The content of your video obviously plays a major role in getting it to go viral. It has to be entertaining and something out of the ordinary- either laugh-out-loud funny, or something that will make viewers say “wow!” The video quality doesn’t necessarily have to be great as long as the content makes people want to share it with their friends. Ideally, you want your video listed on YouTube’s “Most Viewed” page, as that will make your views grow quickly.
Your video should be short, only about 30 to 60 seconds long. Anything much longer than that is hard to get people to commit. Be careful when giving your video a title because that is a major attention-getter. Sometimes you may have to use something a little misleading to get a better viewership. When you tag the video, include as many tags as you can that will help people find it if they don’t know the title. Be sure the video is embeddable so it can be posted to various websites.
Once your video is uploaded, you’ll need to get moving. Start with email, sending it to as many contacts as possible and requesting that they forward it on. Next, move on to your social networking accounts; post it on friend’s pages, group pages, and community pages, giving it as much exposure as possible. Don’t forget to post the video to forums and blogs, as well as any other appropriate sites.
A great way to a video noticed is to create controversy. Use several YouTube accounts to leave comments and start a dialog, an argument even. Very few viewers will leave comments, but many will read them, and the more comments your video has, the better. Get people interested and make them want to share the video.
When you post your video, YouTube gives you the choice of three thumbnail screen shots of your video to post along with it. Of the three, one is always from the middle of the video, so take care to have something notable in the middle that will give you a great thumbnail to post. Once your video is on the web and you have people passing it along to friends, you are on your way to a viral video.