As of now, and probably for the foreseeable future, YouTube is and will remain the largest video streaming platform online. Largest content creators on YouTube are celebs with global recognition. Millions of loyal fans and subscribers help them rake in thousands of dollars for every video and deals with sponsors make them millionaires. So, creating popular videos on YouTube is quite a lucrative career choice, isn’t it? In this guide, we will give you a few pointers and tips (10 in total) on how to make a viral video on YouTube and what you can do to become the next big trendsetter on the platform.
#1 – Know the meta
Meta, as it is called, is a combination of your video features that provides information about your video. So, YouTube video metadata is the video description, hashtags, video length, title, thumbnail, etc. Metadata is used by YouTube’s algorithms to optimise content recommendations and help users who are searching, to find videos that entertain them the most and fit their search criteria the most.
Metadata consists of hashtags, video description, the video thumbnail and the video title itself. More on these a bit later on.
Try to see what competitors are doing and whether their channels are growing in the recent 3-6 month period. If so, see what ideas and things you can use on your own content to make it much more enjoyable.
#2 – Post your video on a Monday or a Tuesday
If you think that a Friday or the Weekend is the only good time to release a YouTube video, you’re not ultimately right. It’s a strange paradox, but people seem to be very interested in YouTube videos during the later part of working hours during Mondays and Tuesdays.
The best times to publish a video on YouTube:
· 2:00-4:00 PM on Mondays, Tuesdays and Wednesdays
· 12:00-3:00 PM on Thursdays and Fridays
· 9:00-11:00 AM during the weekends and holidays
Now keep in mind that this is only a rough estimate and all times are EST. So, you need to adjust this data according to your very own time zone if your audience is from a different location. In short, however, posting in the evening is only worth it if you can notify a lot of your fans beforehand (using the premiere feature) or if you already have an audience that is accustomed to you uploading videos during the evening. Otherwise, even if you have something ready, say 9:00PM, let it sit until tomorrow.
#3 – Don’t forget your mobile viewers
Some experts predict that by the end of this decade, a lot more than 70% of all browsing will be done on mobile devices. As of now, over half of the views are said to come from mobile device users which means that the video should be aimed at pleasing the audience which is trying to watch from a smaller screen.
This tip is mostly oriented towards thumbnail and video title optimisation. Make sure that the most important details can be seen on a small screen; otherwise, you risk losing views.
#4 – Choose a topic that increases your chances of going viral
You probably know that some topics gather more traction than others, right? Well, it is very easy to understand why. A video guide on how to fix a very specific issue of Windows 10 has a much lesser chance of going viral rather than a video of someone dropping a PC from a 25-story building. Why? Simply because a lot more people are interested in videos of destruction and seeing pure entertainment rather than looking at someone trying to remove an error or an issue within their PC. You need to appeal to a broader audience with a viral video.
This was just a very general example. If you really wish to go viral, you have to select an appropriate topic that summons particular emotions from viewers. Those emotions that help spread viral videos are anger, joy, sadness, amusement and entertainment, anxiety and awe. Here are a few examples of such videos.
#5 – Piggyback on the success of others
Want to find the quickest way of creating viral videos? In that case, we can say that making compilations is definitely the way to go. Some of the largest YouTube channels to-date have begun by or still keep making compilations of videos in various niches and topics. You can either try and create your own ideas just like hh1edits or just make something that has tons of viewers like fails or extreme sports videos and try to get your own slice of the viewers’ pie.
If you want something that can excite the viewers a lot, here’s a freebie: do compilation videos and then your own reactions to that compilation or a different compilation in a separate video.
#6 – Don’t make a video that is too short unless it’s pure gold
Yes, of course, good content wins out in the end and even a video that’s 3 seconds long can go viral. But if we take your chances in percentages, longer videos (those that match meta length) have a much higher chance of gaining organic traction. Even though you should always strive to make your video as short as possible, don’t overlook the fact that videos over 8 minutes long are much more valued by YouTube’s algorithm and content creators. Why? Well, firstly because of ads, and secondly – people are usually looking for content which is informative and useful, not just short memes and stuff.
#7 – Do the dirty work behind the scenes
People usually forget that in order to make the video popular, content creators have to put in a lot of work. We suggest that you don’t cut any corners in terms of editing, script-writing, thumbnail-design and especially, video advertising. Make sure everything works like a well-oiled machine. Otherwise, your efforts have a much higher chance of not bringing good results home.
When we talk about dirty work, we mean not just editing but also things like sharing the video or even buying views. Yes, buying Youtube views from BuySocialMediaMarketing can be a great way to kickstart a viral video campaign or to help a trend hit the ground running. This is a cheap method a lot of new content creators use to grow or to promote their trends.
In terms of other tools to help advertise, you can use cross-platform social media advertising and promoting your video on Instagram, Facebook, TikTok, etc. Don’t also overlook and underestimate the advertising power of YouTube comments. Dive in and spread your link to get others in the know about your most recent uploads.
