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25 Ways To Go Viral
Earlier this year I spent weeks watching different videos on
YouTube as a form of “research” (hey, it beats calling it wasting time!), to see what characteristics different viral videos had that could be replicated. The videos I studied had
MILLIONS of views, and the results of my research are reproduced here in this blog post for your reference. My hypothesis is that going viral is not some lucky freakish phenomenon, but rather scientific and strategic. Without further delay, here’s my top 25 ways to go viral:
1.) Celebrity *Shocking* Footage
Actually, it doesn’t even have to be shocking. Anything involving celebrities instantly seems to gain traction and attention. This virus would more aptly be called the “Piggy Back”. Riding the coattails of someone else’s success. You could also call it “Name dropping”. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve seen people drop names that have nothing to do with them, just to get attention.
Heck, I’ve done it. I saw someone yesterday say “I worked at Google. Buy my PPC course”. Little do they want you to know that their job at Google had nothing to do with PPC or anything of that nature, but by dropping the “google” name into their headline, it got attention. Here’s an example screen shot.
I just typed in “Justin Bieber”…Look at this!

All 3 of those videos have over 27 MILLION views, and all 3 are simple videos. The first one is just a random picture with audio. The second is a home video of a girl crying, and the last is a screen capture of text, with lyrics to a song….Uh, think you could do better? I’m sure. Find the the celebrity in your market, find a way to tie them into your promotions, and you’ll get more attention, more traffic, and probably more sales.
#2. Funny Puns & Parodies

By the end of today, this video will cross 2 million views in under 72 hours. WHO CAN YOU MAKE
FUN OF IN YOUR MARKET? That’s the question to ask. The above video uses #1, #2, and several others we’ll take about as this post goes on…but think about the massive amount of traffic that is represented by 2 million views in 3 days….That’s sick!
#3. Controversy!

This is one of the most powerful “viruses” you can inject into your marketing to get more clicks, and immediate attention. If done well, controversial stuff cannot help but go viral. Everyone has an opinion, about everything. Politics, religion, music, movies, tv shows, morality, celebrities, sports etc..Find an argument, pick a side, and make a bold affirmation in favor of your side. The opposition will hate your guts (which is GREAT for traffic’s sake), and your fans will be committed RAVING fans. Here’s an example of a controversial video to prove the point:

It’s not the views I want you to notice in this video. It’s the number of opinions shared on it. Look at all those likes and dislikes! If I scroll a little further down, you can see the number of comments, which is a huge indicator that this subject stirs emotions, and gets attention. It’s one of the most controversial topics of our time, and no matter what side of the debate you fall in, you have to admit the person who is brave enough to talk about it, will get the attention (and they have more likes than dislikes, because their fans share it with other like minded people). Check out how many comments are on this video…

#4. Curiosity

What’s the first thing that comes to your mind when you see that title? “Why the heck is she crying? I bet this is horrible. I gotta see it!” Sounds terrible, right? But it’s exactly what you thought. You, and over 31 Million other people. It’s the cliffhanger. “What will I look like after I see this video?” It’s a

great tool to use in headlines, email subject lines, and banner ads or anything that you need someone to click on to consume your sales message. Curiosity gets the job done!
#5. Causes

The video that inspired this very report your reading. Are you