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6 tips for creating a killer viral video

It's hard to resist the charms of a compelling viral video. We've already gathered together 10 of the best viral videos for you to enjoy, but what if you want to make your own? Follow these tips and while you're not guaranteed success, you'll definitely be helping your chances of going viral.

01. Don't try too hard

The best virals are subtle, unassuming and most of all true to the creative's vision. This means not forcing things. We've all seen marketing virals that are trying so hard to be hip, funny and zany that they're almost embarrassing to watch.

02. Learn YouTube, Vimeo and so on

There are scores of articles (and even books) on how to make the most of the way YouTube, Vimeo and other video-sharing sites promote content. It's worth reading these so you can maximise your chances.

03. Know your market

Who are you trying to impress? Are you just looking to raise your profile in general, or do you want to push a specific aspect of your work? Make sure your intended viral fits in with that theme.

04. Get it to the right people

Simply putting a video on YouTube isn't enough. You need to make sure the right outlets are publicising your stuff, so get it in front of the key players - such as the Huffington Post, for instance - if you can.

05. Be prepared

You need to be ready to respond if something hits big. You'll likely be inundated with requests from blogs, websites and other press, so make sure you get your message across.

06. Ignore this advice

Ultimately, although marketers would like to think otherwise, there are no golden rules to ensuring something goes viral. Sometimes it just happens, and that image or video you casually uploaded is seen by thousands - if not millions.

Words: Tom Dennis

This article originally appeared in Computer Arts issue 225.