We’re often asked what the secret is to making content go viral, but the answer is far from straight forward. The obvious answer, which nobody likes to hear, is simply “Make good content”. Yes, good content is the first step of many on the journey to viral success, but it’s often a lot more complex than that. Brands release good content on a regular basis, but a lot of it will simply be lost amongst the tens of thousands of hours uploaded and unleashed to viewers every single day.

Brands are fighting for your view, because your view may convert into a sale, and there’s nothing better for brands than creating a video that goes viral. But what goes into a viral video? What ingredients are stirred together in the pot to produce a watchable, shareable piece of content?


Length matters (pardon the expression). On Facebook, shorter content often works best, whereas on YouTube it’s the opposite. Establish where your target audience watches of their content, and then adapt your video accordingly. Consider multiple edits, one shorter for social media, and one longer for YouTube. The algorithms on Facebook and YouTube are different, so if you stick to what works on each platform it’s going to encourage likes and shares.

Shock Factor

Almost every viral video will shock you in some way, whether it’s funny or scary or enlightening or disgusting. We like to be surprised, so if your content can make people think “I wasn’t expecting that” then they’re more likely to want to share the post. Emotion plays heavily into this, so be bold and be daring.


Viral content can come out of left field and catch us all by surprise, but if the content can be linked to current events then there’s a heavy chance it will get caught in the sails. Riding on the coat tails of an event or story is not necessarily a bad thing. Just look out for the explosion of Star Wars themed videos which will be released in the weeks preceding the theatrical release of The Last Jedi.


In a world where it seems like every idea has already been done, be unique. If you can’t be original, then twist things. Be daring, be bold, be creative!


Everybody likes a good meme. If your content can be easily edited to be made into a new joke, yet still remain true to the original piece of content, then you may well have a meme on your hands.

Start Strong

Facebook and Instagram count a view after just 3 seconds of watching, so if you want that 3 seconds to turn into a full view then grab their attention early. Very early. This also helps with YouTube if you are using promotion to boost your reach, as it prevents too many of the dreaded 6 second skips.

There is no secret method to creating a viral video, but there are certainly a few ingredients to bear in mind when planning. Dedicating some of your campaign budget to outreach, placement and YouTube promotion can help with reaching your audience and kickstarting the viral process. Get in touch with Viral Seeding today to discuss how we can make your content go viral.