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So your YouTube channel has been up and running for a while, but the views on your videos have been plateauing and even the most loyal of fans haven’t been commenting regularly or leaving as many likes. One way to combat this is to create a video that will send old fans and new viewers alike flocking (back) to your channel and leave them excited for more-and what better way to do this than a viral video?
Here are our tips on how to make a viral video and give your channel that much-needed extra boost!
#1 Make your content outrageous (but don’t violate any guidelines)
Think about the trending topics and popular videos circulating on social media lately. What do they have in common?
Viral videos are a great way to attract new fans because they’re shocking, surprising, impressive, weird and funny. They’re also known as bottle videos, which means that viewers don’t have to possess any prior knowledge to watch them and understand what’s going on.
A general rule of thumb is to keep your video short and shareable. A runtime of 4 minutes is advisable, and do make it available to be viewed from anywhere i.e. downloadable. The easier you make it for your video to be shared, the more likely your viewers will do exactly that.
Unlike your usual content, you don’t have to put in as much effort to engage and interact with fans after uploading a potentially viral video. If it is good enough, it will automatically gain traction and you’ll see a considerable spike in views as fans would share it around on their own accord.
Do take note that viral videos don’t do much to build a strong audience, so don’t expect a conversion rate of more than 1%.
#2 Write a catchy title
Did you know that you only get 3 seconds to hook a viewer? Hence, writing an engaging video title is important. Put yourself in the shoes of a viewer- what is ONE thing about your video that you want them to remember? Brainstorm your title from there. It can take the form of an exclamation or an intriguing question.
Another way is to use popular search terms. One easy method to find out what these search terms are is to type in random phrases into the YouTube search bar and see what kind of videos pop up. Alternatively, hop onto Google Trends to check out the type of titles other content creators are crafting.
Make sure your title is related to the content in your video. While you want to make your viewers watch til the end, never mislead them by using clickbait. This can cause a major dropoff in the first 10 seconds and YouTube will not promote your video as much.
#3 Utilise best practices for your video description
The next thing that will determine how viral your video gets is how well-written your description is. Ensure that your first few sentences are eye-catching and include the video title in the first line.
Make sure your description is full of keywords. Remember that YouTube is a giant search engine! Hence, you can improve your SEO rankings by using the relevant keywords. We recommend a length of between 100 and 300 words. Format with spaces and make them easy to read. However, do not use irrelevant words or YouTube will identify them.
You may also insert links to direct viewers to other websites, if you want them to purchase from your merchandise store or follow you on other social media platforms where you post your content.
Remember that making a viral video doesn’t set your channel up for success in the long run! Review your video after a week or so to see what you’ve done well, where you can improve and how you can adopt some elements of your video into your usual stream of content.