When YouTube was launched in 2005 as a dating website, no one could’ve predicted that someday it would turn into one of the largest social media platforms in the world. But today, YouTube has 2.6 billion monthly active users from all over the world. According to recent statistics, YouTubers upload approximately 3.7 million new videos on this platform every day.
But YouTube is not like any other social media platform. It’s a revolution in the content marketing industry that has paved the way for the invention of a considerable number of new social networks and content marketing strategies.
So, it shouldn’t be surprising that so many content creators are enthusiastically following the new best practices on YouTube to enhance their brand awareness. In this blog post, we will explore some of these methods and help you find the secret recipe for going viral in 2023. Let’s get started:
Before jumping into our main discussion, it’s worth exploring the concept of viral content and what it indicates in the framework of YouTube. Generally speaking, viral content is any piece of content, such as a video, image, or article, that gets massive and rapid attention across social media platforms and digital channels.
The reason that something goes viral is not always the same. But in any case, people find the content interesting, entertaining, or informative. This content generates a considerable amount of traffic and engagement which gives the creator a unique place to make itself known to a wider range of audience segments.
The secrets of creating viral content are different from one platform to another. But there are certain key factors that can significantly increase your chances of success. Let’s examine some of them that will give you a better shot at gaining online visibility.
Storytelling is one of the practices that is shared among many marketing strategies. There is always a human attraction to stories that make us want to follow them till the end and satisfy our curiosity. This can be effectively integrated into your viral content generation strategy on YouTube and help you find narratives that resonate with the audience.
Although compelling stories don’t just have a good plot or narrative. You also need to find a way to evoke emotions, inspire action, and create a sense of deep, personal connection between your brand and your target audience.
But all of this requires you to know your audience and understand what they care about. Only then, you can come up with ideas and stories that are relatable to certain audience segments and can be easily shared among a wider population. And don’t forget to use visuals, music, and other elements to enhance that emotional connection.
The next component is also one of the factors that can be applied to all content marketing strategies: Uniqueness. Originality and authenticity are highly important whenever you want to make viral content that also improves your brand reputation. In other words, viral content is not a goal in and of itself.
The confusion sometimes comes from the popular statement that “every publicity is good publicity.” This is far from the truth. Big brands always aspire to shape a social image that is both memorable and respectable. Otherwise, people cannot really trust the services and products they offer to the market.
So it is essential to create videos that offer something new and interesting that sets it apart from other videos in your niche. It’s also a good idea to include a strong message or purpose in your content to capture the viewer's attention and keep them engaged.
We briefly mentioned the importance of emotional appeal earlier, but it’s worth digging a bit deeper into the psychological and emotional dynamics that drive viral content circulation. The simplest explanation is that when a piece of content evokes strong emotions, such as happiness, sadness, anger, or inspiration, there is a higher chance that people share it with others.
Put simply, there is a direct correlation between the viewers’ emotional arousal or heightened physiological activity and content virality. To evoke such emotions, however, may not be that easy. It’s a very challenging task to keep a balance between heightened emotional perception and continuous audience engagement with the brand’s content, services, and products.
This will require you to not only get to know your audience's personality and mindset but also fully recognize the limits of content generation. Notice that storytelling, especially with music, video, and visual components can be a very strong tool. So make sure you are using this tool with extra caution.
The next two components that impact content virality are timeliness and relevance. Sometimes you see a very well-crafted piece of content that is simply not relevant to current events, trends, or issues and will not receive the amount of attention you expect. You can also see the opposite; A random, poorly-crafted piece of content that just happens to be published at the right time and place.
While you cannot control most of the social and cultural trends, you can optimize your content publication schedule according to the best practices. For instance, you must ensure the content is uploaded timely in terms of the platform's algorithm. In other words, you should find out when your audience is more active on YouTube and publish your content at exactly that timeframe.
In terms of relevance, two factors are critical to keep in mind. First, every piece of content should preferably be connected to your services and products or at least, your brand’s social image. The second factor is the connection of content to current trends in your niche or events on a local, national, and international level.
If you think people don’t judge a book by its cover, you are simply mistaken. The way things are introduced is crucial to how we perceive and interact with them. This is why you should pay extra attention to elements like the title, thumbnail, and description of your video that will give your audience a first impression of what the content is about.
The title and thumbnail should be visually appealing and engaging, but they also have to accurately describe the video on your page. The description is a component that is very often ignored. But it is one of the most determining factors for search engines that will help your video rank higher for relevant keywords and receive more exposure.
Search engine optimization is a fully-fledged and highly popular practice across many marketing channels and platforms. And sure enough, YouTube is no exception. If you want your content to be viral, you have two primary targets to factor in: Viewers and search engines! But what does it mean to optimize content for search engines?
You already know that integrating relevant keywords and phrases is an integral part of search engine optimization. Another great way to SEO optimize your video content for YouTube is adding tags to help YouTube categorize your video and suggest it to users who are interested in similar content.
You can also add captions and subtitles to your videos to improve their accessibility and enhance the level of content’s findability in search results. And don’t forget to leverage annotations and end screens for encouraging viewers to check out your other videos or promote your service and products.