#8 – Avoid creating something that you don’t want to be associated with
This tip is not aimed at something specific but rather the mindset of a content creator as a whole. The worst thing that can happen to any Youtuber is publishing a video that he wants nothing to do with. Whether it is degrading, stupid, angry or flawed in any other way, people will definitely remember your creation and associate it with you. So, make sure to keep that in mind because popularity and fame do come with a price. If you have an amusing video where you fall off a bike, think about whether you can cope with always being that one guy who fell off his bike very awkwardly. If you’re alright with that – go ahead and post, but if not, look for something that won’t display your personal image or try and create something viral from scratch. Only this time make sure to exclude any painfully cringy or shameful videos.
An example of a viral video that really is a pain for the person who was featured:
#9 – Get to know the ins and outs of video SEO
There are a lot of guides on how to make a video go viral on YouTube. They focus solely on content optimisation and working with metadata. Even though we believe that it is crucial, we can’t say that keyword optimisation is the only thing that helps a video become more popular. Regardless, its importance cannot be neglected and here’s how you can make the most from content and metadata optimisation.
Add keywords to your title
Even though you may have a catchy, unique, artsy or even entirely new ideas on how to label your video, don’t (at first, at least). We strongly advise that you optimise video titles by sprinkling a few keywords here and there because it will significantly improve the SEO and rankings of your videos.
Make sure to stay within the length limits and try to narrow everything down as much as possible. Be concise. That is probably priority #1, and second of all – use modifying keywords to make sure even more people sense the urge to click. These include New, Updated, Revised, Official. The latter word is super effective and usually helps specific videos rise in the search above those which haven’t got those words. To know what keywords are on fire at the moment, use Google Trends or various YouTube keyword tools available online.
Tags aren’t much different from regular keywords, but they have a specific location in the video editing/upload section. YouTube tags help the system filter and source the content via the search and recommendations option. We don’t recommend using everything that YouTube auto-suggests as these are just basic recommendations and can overlook significant aspects that your video or channel has to offer.
Also, use the keyword research tools to make the most from this opportunity. Do not forget that tags can be more than a single word. It can be a set of words or a short phrase.
Other things you can do
There are, of course, a lot more ways to improve the chances for your video to go viral. Here a few more
· Some people overlook the importance of having a proper file name for your video. Titles that are unrelated to your topic might slightly harm the popularity, yet no one can tell exactly. Make sure the file name is related to the topic, like “Cyberpunk 2077 Gameplay Part 1” or “Driving in downtown Chicago” not “received1643.mp4”.
· Craft a neat and comprehensive video description. The description should be close to 2000 characters or 300 words. Make sure to list source material mentioned in the video to help people find if they want to see more of something. Furthermore, you can add timecodes to your description so viewers can navigate with ease. Also shortly describe what will be shown in the video, the lore or the backstory at the very beginning of the description. You can add in some keywords to boost SEO.
· You should also spend some time to craft captions and subtitles. For some reason, videos with English subtitles gather 3-7% more views than videos without them. Of course, it takes a lot of time at first, but a difference of 5% can mean a lot more subs and views.
· Make sure to create some overlays that will pop up during the video. Powerful calls to action or pop-ups at the right time can boost your view numbers significantly. This is an essential tool in making more of your videos go viral.
If you want to know, even more, you can read this blog from thenextweb to get more in-depth info on how to optimise your descriptions and taglines for maximum chances of going viral.
#10 – Use the right third-party tools
Even though YouTube has an enormous budget that totals billions of dollars and the tools it offers content creators are fantastic, you can still find better third-party solutions out there. As of now, you do have a lot of tools and apps that a content creator must utilise to improve the growth rate of their channel.
The platform and tool that is vidIQ is used by a lot of small, mid-sized and large YouTube channels. It’s one of those tools that can almost do it all for you. By using graphs, charts and lots of insights, any content creator can maximise the potential that his or her content might have to offer. The best thing is that you can monitor every single piece of data about your channel with this tool.
Social Blade is an analytical tool for YouTube channels. However, you can also branch your choices out to other social media platforms as well. The platform claims that it provides services to over 45 million YouTube creators as of November 2020. One of the most helpful tools of Social Blade is the ability to find influencers that can advertise your content.
Canva is a visual editing platform that will make it very easy for you to create awesome thumbnails for your videos.
All in all – if you can take advantage of the current meta, use it to your advantage, select the best third-party tools, and take care of other things that we mentioned, you will definitely gain more traction with audiences. Saying that ‘Knowing and understanding the meta is crucial’ is quite a complicated way of merely urging you to work on crafting out an exciting video title, using the right hashtags and writing a captivating description. Besides, one should never forget to use a visually attractive thumbnail which should stand out and catch the eye of a person who is scrolling!