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How to Make a Viral Video in 2024: 8 Effective Steps

What is a viral video and how do you make one? We'll show you how to make a viral video with 8 simple steps and we'll cover what you need to go viral!
Kendall Breitman
Social Media & Community Expert
January 15, 2023
Last Updated:
December 27, 2023
Reviewed by
Ortal Hadad

Do you feel that making a wildfire viral video online is something only a select few can do? 

Fortunately, this isn’t true, and there are certain steps you can take to increase your video’s likelihood of going viral.

In this blog, we’ll explore the exciting world of viral videos. We’ll look at what a viral video is, why you may want to create one, and all you need to consider to go viral.  

What is a viral video?

Just as a virus spreads rapidly across a population, a viral video spreads like wildfire across media platforms. It does this through a swift process of internet sharing.

A viral video is shared incessantly because of certain qualities which make it stand heads and shoulders above other videos. For these reasons, it is memorable and resonates with viewers' deeply-seated emotions, compelling them to share the video with others.

How many views do you need to make a video viral?

While you may have a specific number in mind, there is no exact answer to how many views you need to go viral. 

Some believe millions of views are necessary to go viral, even up to 5-8 million views, due to the increased usage of the internet and social media platforms. This is debatable, and there are no exact statistics for what makes a 'viral' video. 

Instead, focus on how viral videos spread very quickly, and widely. If content takes years to gain views, it’s not viral. However, a video on YouTube that spreads to 100 000 people in four hours could be classified as viral.

Examples of trending viral videos

Trending viral videos have varied themes and content. Some feature just baby animals, while others capture iconic moments. One thing they have in common is the rate they have spread across the net!

Here are some viral video examples:

Side-eyeing Chloe meme

Platform: YouTube

Views: Around 21 million views

In this video, a little girl, Chloe, and her sister react to their mom announcing they are going to Disneyland. Chloe’s sister, Lily, bursts into tears, and Chloe reacts by giving her one big side-eyed facial expression. This expression turned into a viral internet meme, earning the original video millions of views. 

Yosemite Mountain Double Rainbow, Paul ‘Bear’ Vasquez

Platform: YouTube

Views: Around 50 million views

This video showed the ecstatic reaction of Paul Vasquez to a double rainbow, filmed in his front yard, just outside of Yosemite National Park. 

Zach Kings Magic Broomstick, Zach King

Platform: TikTok and YouTube

Views: Around 20 million views

This video shows TikToker, Zach King, riding on what appears to be a broomstick. The thrilling allusion captured imaginations across the globe and tallied a staggering 20 million views. 

Will Smith smacks Chris Rock on stage at the Oscars, drops F-bomb

Platform: YouTube

Views: 103 million views

This is an uncensored video showing Will Smith’s iconic slap of Chris Rock during the 94th Academy Awards after Rock made a joke about his wife’s shaved hair.

What makes a video go viral?

It isn’t easy to predict which videos will go viral. Many times, chance or luck plays a role in spreading them throughout the internet to achieve overnight fame. 

However, as random as the world of online sharing can be, certain hard and fast rules can enhance your chance of going viral. For example, an accurate, impactful headline, and an eye-catching thumbnail help a video go viral as they entice readers to view the video in the first place. 

A viral video is also short and simple and has content with universal appeal (for example, all people will appreciate the cuteness of a puppy or baby). Its content aligns with online trends, while at the same time presenting relatable themes in novel ways - showing things that have never been done before. It also elicits high-arousal emotions.

Why should you make a viral video?

Going viral means your brand takes center stage online. This can increase brand awareness and followers exponentially. Ultimately, this can increase your audience’s trust in the business or brand which can help you extend your influence and lift up profits.

Studies have shown that viewers who have shared content, rather than searched for it, are more likely to buy from the company that produced the content and recommend its products or services to others.

Benefits of viral videos

If all the above isn’t enough reason why you’d like to go viral, then these benefits might convince you:

Lower advertising costs

When a video goes viral, your audience ends up spreading your content’s message for you. This means you don’t have to spend money pushing your content through paid ads or other means. Instead, your audience does the promotional work organically.

Increased brand awareness

Incessant video sharing by many viewers means your brand reaches a large audience - and fast. This leads to increased brand awareness, which sets the foundation for future initiatives, which will then be more likely to reach a larger audience.

Stronger possibility of leads

Viral videos also give you a stronger chance to receive more sales leads. Even if someone isn't ready to purchase from you, your viral video will help keep your business at the top of their mind when they are ready to buy what you are trying to promote. 

What you should consider before going viral?

Once a video has gone viral, there is no turning back. Of course, this is a good thing if you’ve done the necessary groundwork.

