Digital Marketing Trends: Viral Video Trends of 2016

There’s no denying that viral videos are a big part of what’s relevant; people talk about them nowadays more than ever. And with the viewership in platforms like Youtube and the integration of videos in social media, virality is the ultimate vehicle for an effective ad or campaign. Once attained, people will voluntarily flock to your content without much effort on your end.

However, it’s not that easy to make something viral. The overabundance of digital content is a hurdle for brands who wish to employ such an effort. There are countless videos uploaded and shared every day, making it difficult to garner attention. So what makes a video click or what makes one viral? Let’s take a look at the big ones this past year to see what worked. 

The year of the challenges

The Mannequin Challenge

Social media was filled with viral challenges in 2016. The Mannequin Challenge started with a group of students in Jacksonville, Florida. A simple concept that came about with them “always doing weird things” blew up and escalated to celebrities, even prompting Hillary Clinton to do her own version. 

The Water Bottle Flip Challenge

The Bottle Flip Challenge started with a video of American high school student Mike Senatore dramatically flipping a water bottle for a talent show. The reaction of the crowd was priceless, and this challenge exploded across the internet, resulting in everyone trying out this difficult but doable challenge.

The Running Man Challenge

Another trend that sprouted out of boredom, the Running Man Challenge took the internet by storm this year with a throwback track and an infectious dance move. What started with two bored kids in a finance class eventually spread to professional sports teams across America, leading everyone to follow the craze.


Mesmerizing GoPro videos

Mountain Bike Freeride

The GoPro is a truly revolutionary gadget, putting viewers in a first-person perspective of the extreme. It’s no surprise that these videos easily go viral, as they really make you feel like you’re biking down a treacherous mountain, or doing spins in a plane with an aerobatic pilot.

The mouthwatering Tastemade shorts

California Mozzarella Garlic Knots

Some of these bite-sized videos only span about a minute, perfect for consumption in the fast-paced world of social media. The way cooking is presented is simple and minimalistic, inspiring you to do the same in your own kitchen.


That wacky PPAP song


Random is the best word that describes this viral hit. Reminiscent of the silliness of PSY’s Gangnam Style, PPAP shows us that crazy works (sometimes). It also doesn’t help that the song sticks with you so easily, defining what virality truly is.

Viral videos are perfect for getting a message across. While difficult to emulate, it helps to see what clicks with the audience or what appeals to them. And as brands continue to try and achieve this holy grail of digital marketing, we should at least be in the know and constantly updated if we wish to strike gold with ours.

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