Having something go viral is a dream of many of us. While there are some things that we can do, there isn't a magic formula, although hitting the right emotional buttons is extremely important. When a Sketch Comedy troop that I've followed for years, called Studio C, had a viral hit, Top Soccer Shootout Ever With Scott Sterling, I wanted to figure out how they did it.

I talked with Jared Shores, producer, and director for Studio C, and asked him just how they did it. He admits, they were surprised with the success, but looking backward can see how they succeeded. Here's how they did it.

Don't be afraid to wait until it's ready. Matt Meese, who wrote the skit and portrayed the much pummeled Scott Sterling, actually wrote the first draft of this quite a while ago. Everyone liked it, but it wasn't quite right. Instead of saying, "Yeah, it's pretty good," they waited, and refined, and refined, and refined. They asked questions like, will it feel too slow? and how can we make it feel like a real soccer shootout? One of their biggest dilemmas was how to make the progressively escalating face hits seem like a logical progression.

Shores said they actually succeeded a little too much on that last one--many viewers thought that this was actual footage from a real game. "It was never our intention to try to trick anyone. We're a sketch comedy show, of course, it's fake." But, when bootleggers stripped the intros off, what was clear became not so clear. (And in fact, the bootlegged copies got about 40 million views, compared to the original's 13 million views. Maybe deception is another key.)

Good video takes time and money. Shores wanted it to look as much as possible like a real game, and he wanted to film at night. They started at 8:00 p.m. and ended around 4:00 a.m., or a little less than 2 hours per minute of film, not to mention the hours and hours of editing that goes into something like this.

They also brought in extras, who stayed and cheered through the long hours of shooting. They got the real look they wanted. For some shots, Shores used footage from actual soccer matches in order to add authenticity to the picture. Everything had to be thought out carefully.

Hire the right people. Studio C does sketch comedy with the same 10 cast members for every performance. But, in this sketch, they used real soccer players to kick the ball. Why? "We needed people who could kick the ball where it needed to go." Sometimes you need to bring in outside people in order to make your viral video project a success.

Look for the right niche. Shores attributes part of the success to finding something that appealed to a wide audience. Shores said that they didn't write and film it with the idea of "this will play really well in eastern Europe!" But, it did. And in South America, and Western Europe and Asia. Since soccer is a worldwide phenomenon, it really played will with a great swath of people.

But, some of their other successful videos, did so because they played to a small, but passionate group of people. The Truth of Running, which parodies anti-drug spots by treating running as a harmful addiction, got shared among running groups. The New Life Alert, became a hit with firefighters and other first respondents who laughed at women using the life alert to get hunky rescue personnel into their homes.

Shores said they will often look for an idea that hits a group that is small overall, but cohesive enough to want to share video. When they've done this, they've had success.

Set Your Goals (but be prepared to surpass them). Shores wanted to land viral success, but his official goal was to have the highest traffic video on YouTube's BYUTV channel. Traditionally, BYU TV has focused on showing Mormon Tabernacle Choir videos, devotionals, and things like painting shows. But a few years ago, they made a huge leap with Studio C and the critically acclaimed Granite Flats.

Shores says that with the BYU name, people expect something different. "When we ping a writer in Chicago, they think yeah right, I'm not even going to waste my time." But, now that they've seen the video, they may be willing to look again. With this goal in mind, they put all their efforts towards YouTube success with a trio of Hunger Game Parodies, which have done very well themselves, with almost 2 million hits combined, but even with the pop culture references and Mocking Jay coming out, didn't catch fire the way the soccer video does.

Which just goes to show, when chasing the viral, you can't always predict which way popular sentiment can go.

Lessons learned. Viral success is possible, but even with preparation and great material, you do have to rely on a little bit of luck.