Getting Your Video to go Viral

Shea Anderson / March 13, 2012

By Drew Symonds

Great, so you’ve made a YouTube video.  Or you’re going to.  Or, you’re at least thinking about making one. The question is, how are you going to make it blow up so virally that even your best friend’s grandmother sees it?

It takes much more than chance, happenstance or even the alignment of the stars.  In most cases it takes a carefully thought-out distribution plan.

As I discussed in my previous post, the first step is creating a video so compelling that viewers find themselves with no other choice but to pass it along after watching it.

But what often gets missed or overlooked is a crucial part, the distribution plan. Before people can share your video they have to see it first, and before that they have to hear about it. That means finding good conduits.

A shining example of this is a video created by Swedish Medical Center, designed to show off the precision of their newest surgical robot as it created a penny-sized paper airplane.

Compelling content? Check.

The video racked up 500,000 views within three days of upload, with no advertising. This didn’t happen in a vacuum. First it gained interest from local tech reporters, fanned out from there to local television, then to national tech reporters, and finally to national and international television. (Full disclosure here: Swedish is a Fearey Group client)

Going viral sounds so organic. But it’s a media-driven process. It can take a whole lot of strategy, planning and above all, execution to get out on top.