To prepare yourself for going viral, you must ask yourself questions such as:

  • Is there team support available to handle the resulting demands of going viral?
  • Are you happy with the message of your content and the impression one will leave on viewers?

How to make a viral video with Riverside

If you’re looking for a platform to create a viral-grade video, Riverside is a good place to start.

Riverside is an easy-to-use video recording software that offers up to 4K video resolution. It’s the chosen software for big names such as Gary Vee, Hillary Clinton, and Kara Swisher, among others. Its Magic Clips is the perfect tool to create short-shareable content seamlessly. Magic Clips uses Ai to identify key moments in your recordings and turns them into short, shareable clips.

The platform also offers local video and audio recording, which means everything is captured directly on your device so there are no dropouts due to poor internet connection. This ensures your recordings are in top resolution, no matter where you are. With Riverside you can record an interview from a phone or tablet, using special iOS, Android, and iPad apps. 

Ready to give it a go? Here’s how you can create a viral video on Riverside:

1:  Have a plan

Before you do anything at all, we suggest you outline a plan for the type of video you’d like to record.

  • What message do you want to give to your audience? 
  • Will your video have a call to action? 
  • What will you do differently in your presentation to every other video producer? 

Part of planning your video will include writing a relevant script, with appealing, relatable words.

2: Register and sign up

You can use Riverside on any laptop or computer with a Chrome browser. If you want to use your iPhone or Android, you will need to use the Riverside iPhone or Android app

To register with Riverside, press the 'Get Started' button at the top right-hand corner of the homepage. You’ll have to fill in your details to sign up, or you can do so through a  Google or Apple account.

3: Create a studio

Next, you will want to set up your physical and online recording space. This is your special place where all the magic happens.

Your physical recording space needs to be somewhere where there is little interference from external distractions, such as noisy appliances. If you have any, you’ll want to set up equipment such as your recording microphone, camera, and lighting. You can learn more on our blog about creating your own home studio.

Besides your physical studio, you’ll want to create a Riverside studio for your online recording. Once logging into your account, under 'Studios', click ‘+New Studio’

You will then have the option to give your newly-created studio a name and decide whether to record Audio & Video or just Audio.

You can then join as the host by clicking 'Enter studio', or press 'Continue set up studio', to access all of the settings. 

Creating a studio for recording a viral video on Riversidee

4: Optimize settings 

The Riverside studio has various settings which can change the experience of the live session, as well as how conversations are recorded.

You can, for example, select how the video will be live-streamed. You can live stream to YouTube, Twitter, Facebook, Twitch, and LinkedIn, among other channels.

Studio settings also allow you to change recording options. For example, if you’re on a paid subscription, you may choose to record in up to 4K resolution. This allows for a crystal clear image and, because of the many pixels, allows for better future editing options.

Riverside recording studio settings

5: Invite a guest

The advantages of having a guest in the studio are numerous, from helping you to get your message across to enhancing the credibility of your video. Riverside allows you to invite up to 7 guests to the studio without guests having to actually sign up. All they need to do is enter the studio through Chrome on their desktop or via the app from their mobile devices.

You can invite guests from the dashboard before entering the studio, or you may do so once you're in the studio too. 

Before recording, you and your guests will see the lobby, where you can test and select your equipment. Guests will also stay here until, you as the host, allow them in. 

Riverside recording studio lobby

6: Recording

You’ve registered, you’ve planned your video, you’ve set up a studio, and invited guests. Now it’s time for ‘lights, camera, action!’. It’s recording time! 

To start recording, simply press the ‘Record’ button and a countdown will start.

recording a viral video on Riverside

To add some spice to your video, the Riverside dashboard has a Media Board which can be used for live sound effects. You can play pre-selected sounds, or you can easily upload your own media.

When you’re done recording, press the stop button and wait for all the files to upload before selecting ‘View recordings’. You’ll be taken to your recordings where you can download them as separate tracks or use our editor to create a polished video.

7: Edit

One of the most exciting parts of creating a video is the editing process. 

Riverside has a text-based editor so you can create professional video content as easily as editing a text document. Since viral videos are usually simple and short, you can also use the Riverside Magic clips tool to transform long-form content into short-form content. To fully polish your video, the editor includes tools to remove background noise, adjust your layout, and add customized logos.

Riverside text based editor for creating viral videos

If you’d like to make use of the Riverside editor, select the recording you’d like to polish and click ‘Edit’

Alternatively, you can also export your files seamlessly for Premiere Pro or descript. Simply, click on your recording and then on ‘Export’ on the top right of the page. Choose your program of choice and export your files in a suitable timeline format.

