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A minute-long video is worth 1.8-million words. That’s according to Forrester Research, which also stated that, with a video, a webpage’s chances of landing a page-one listing on Google increase fifty-three times.
This must be why many marketers pour thousands of dollars into video production in the hope of making the next viral video. Even so, only a small percentage of YouTube videos manage to achieve virality.
Why is that?
The reason some videos go viral and some don’t is the result of many different factors. It could be length-related. It could be concept-related. It could also be tied to quality. It could be the memorability of the website address. Or it could be the four and more combined.
Here are some of the basic tips for making your YouTube videos go viral.
- Keep It Short and Interesting
That’s how long you have to make a compelling first impression with your video. This is because for every hundred people that happen upon and play an online video, nineteen abandon the video within the first ten seconds. By the time the video reaches a minute of play, it would have lost around 44% of its viewers.
This can be because of a number of things.
- There are too many videos online for an average viewer to spend minutes watching just one.
- The beginning of your video doesn’t incite curiosity.
- The longer a video plays, the more a viewer will have to burn through his or her mobile data plan to watch it.
- Longer videos require more time sacrifice, which many viewers can’t give.
Rules are rules, but some videos break them and still go viral. Some movies run for over two hours and still garner millions of paid views; that’s because they are interesting. If you are going to make a two-or-more-minute YouTube video, make sure it’s worth the time you expect viewers to spend watching it.
- Tell a Story
Stories excite the mind and permeate the core of our emotions. They promise us a vicarious journey and inspire us. That’s why an avid reader can sit for a day or two devouring a 700-page novel. That’s why millions of people can’t wait for the next season of the Game of Thrones to be released.
Now, the reason someone wouldn’t dedicate a tiny fraction of the hours spent on a novel or television series to watching your YouTube video is simple: ‘bad storytelling’. The best videos tell a story that viewers can relate with.
If you doubt that, go over to YouTube and watch ten viral videos, and you will see that they all tell a good story.
- Title and Description
Your video may be captivating, but if you don’t caption it creatively, it may sit there among millions of other YouTube videos, unnoticed and forgotten.
Great titles and descriptions aren’t just about writing something interesting. They have to be optimised with popular keywords that are relevant to the content of your video. YouTube also allows you to add tags to your video—ten to twenty appropriate tags will do the job.
By optimising your videos, you are not only making them more visible on YouTube; their search engine rankings improve too.
- Spread the Word
After publishing your video, don’t slump back and relax. Your work is not done. You have to let people know that you just posted a new video. If you run a blog, then post a link to the video there. Share it on your social media timelines and ask your friends to share it to. Do guest posts for other blogs and naturally link to the video. Send out newsletters.
- When to Release Your Video
An extensive study by New-York-based multi-YouTube-channel network, Frederator, suggests that Thursday, Friday, and Saturday are generally the best days to post videos on YouTube. This seems reasonable, since people’s zeal at work tends to falter towards the end of the week.
- If you are going to release your video on Monday, Tuesday, or Wednesday, do it between 2pm to 4pm (EST).
- If on Thursday or Friday, do it between 12pm and 3pm.
- Then if on Saturday or Sunday, do it between 9am and 11am.
These are when people watch videos on YouTube the most.
Has your YouTube video ever gone viral? If yes, why not share the things you did that helped it’s climb to virality in the comment area.