How To Make Your Video Go Viral

04 Feb How To Make Your Video Go Viral

According to Forbes, there are 6 elements needed to help your video go viral:
– be short and sweet – make your point in the first :60 seconds
– be upbeat – evoke strong positive emotions
– be timely – tap into current events or common themes
– be involved – answer viewer questions and tie in related videos
– be informative – surprise the viewer with info they don’t know
– be inspiring – overcome struggle, find success, make them feel something

Here’s my story about tobogganing in our home town:

A good friend of mine and fabulous singer, Laura Cole, thought she’d go tobogganing after the first snowfall a few months ago. When she got to the hill, she was greeted by a sign saying “No Tobogganing”. And if you did toboggan, the fine would be $5000! So Laura started a petition on When she told me the story, I suggested we should write a song about it… so we did.

Next day, we spent a cold (but fun) morning tobogganing. Luckily we didn’t get caught. Our good friend Michael Dismatsek shot a video of our tobogganing shenanigans. That afternoon, we went into MJM Media and recorded the song. Dismatsek stayed up all night editing the video so it could be posted on YouTube the next morning. In less than 48 hours the whole idea came to fruition. Here’s a clip…

To watch the full video, just click on this link:

Back to my story… Once we posted the video production on YouTube, the media started latching on to the story. Laura and I appeared on various TV and radio shows. The story was featured in newspapers like the Globe and Mail and the National Post. The Huffington Post said it “might be the most Canadian protest song ever”. We appeared on CHCH TV’s “Morning Live” show. We were featured on Canada AM. Even Rick Mercer took our idea and did a whole segment called “Toboggan Cops”, based on the ridiculousness of arresting an 8 year old for tobogganing. Thanks to all the sharing and the press, in less than 4 weeks, the video production had over 50,000 hits on YouTube.

So did our video address the six Forbes steps? It did, but purely by accident! First, it was “short and sweet”, though at over 3 minutes, it could have been shorter. But heck, it was written as a song, not a video! And second, it’s an upbeat song. Plus, being January in Canada, it’s timely. We answered viewer questions, and tied it into other videos on YouTube. It’s informative, since most folks don’t know it’s so illegal to toboggan. And it’s somewhat inspirational… it touched a chord in most Canadians, since it predates hockey as our national sport.

Tomorrow we’re shooting a ‘sequel’, since there’s a big protest on the main tobogganing hill in Hamilton. There should be hundreds of tobogganers there, en masse, having lots of fun. I’m sure the media will be out in full force. Hopefully the police won’t be.

Mike McCurlie
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