Video Tips

How to Make a Video Go Viral (with 5 Easy Tips)

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how to make a video go viral

Remember America’s Funniest Home Videos? That’s what viral videos used to look like. We’ve come a long way since then, right?

With the advent of social media and the rise in popularity of websites like YouTube, viral videos quickly began to pop up. From Charlie bit my finger to Dave after the dentist, short, funny videos were getting a lot of views in a short amount of time.

Even though a lot has changed with viral videos since 2010, they still have some of the same key qualities today.

Stick around to learn more about the strategy behind viral videos, why they’re so useful, and how you can potentially make one yourself with Animoto.

What is a viral video?

So, you want to make a viral video. But what does that really mean?

A social media viral video’s defining characteristic is that it spreads quickly via the Internet. Videos can go viral on any platform that hosts video content. YouTube, TikTok, Facebook, Instagram, Twitter—you name the platform, and there’s bound to be a viral video on there.

In theory, anybody can make a viral video. But it’s not that easy to achieve. We’ll get into that in just a bit.

5 easy tips on how to make a video go viral

Even though there’s no scientific formula, there are some key factors (other than luck) to keep in mind if you’re hoping to make a viral video:

1. Keep it short and sweet

Our attention spans are shorter now than they have ever been. This is why you should get to the point of your video early on.

Try to make your video as short as possible without missing out on the key points you’re looking to get across to your audience. The length depends on which social media platform you’re using, but as long as you keep it entertaining for the majority of your video, you’re bound to keep your viewer’s attention.

For example, TikTok only allows creators to make videos for up to 3 minutes. When you’re competing against millions of 15-second videos on an app that’s designed for users to endlessly scroll, your 3-minute video might not go viral.

2. Have a clear point

What’s the point of your video?

Are you trying to make people laugh? Do you want to inform them about a topic you’re passionate about? Do you want to share a story near and dear to your heart?

Having a niche is a great way to make sure you’re reaching a specific audience.

It also helps if you’re super passionate about your niche. Not only will your audience be able to tell, but it will make the video creation process way more fun for you.

3. Stay relevant

On social media, trends come and go in a matter of days. Make sure your video is relevant to what’s going on in the news, pop culture, or internet discourse.

If you see a TikTok or YouTube trend, there’s no shame in joining in on it. Just make sure you add your own spin to it—that’s what will make you stand out from the rest.

4. Try to be relatable

Viral videos heavily rely on sharing. Your viewers will share your video with their friends and family if they connect with it.

Being relatable boils down to being your raw and honest self. In the end, we’re all human and have never had a unique experience. Use that to your advantage and connect with your audience.

Do you have a specific pet peeve? Are you feeling particularly isolated and want to reflect on your feelings? Just talk to your camera like it’s your friend. People are bound to relate, find it funny, or empathize with you.

In the end, all we’re looking for is human connection.

5. Be consistent

The chances of making a viral video on your first try are pretty slim.

Don’t be discouraged, it’s a perfect opportunity to find your niche and grow your audience.

Try posting on a consistent schedule multiple times a week. You’re bound to get more views if you post more frequently and consistently. And who knows, maybe the next one you post will go viral!

How many views make a video viral?

A video will have to reach millions of views quickly to be considered viral.

Now, you might be asking yourself: “how many millions are we talking?”

Well, there’s not a magic number of views that automatically makes for a viral video. But let’s just say, it’s a lot.

1 million views used to be considered viral back in 2015. Nowadays, we’re looking more at the 5 to 8 million range, or even higher in some cases. Remember, that’s all in the matter of a couple of weeks.

Viral videos are probably more common than you think. Although good luck goes into making a viral video, it happens to people every day.

And there’s a huge market for it. In 2021, TikTok had 1 billion users and YouTube had 2.3 billion. Think of all the possible eyes you could have on your next video.

The benefits of viral videos

More views, likes, and followers. What more could you want?

The benefits of going viral are massive. Think of it as a video marketing campaign without all the time and money spent.

If you go viral on your business account, you’re more likely to gain followers, which is bound to increase sales or build your community. If you go viral on your personal account, you’re able to leverage that following in your next videos and create rapport with your audience.

A viral video is a clear indicator of success. It lets you know what resonates with your audience. Take that as a sign and run with it. There’s no shame in using the same video format again.

5 creative viral video ideas

In 2020, there was a total of 244.4 million people watching videos in the US alone. That’s a huge audience. It can be daunting to post video content, especially if you’re just starting out.

Here are some ideas to help you come up with your own viral video:

1. Comedy video

Take the time to brainstorm funny ideas, outline what you want to say, then practice before hitting record. If you’re stuck on where to start, look for inspiration from events in your daily life.

2. Music video

Music videos have historically done well on platforms like YouTube. If you’re already a musician, this one’s a no-brainer.

If you aren’t musically inclined but still want to give it a go, try a parody music video by making up your own lyrics to another song.

3. Challenge video

Challenge videos usually do well, especially when they’re already trending.

If you see a challenge video going around, try making one of your own. Even if it doesn’t go viral, it will still be fun to make.

4. Funny animal or baby video

We all love a wholesome moment. If you already have a funny video of your pet or your baby in your camera roll, consider repurposing it as a potential viral video.

If you think it’s funny, chances are your audience will too. You can always add music over it to enhance its comedic tone.

5. Prank video

Prank videos are a classic. But beware, they might have lasting effects on your personal relationships.

How to make a viral video with Animoto

Making a viral video with Animoto is super quick and only takes a few easy steps.

Select a template or start from scratch

Unsure on where to start with your viral video? No worries. You can browse our list of templates to help you come up with your next idea.

We recommend a template that will hook your viewers right away. The Top 5 List template can make that happen.

If you already have an idea of your own, you can start a video from scratch instead. All you’ll need to do is choose your theme, aspect ratio, and media.

Edit your video

Remember that you’ll want to make your viral video as short as possible. Use our video editor to trim video clips and add video styles.

While you’re here, feel free to add some music to your video. We have a whole library of songs to choose from.

Share your video

Now for the best part. Download your new creation and post it to your favorite social media platform.

Sit back, and wait to see if it goes viral!

Viral video examples to inspire you

It can be hard to grasp what makes a video viral if you haven’t seen many examples.

This compilation of viral TikTok videos goes to show how any niche can go viral.

Some videos are funny, some are informational, and some are just random. There truly is a viral video for everyone out there.

Ready to make a video?

There’s no guaranteed way to make a video go viral. With social media algorithms and the ever-changing nature of the internet, it can be hard to tell whether your video will go viral or not.

The only way to make sure a video has the potential of going viral is by posting it. So what are you waiting for? Use Animoto’s video editor to get started on your viral video today.