8: Publishing time!

You’re going to want people to see your video since people are the ones who will make it go viral. So once you’re done editing, get ready to share your video!

If you’re editing your video on Riverside, click 'Export', when you're done and follow the prompts. Once your video is ready, you can download it and share it on any social media platform such as YouTube, TikTok, or Instagram.

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5 tips on making viral videos

1. Ride the trending wave

Staying topical and keeping an eye out for trends will make sure you’re in the loop on what is at the top of viewers’ minds, and specifically relevant in social, political, and economic circles. Use the latest hashtags and memes, and align your content with the latest trending topics.

2. Harness emotions

Clips that appeal to deep-seated emotions and stir your viewers’ emotions are more likely to be shared. Since emotions are universal expressions of humanity, appealing to emotions also gives your videos a universal aspect, making them relevant to everyone worldwide, regardless of age, culture, and nationality.

3. Use multiple platforms

There are many platforms online which facilitate the sharing of videos, and if you want to go viral, you should use multiple channels. LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, TikTok... Keep sharing your video, and then wait, and share again.

4. Get someone prominent to share your video

Sometimes a video goes viral when it is boosted by a prominent figure, such as a community hero or leading business figure, or, if you’re fortunate enough, a celebrity.

Who do you know who can share your video to increase its chances of going viral?

5. Stay Interactive

Passively waiting for your video to take off will not work. Going viral requires a push from your side. This means staying active on social media after the video has been posted, for sharing, monitoring, and interacting with viewers and potential viewers. 

FAQs on How to Make a Viral Video

How do you create a viral video on TikTok?

Videos on TikTok should include trending topics but with your own spin. They should begin with a strong hook compelling viewers to watch until the end. 

To find out what is trending, visit the TikTok Discover page.

‘Watch what happens’ and ‘How to…’ videos are popular yet you can also use popular hashtags to enhance your chance of drawing in viewers.  

What types of videos go viral?

Videos which offer hope, and are positive are more likely to go viral. Also, videos with universal appeals, such as those displaying a baby animal, are popular; especially those that are unique and do what nobody has yet done.

Do you make money if a post goes viral?

There are ways to monetize a video so that by the time it goes viral, it will bring in money. For example, you can explore affiliate marketing. There are also specific ways to monetize content across the different social media platforms:

On YouTube:

With YouTube, the AdSense program can be used. This program places ads before, inside, or near the footage. The video will then earn money based on the pricing and type of ads used. YouTube tallies a total based on the number of video views and gives you a share of the proceeds.

Read more: How to Make Money on YouTube in 2022: 9 Practical Ways

On TikTok: 

TikTok has a Creator Fund. This allows people who are posting regular videos to generate income. The amount you earn using this feature will depend on how many viewers engage with your content.

On Facebook:

Facebook has a monetization program allowing users to make money by using video ads as part of their video post’s content. As much as 55 percent of the money made from these ads goes to the video creator, and the rest, to Facebook.

How do you start a viral trend?

It can be hard to predict whether a video will go viral, and many video creators are surprised when their creative work takes off! 

Still, research and planning; and deliberate calculated action can enhance the chance of your video going viral. These include using an eye-catching thumbnail and giving an accurate, impactful headline for your video. The content itself should be unique and creative and elicit high-arousal emotions. You can also consider societal trends, and think about when and where is best to publish. Many insist that publishing on weekdays can enhance your likelihood of going viral.

How do you get 1k views on YouTube?

A high percentage of online businesses make use of YouTube as a channel to post video content, making the digital platform a powerful business tool.

To have a strong base of YouTube followers requires putting extra effort into SEO optimization, category tags, content descriptions, headlines, and thumbnail images. 

Other ways to get more views on YouTube (and fast) include creating compelling content, encouraging viewers to subscribe, and creating 'playlists' to keep people watching one’s video offering. The latter means that suggested videos will come up when the video a person is watching has stopped playing.

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What’s a Rich Text element?

What’s a Rich Text element?

What’s a Rich Text element?

What’s a Rich Text element?

The rich text element allows you to create and format headings, paragraphs, blockquotes, images, and video all in one place instead of having to add and format them individually. Just double-click and easily create content.

  1. link
  2. list
Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit, sed do eiusmod tempor.

Static and dynamic content editing

A rich text element can be used with static or dynamic content. For static content, just drop it into any page and begin editing. For dynamic content, add a rich text field to any collection and then connect a rich text element to that field in the settings panel. Voila!

How to customize formatting for each rich text

Headings, paragraphs, blockquotes, figures, images, and figure captions can all be styled after a class is added to the rich text element using the "When inside of" nested selector system.

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