Going viral on YouTube is no simple feat. It goes beyond just coming up with a great video. There’s a lot of work that goes into it. At the same time, there are rockstar YouTubers who go viral every time they release a video. How do they do it? The truth is, a lot of the time videos go viral because the video team applies various strategies that increase their visibility online. By using these strategies, you can discover how to make your video popular on YouTube.
Below are some marketing strategies you can use when you’re trying to find out how to make your video go viral.
1 Understand how things go viral on the internet
What is it about the videos like “Gangnam Style” that make them go viral; even though people don’t understand a word of it? Is it related to human psychology? Is this phenomenon far deeper than it appears? What do evolutionary psychologists have to say about this?
2 Release on Thursday to Sunday
We found the best days to post a video to YouTube (for audiences that are similar to ours) is on a Thursday or Friday.
What we found was not much of a surprise. Viewership across our network began increasing on Thursdays, peaked on Saturday, and began tapering off Sunday afternoon. Viewership bottomed out on Mondays, Tuesdays and Wednesdays. We believe this pattern is due in large part to people’s free time being concentrated on Thursday through Sunday. Anecdotally, this tends to be true for our audience demographic of school age kids and young adults.
3 Tell a story
Telling your story on-camera. It can be daunting. But it’s becoming part of the prerequisite for accelerator applications, Kickstarter campaigns, VC presentations, you name it. With the advent of Vine and Instagram Video, the importance of visually communicating to any audience, especially your customer base, is only going to increase.
4 Make your video shorter
The first thing people do when they play a video is check to see how long it is. It helps them decide whether to watch it. 10 minutes: forget it. 2 minutes: I’ll give it a shot. 30 seconds: Heck, might as well.
Make your video as short as possible while still keeping the heart of the story. The editor and I literally spent hours shaving off seconds to get the video down to 1 minute 51 seconds.
Short videos spread better.
5 Figure out who has a stake in your video
If your video takes off, who are all the people and companies who might want a piece of the action? These people can help market you.
My YouTube description was full of links to possible sponsors — to the Lululemon and American Apparel clothes I was wearing. To the Lift app I used to track my dancing. To the BART train station I danced at. To the music I danced to. They’re all things I genuinely believe in, so I was happy to send traffic their way.
6 Write a viral title
They’ll have to click on the article and read if they want to know the answer. And that right there is the power of viral titles. You now have ten great ways to inject a little virality into your own online creations. Use them and watch your traffic, clicks and sales numbers soar.
7 Know what you’re willing to compromise
What are you willing to do for views? Are you willing to compromise on your beliefs? If so, which ones?
I made a compromise. I believe that grown women should not be referred to as girls. Then I named the video Girl Learns to Dance in a Year. It rolls off the tongue better than Woman Learns to Dance in a Year. I had decided I could live with that compromise.
I almost named the video Asian Girl Learns to Dance in a Year. I’m really glad I didn’t do that.