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Posted by on Jan 24, 2012 in Branding, How To, Video | 2 comments

How to Create a Viral Video

How to Create a Viral Video

Normally, I would never write about this, because I have stood by the idea that you can’t just create something that will go viral, you have to make good content and see if something sticks. However, I did recently create the concept for my first “viral video” and I realized there are some rules that can followed to increase your chances of getting greater exposure for a video.

1. Don’t Reinvent the Wheel: Rather than trying to create something that is independently funny, launch a video based on a popular meme. For example, I became addicted to the “Sh* Girls Say” web series, and quickly found myself watching “Sh*t Single Girls Say” “Sh*t White Girls Say to Black Girls” and “Sh*t Christians Say to Jews“. From this fast growing meme, I hatched the idea of “Sh*t Surfers Say”. So whether you want to capitalize on the “Double Rainbow” guy, or some other popular video, try joining the joke rather than inventing the joke.

2. Don’t Delay: Memes have the lifespan of a fruit fly, and people have even shorter attention spans, so if you have a good idea, don’t wait weeks and weeks before coming up with the end product.

3. But Don’t Sacrifice Quality: Here at Sanuk I am extremely lucky to have an insanely talented video team and a fantastic Social Media Assistant that know how to make a joke. If they had tried to make this exact same video with the wrong guy, an unauthentic script, or a video where the sound was janky, this video would not be as popular as it is (100K views in four days).

4. Spread the Word: It isn’t a coincidence that the video got so many views, aside from posting it via all of our social media channels, I also sent it to every editor, blogger, and influencer I could think of that would get a laugh from watching it and as a result might just share it. So far we have been mentioned in upwards of ten blogs, on several popular surfing sites and have over 100 tweets mentioning the video. We also saw a part fanbase on Facebook share our video to their friends.

5. Make it Sharable: Make it really easy to share, so for example, don’t try and host it on your website, put it on YouTube. Since YouTube is the second largest search engine only behind Google, it has a better chance of being seen and “go viral” on that site.

6. Don’t Make it About You: The majority of videos that go viral are not about a brand, they are usually cute, funny, or informative. If there is any sense of the video being self serving to your company you run the risk of not being part of the joke. For example, you will notice in the Sanuk video that only at the very end is there even a Sanuk logo.

So without further ado, my first viral video as a social media addict:

YouTube Preview Image


  1. Great piece, very insightful, and great video. 100k hits in 4 days is incredible!

  2. Kudos to you Rachel! Genius idea & perfect way to go viral with the trend.

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