Seven Kickass Tips to Make your Video Go Viral on YouTube

If just a single “Why this Kolaveri Di” video on YouTube could give Actor Dhanush and his movie instant international fame, you can only imagine what a viral video can achieve for your business. A number of top businesses across the world have made YouTube their de-facto marketing medium in their digital marketing plans, keeping their fingers crossed on their chances of going viral. Although, it may look like viral videos happen just by luck, the fact is that all viral videos have similar traits and are made so deliberately using well-planned and clear steps. I would like to share with you the following tips on how to make your video go viral on YouTube:

Telling a Story

No matter what you are trying to sell, it is the story that makes it click, especially in branded video for a business. An interesting story that makes people smile or make them think, is what increases the chances of your business video going viral on YouTube. Viewers will not be keen to share a video that just harps on the merits of a brand’s products or services. Instead, they would prefer sharing amazing stories.

For instance, look at The Scarecrow video by the Restaurant Chain Chipotle. The video tells an emotional story of a scarecrow heartrendingly surveying the insensitive industrialized agriculture. It must be noted that the brand’s name appears only for one or two seconds at the end. To express the ‘go natural’ message even further, an attractive scarecrow-themed game app has also been launched for iPhone users. With a whopping 13 million YouTube views, Chipotle not only gathered a number of fans, but also mended the damage caused by their ill-famed Twitter fake hack mess.

Getting Celebrities on the Video

If you want your video to have any chance in going viral, you should make sure that it captures its viewers’ interest in the first five seconds itself. The best way to do so, often overused by popular brands, is to have celebrities play a part in the video. When you present celebrities, ensure that they are shown within the first five seconds of the video. Recently, one of the most viewed online branded viral videos was Nike’s Mirrors ad campaign.

In the video, they show the Brazilian Football sensation Neymar Jr. tackling his way through the opponents on a soccer field flanked by mirrors. It is Neymar Jr. that grabs the viewers’ attention throughout the video.

Capture Feelings

Nailing the viewer’s attention may not always be enough to keep them glued to the screen throughout the video. If your video fails to invoke some emotions in the viewer, you will soon have the audience switch to another video. Have something in the video that tickles their funny bone, something that makes them smile or cry. This keeps them hooked throughout. Have you seen the Unsung Hero ad by Thai Life Insurance? With more than 20 million views, this wonderful ad has driven many to tears.

Such videos based on human values relate with many people and thus spreads faster than other branded videos.

Using Surprises

Surprises keep the viewers interested, and boost the social currency of a video. This is why they are shared better than others are. Surprises play an important role in the shareability of a video, but that does not mean you should go overboard with shocking/ explicit content, because it scares the viewers away from sharing, as do not want to risk offending their friends on their social networks. Have you seen the Unbelievable Bus Shelter video by Pepsi Max UK? This is perhaps the best example of using little surprises to spread a smile. In the video, Pepsi uses an innovative video and projection technology on unwary commuters to astound them with innovative graphical illusions.

Take it to the Influencers

You have an incredible video that generates a blend of emotions in the viewers, but that alone may not ensure that it goes viral. To get it out before more viewers, you should take it to the right people whose social shares or comments can make a big difference. A famous example of this is the Double Rainbow video.

This amateur video just shows a boring double rainbow. Largely ignored like many other videos on YouTube and about to be shelved off with other dead videos, the moment American comedian Jimmy Kemmel mentioned it in one of his tweets, everything changed. Today, with more than 40 million hits, this video is one of the most viral videos since 2010 until this day.

Source: The Guardian

The First 24 hours after Launch

If you really want your video to go viral, it has to show YouTube that it can bring up some good traffic within the first 24 hours of its launch. YouTube constantly watches the number of views, comments and shares your video gets during this timeframe. If its algorithm finds your video’s performance sufficient, YouTube will put up your video on your country’s video chart. This enchances the viral capability of your video, and with some well-planned social media campaigns you can actually make it work.

Getting your YouTube video shared on Social Networks

The real measure of your video’s probability to go viral is not the number of views you get on YouTube, but it is the frequency at which your video is being shared and talked about on social networks. When your video is shared on social networks, more and more users will hear about it. When people start mentioning your video on social network conversations, many more people will be curious and watch it. Sharing is the ultimate step to make your video go viral on YouTube.

So, to summarize, by making sure that your video tells a compelling story that invokes some emotions, you can guarantee that the viewer is completely engaged. Put up a few entertaining surprises and you can increase its viral capabilities. Have some influential social media users talk about the video, and you will see the video spread like wildfire. Take some effort on the interactions like commenting and sharing in the first 24 hours to please the YouTube algorithm. Finally, concentrate your efforts more on the shares than the views your video gets as you steer your social media campaigns.