 18, 2008
  • I learned a bunch from your post. Viral Video really is a tricky business, because sometimes the most surprising things can make it big, it is so unpredictable. I’d like to share my viral marketing blog , to you, I have interesting posts on viral video and viral marketing. Thanks!