Five Ingredients for a Viral Video

We’ve all seen viral videos: those links in our emails and on the internet that seem to get passed along to nearly everyone. We all know there’s no greater advertising than word of mouth, and crowdfunding relies on outreach videos to attain measurable success.

A lot of people would love to know what the “secret formula” might be to going viral. Unfortunately, there is no magic formula; there are just too many variables. But here are some tips to help you create a fantastic video to maximize the success of your UHelp campaign:

1. Tell Your Story

What are you passionate about? What are you good at? What did you achieve or what are you trying to accomplish? What message do you want to share?  You don’t need an expensive camera to show off what you’re doing. Chances are, the camera on your phone will work just fine. Just make sure you can be clearly seen and heard. Don’t film yourself in noisy or dark environments. Be sure to look at the camera, smile and tell everyone what you’re all about.

2. Enjoy What You’re Doing

If you’re having fun, your audience will have fun too. Even if you’re dealing with a serious subject, you must be genuine for people share the video. If you look bored or nervous, you’re going to lose your audience. Be engaging – pretend the camera is your best friend and you can’t wait to tell them what you’re doing. You might need to do a couple practice takes before you get it right.

3. Get to the Gut

What is the basic human emotion behind your video? If someone is entertained, educated, amazed or deeply moved by your video, they are more likely to pass it along or watch it again. So, what is interesting about what you’re doing? Maybe you’ve discovered something new. We share online content when it moves us emotionally; we want to share those feelings with someone else. Humor, entertainment and inspiration are the main reasons a video may go viral.

4. Be Brief

People are busy. Make sure your audience has time to watch your entire video. If your video is too long, you’re going to lose your audience. They won’t pass it along if they get bored and/or don’t have time to finish it. Give your video a quick and snappy title. In as few words as possible, write something that makes your audience want to watch.

5. Tell Everyone

There’s an old saying: “Tell everyone what you want to do, and someone will want to help you do it.” After you upload the video, share the link with everyone. Don’t expect the video to go viral all by itself. Post your video on Facebook, YouTube, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest, Reddit and any other website where people are discussing your subject. Find out what groups are interested in your story.

Once you’ve completed these five steps, set some realistic expectations for yourself. Is your goal to get your video on The Tonight Show or is the goal to reach one thousand well-qualified, potential customers or subscribers? Monitor the feedback and answer any questions someone might have. Find out what people liked or didn’t like about your video, but don’t let any negative feedback keep you from making another video!

Good luck and have fun!

About the Author: Normand Freitag is a Media Specialist for