Making a YouTube Video go Viral

One question those of us in Social Media marketing agencies deal with on a constant basis the following: How do I make my YouTube video go viral?

A concept still new to many in the region, and largely misunderstood by those creating ads, posting them online, and then not knowing how to generate this ‘viral buzz’. Content obviously plays a part of whether the video is searched for based on said content. If you want a truly viral video that will get millions of people to watch and share it, then yes, content is key. However, it is not THE main deal breaker. Some videos are just not funny enough (when meant to be funny) or attention grabbing. Others are just badly made. No matter how much money one spends on advertising via social media or other means, the video might get thousands of viewers, but it most certainly won’t be shared and thus, won’t go viral.

So, some important tips to keep in mind when planning a viral video are the following:

  • Keep it short: 15-30 seconds is ideal. If the video is much longer, breaking it up into a few smaller clips is the way to go.
  • To get into the top most viewed videos page on YouTube (aka 50,000 views), harness the power of blogs, forums, Social Media Networks and Friends to spread, share and view the video. Taking it into the most viewed page, where thousands of people visit to find interesting videos, will turn it viral.
  • Once the video has 50,000 views or more, make sure the title and description are extremely catchy, because that is what will get people to click on the video. Both can be changed countless times.
  • A a compelling video thumbnail is the single best strategy to maximize the number of clicks the video gets once it is in the Most Viewed page on YouTube.
  • Get people to comment on your video. Create controversy if needed, even by creating fake accounts, and having a conversation with yourself.
  • Most importantly, if your video has any chance of going viral, it needs to hit the audience where it matters: It needs to achieve a physical response from there, be it a smile, a laugh, tears, goose bumps etc…
  • Make use of strategic tagging.
  • Keep tracking your video every week or couple of weeks, checking on increasing or decreasing views, and tweak it accordingly.
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