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How to Make a YouTube Video Viral? (5 Things to Do)

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How To Create Viral YouTube Videos
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Ever wondered what makes some videos so successful on the internet, while others seem to flop? Tapping into the power of viral videos can be an extremely powerful way to get your channel or brand “on the map.” Let’s go over the basics of how to make a YouTube video viral, as well as some of the benefits associated with this.

Benefits of Creating a Viral YouTube Video

If you’ve been around since the beginning of YouTube (way back in 2005), you likely remember some of the first few videos to ever capture a wider audience. (For Gen Z-ers, this may require some research! You may be surprised at the gems that you uncover.) While these original videos of yore had far less competition, they were given a platform to make a wide impact, affecting folks from around the globe. The implications of this are still resonating to this day.

Aside from reaching a large number of people very quickly, a viral YouTube video can be leveraged to drive web traffic wherever you wish–whether that’s to a landing page or a social platform. This kind of rapid boost in traffic can change your reach practically overnight–with the reassurance that, as a content creator, you may be doing something right. 

When you experience a viral video, it’s a great case study to learn from–how did your title win people over? Did you utilize a captivating thumbnail? What about the video itself did viewers find particularly valuable or resonant? You can learn a lot by picking apart your successes and failures.

Key Ingredients Present in a Viral YouTube Video

While the “viral” video status can feel like something of an enigma, many do share similar characteristics. Here are some key components of a successful video that make it more likely to go viral.

1. High-Quality Audio and Video

Nobody likes to trudge through a video with muffled audio or an unfocused lens. In fact, this is a recipe for a high bounce rate! Putting effort and resources into investing in high-quality production tools will pay dividends down the road and will make your content a pleasure to consume. Not only does this foster a sense of credibility with your audience, but YouTube’s algorithm will promote videos that generate user engagement all the way through to the end. The more you can get picked up by the algorithm, the likelier you are to reach viral status.

2. Click-Worthy Thumbnails and Titles

First impressions matter–and that’s the work your thumbnails and video titles do for you. It’s important to make them count! Ensure your titles, thumbnails, and descriptions are consistent with the content of the video and that they utilize proper Search Engine Optimization (SEO) practices.

3. Engaging and Unique Content (High-Value)

They say time is money. Nobody likes feeling as if they’ve traded their precious time for a video that does not share or provide anything useful, entertaining, or awe-inspiring. Try your best to create original content and keep your audience at the forefront of your mind when you start to plan your next video. What are their needs, desires, and pain points? Why should they watch your video?

4. Leverages Current Trends

Watch For Current Trends

Whether you’re using trending audio bites or another viral challenge that’s already circulating the internet, if your timing is right, you can call in a much wider audience by participating in the topical conversation. This is best done in tandem with other best practices for content creation, to provide more videos for your new audience to enjoy once they find their way to your channel.

5. Cross-Platform Promotion and Shareability

Promote Your Videos on Social Media

Getting your video in front of as many eyes as possible is paramount–especially when you’ve carefully crafted a video that you know could be a hit. This means connecting your YouTube to your website or embedding a video in your pages, posting the video to other platforms like Instagram or TikTok, or even repurposing the original, long-form video into YouTube Shorts.

5 Best Practices Regarding How to Make a YouTube Video Viral

Now that you understand some of the vital components of what can make a widely popular video, let’s dig a little deeper into the top five best tips on how to make a YouTube video viral.

1. Capitalize on Current Events

This doesn’t have to be political or rooted in turmoil–you could focus on everything from the latest trends to weather patterns or underground social movements. Too often, great news doesn’t come from our major media outlets–which is actually great news for you as a content creator. Be the first to break news in your locale, or ask interesting questions about a conversational topic. Don’t forget to encourage engagement with your audience, whether that’s through shares, likes, subscribes, comments, or response videos.

2. Work With Influencers

As you grow your audience, one quick way to give your profile a boost is to collaborate with another creator. This is a win-win for both of you, as it exposes the influencer to your crowd and you to theirs. Your audiences combined can help boost your content even further into the algorithm, increasing the likelihood that your video will take off.

3. Repurpose Successful Content

Maybe you’ve got a particularly successful blog page circulating, or even an older video post that has historically performed well. Updating archived content is a great way to capitalize on a topic that you know works for your audience while contributing the added bonus of presenting you as an expert on the topic, as you’re keeping your audience up-to-date with current trends and information.

4. Make a Captivating Hook

The first few seconds of your video are very important. Don’t create a long, winding intro or utilize obnoxious audio. This encourages your audience to bounce. Start your video with a question or a confirmation of what brings them to your content in the first place (related to the title, thumbnail, and description)–and don’t forget to timestamp your videos!

5. Leverage on Multiple Platforms

Post your video wherever you can, and be sure to optimize it for search engines like Google. Utilize popular high-volume, low-competition keywords for your best chances at success. Not only does cross-promoting your video increase the likelihood it will go viral, but it also establishes continuity for your brand and with your audience.

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Want an even easier way to get immediate views? The experienced team at Viralyft has got you covered. With a suite of YouTube-specific services, we know the industry inside and out–and can help your content reach new heights.

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