A viral video is one that becomes popular through the process of internet sharing, typically through video sharing websites, Facebook, and email. Humor is often a characteristic of viral videos, but not a defining one. A viral video is any video that’s passed electronically, from person to person, regardless of its content. So how can you use viral video to increase web traffic?

The answer, of course that depends on the industry. One trick is to ride the wave of what is already being searched for. New York Video Production creates quick turn around video clips based on the phrases that are in the zeitgeist. So when a tornado hits in Brooklyn in the afternoon, for instance, they have video musical montage of the event up on by the evening.

Another strategy is to parody videos that are already popular. If the rainbow guy can get almost 16 million people to view the video in 10 months, then it follows that the double rainbow song soon emerges and demonstrates a similar draw of almost 12 million viewers by September 2010 — selling t-shirts and itunes versions the whole way.

But viral videos aren’t just for the low brow. Old Spice and Dorittos have agencys that create advertisements which have incredible viral potential. According to the Advertising Age web site, two Old Spice campaigns netted over 1.5 million views in a week.

It’s difficult to see how all this will play out moving forward. One thing is for sure people are watching video and it’s a trend that is here to stay.