Capturing audiences’ attention requires you to fully understand the dynamics and algorithms of the social media platform you’re using and make sure that your content matches the dominant trends. Here are two examples to elucidate this point:
In recent years, there has been a shift towards short-form content on YouTube. Many content creators even strongly advocated short-form videos that did rarely exceed five minutes. It’s important to note that, unlike many trends, the shift toward short-form content was not a temporary phase.
On the contrary, it was an inevitable outcome of a long-expected social phenomenon: Shrinking attention span! Today, many consumers want bite-sized content that can be consumed quickly and easily. Take a look at the explosive popularity of social platforms like Instagram, TikTok, etc. and you will see that YouTube had no choice but to accept this gradual shift.
That being said, YouTube is one of the very few platforms that hosts an enormous amount of long-form content that has its own audience, especially in niches such as gaming, vlogging, and education that require a longer timeframe to present their content.
Overall, if you don’t have specific brand policies and content restrictions, we recommend experimenting with different formats and lengths of content to find what works best for your business objectives, audience persona, and niche.
Influencer collaborations generally fall under the category of influencer marketing, which has turned into one of the most popular trends in viral YouTube content. Influencer collaborations are essentially partnerships between influencers on the one hand, and brands or other content creators on the other.
This kind of collaboration is fairly popular across all niches from academia to business management, sports shows, podcasting, etc. The main purpose of starting a collaborative project is to enhance exposure and leverage the social appeal and popularity of your partners to gain a larger following base.
But it is important to note that not every collaboration is helpful. As mentioned earlier, you must set your own agenda based on primary objectives that contribute to your business growth. Once you have a clear vision and mission, it would be easier to identify influencers and creators that can be a part of your journey.
Now, let’s examine some of the strategies that will increase your chances of generating viral content:
Even if you run the most expensive content campaign and generate high-quality videos, you may not get the optimal results. This is one of the common mistakes we witness in marketing affairs that sometimes takes brands to the brink of bankruptcy. If you want to avoid this mistake, make sure you fully understand your target audience.
Now you might think that understanding everything, from their interests to preferences, needs, behaviors, and more about so many people is impossible. And you are right! But every business has certain audience segments that are more likely to convert into customers. These segments often have similar patterns of behavior that make it easier for you to connect with them.
Your first step is to research your audience's demographics, psychographics, and online behavior to gain insights into what they care about and what motivates them to engage with content. You can also use analytics tools to track your audience's engagement with your videos and leverage your findings to create viral content.
Developing a content strategy is essential to your campaign’s success. Notice that creating viral content requires a long, complicated, and carefully planned process to ensure that the ultimate result aligns with your brand, values, and goals and meets the needs and interests of your target audience.
Content strategy also gives you a clearer picture of the path ahead of you. This way, you’ll always have a clear-cut benchmark to evaluate your success and ensure content consistency, effectiveness, and engagement are meeting your expectations.
Some businesses prefer to focus all their attention on a single social media platform and grow an exclusive community there. This might be a good idea in some cases, but generally speaking, it’s recommended to leverage various platforms and cross-promotion tactics to increase your chances of going viral on YouTube.
Notice that many popular platforms like Instagram and Facebook offer you advanced tools to share video content. Others like Twitter allow the publishing of video content but are not originally designed for this format. So, it’s better to devise your social media strategy according to the platform’s common content typology to make it more shareable and relatable.
Most business owners are so preoccupied with their numerous responsibilities that cannot find the time to answer comments or even read them on their social media accounts. But, engaging with your audience is integral to building brand loyalty and awareness.
So, make sure to hire a social media manager to fill the gap and help you create a sense of community with your viewers.
Lastly, do not underestimate the power of data analytics tools. If you want to keep your business on the right track, you must continuously analyze your performance data with tools like TubeBuddy, Tubular Labs, and Unbox Social and measure all your marketing efforts based on metrics like views, watch time, engagement, and retention rate to drive better results.
If you’re not sure about the right strategy, try running an A/B campaign and test different elements of your content and see what resonates best with your audience. This is a surefire way to get more and more engagement and finally, get your desired content virality.
There you go, folks! By implementing these strategies, you can create high-quality, relevant, and engaging content that resonates with your target audience and gives your brand the attention it deserves to thrive.
If you have just started your YouTube channel or looking for some market-proven tips to ensure your growth, here is our advice to you: Take the time to learn, keep your efforts consistent, and be dedicated to your vision. This is how you will outshine competitors.
And if you need more professional support, we’re happy to offer you our knowledge, resources, and skills. With a leadership team driven by excellence and a passion for pushing boundaries, Driver Studios understands that your brand's success depends on continuous innovation and high-quality content.
We have gathered together a team of experienced industry experts that will redefine the creation and distribution of video content and deliver a truly unique and captivating experience. Our mission is to level up content marketing with extraordinary videos while adhering to COPPA compliance and meeting customers’ expectations.
Our team of experts is here to guide you every step of the way, we'll help you create content that exceeds all your expectations and brings you the organic traffic and online exposure you need to gain an edge over competitors. So why wait? Contact our team and let your teenage marketing instincts run wild.