How To Make A Viral Video

Want your video to be shared by millions?  Good luck, it’s impossible to predict what goes viral.

Or so we’ve been told.

Turns out there’s some science behind viral videos. Since Al Gore invented the internet, researchers have determined why some ads, products and videos catch on, while others are ignored.

In his book Contagious, Jonah Berger explains how his team analyzed online content to better understand the science of virality. After thousands of tests, they discovered the key elements that trigger sharing. That said, here’s how your message can reverberate around the world.

  • Post images & lists that give you ‘social currency’ – things that make you look smart. Tells friends, yeah, I’m kind of a big deal.
  • Share your perspective on top-of-mind, topical issues. News you can use, with a fresh twist.
  • Tug on heartstrings. Tap an emotion with authentic storytelling, acts of kindness, spiritual growth.
  • Posts that amaze, amuse and inspire. The best places to retire, most lovable dog breeds.

Here’s my take: This list is the result of extensive research. And it’s undeniably great advice. But Mr. Berger missed the most important ingredient; the element of surprise.

We live in a swipe right world and glaze over most stuff. It takes an unexpected jolt to get noticed. Clicking on it gives our brain a blast of dopamine, and makes us feel happy.

I can’t stop watching this bullfighter clip. At some point, we’ve all been that guy…and that’s worth sharing. So are startling headlines. Think like the National Enquirer. Unicorn Lands In New Jersey. Vodka Improves Your IQ.

And if that doesn’t work, post a sure-fire winner: Getting hit in the balls.

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Beau Phillips is President of Rainmaker Media. 
He’s a creative marketing consultant, strategist and speaker.
Reach him at 203-256-9347 

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