6 of the Best Tips for Creating a Video with Potential to Go Viral on YouTube

The pandemic has caused people to spend more time online than they ever did before. As a result, individuals may be wondering what it takes to create a viral video and earn some money while spending more time indoors.

Certain common elements exist among viral videos and recognizing these uniting threads will help you create viral content. However, creators also need to recognize that all the different video platforms work slightly differently and the approach to making a video go viral can be slightly different between them. Moreover, each platform has its own tools to help content creators on their quest to make video go viral.

One of the key platforms for posting videos is YouTube. Some tips to keep in mind for making videos go viral on YouTube include:

1. Make the title literal.

Creators sometimes spend so much time on the video that they neglect its title. The title is how people will find the video, so it is extremely important to get it right. Naming a video is difficult. You may want to check out some of your favorite viral videos to get a better sense of naming conventions before you try to name your own.

In general, the best titles are very literal and descriptive. The title should tell people exactly what they are going to see rather than serve as a teaser. The teaser strategy rarely works for viral content as people need to be compelled to click. A descriptive and vivid title makes people more curious than something that is vague and leading.

2. Think about keywords.

In terms of both title and content description, creators need to think about the right keywords to attract viewers. Words like “new” and “official” often get the attention of people looking for videos. However, it is also important to include keywords specific to the actual video.

For example, if the video is about cooking a particular recipe, putting words like “delicious” and “foodie” in the title and throughout the description can help people find the video in their searches. Descriptors like “easy” and “simple” can also appeal to people who are looking for a particular type of recipe. On the other hand, “impressive” and “gourmet” give a different feel altogether.

3. Optimize the description.

Search engine optimization (SEO) refers to strategies to get a particular page to rank highly when a phrase is Googled. YouTube uses its own search algorithms and getting ranked high depends largely on the description.

Each video description should be at least 300 words and packed with keywords and phrases directly related to the video. Including links to other content or additional information can also help.

When it comes to figuring out the ideal keywords and phrases to include, Rank Tracker is an effective tool. It can help individuals monitor the ranking process and see if changes to content get the video to rank higher in searches.

4. Consider mobile devices.

Smartphones are commonly used to watch content on YouTube and people are spending considerable time on their mobile devices watching these videos. The Analytics feature on YouTube can help people see how much of their traffic is from mobile devices and the data even gets broken down by operating system.

Going viral means making the video friendly for mobile viewing. To do this, individuals need to make sure that video titles and thumbnails appear as intended on the various mobile operating systems. The thumbnail image should be easily recognized and the title should not be truncated in a way that is confusing or misleading.

5. Create your own closed captions and subtitles.

An underused SEO tactic for YouTube is to provide subtitles and closed captions. YouTube did its own test on captions and found that they actually slightly increase the number of views. This probably relates to the ability of closed captioning to expose video content to a larger audience, including people who have difficulty hearing and international viewers.

While YouTube offers an automatic speech recognition service to make captions, the generated scripts can have a lot of errors, so it is better for content creators to write their own. On some occasions, the automatically generated captions can look like gibberish, which counts against SEO and pushes the video down in search rankings.

6. Add proper tags to the video.

YouTube lets people add tags to their videos. These tags essentially serve as keywords and get entered when uploading or editing a video. While YouTube has an auto-suggest tool, it can pay to do some research on popular tags used by similar videos. Doing a bit of legwork can help a video appear in searches for those videos.

Importantly, you should not go overboard with tags. Stick just to those that are directly related to the video and popular search terms. Rank Tracker is a good tool for learning about effective tags. Also, people can change tags over time and the most effective ones will likely change every year or so. Quotation marks can be used to indicate a multi-word tag.

Jukin Media is one of the largest licensers of viral videos and represents more than 50,000 independent video creators.

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