Making a piece of content go viral and gather millions of views online is no simple task. You can’t expect to just upload a funny video and have it trending within a week.

Whether you realise it or not the majority of viral videos are the result of a thoroughly thought out process. When taking a look some of the internets most popular viral videos you can start to notice a trend. So today I’m going to point out some of the most commonly used tactics when making a viral video.


I’ll start by describing a video and see if you can identify which one I’m talking about: An odd looking asian man sings about utter nonsense while doing a weird dance.

Now most of you will have come up with Gangnam Style as your answer. And I wouldn’t blame you, after all it is the most popular video in the history of YouTube so it’s pretty difficult to forget, trust me I’ve tried.


However those of you keeping up to date on recent internet trends might have thought about the man behind ‘Pen Pineapple Apple Pen’.

It doesn’t matter which one you thought of first as the point is my original description fits both videos perfectly. Proof that there is something in these type of videos that the internet is enjoying, and I’ve narrowed it down to 3 elements:

  • Randomness
  • Originality
  • Timing

Firstly people love a random video. There’s just something highly amusing about watching something and having absolutely no idea what is going on (See ‘Don’t Hug Me I’m Scared’ for proof)

Secondly it is extremely beneficial if your video is something nobody has seen before. Nowadays most videos seem to just be a copy of a copy of a copy. So the more unique, the better!

Finally the timing of your video is so important to its success. Had ‘Pen Pineapple Apple Pen’ been released a few weeks after ‘Gangnam Style’ it would almost certainly not got the success it has. So if you are currently in the process of making a video of your asian friend singing and dancing strangely, probably give it a few months before you upload it.


So it’s clear that there is a method to the madness of Viral Videos. Although even if you follow all of these tips, there is still no guarantee that your video will go viral. That is unfortunately due to the madness of the internet .. something that no-one can figure out!