// ]]>

The secret to viral YouTube videos

By 20th August 2018 No Comments

20th August 2018

The secret to viral YouTube videos


How many times have you heard that viral videos are just good timing and a boat-load of luck?

Well, that’s partly true, but there are specific things you can do to boost your chances of success. Despite popular opinion, the majority of viral videos are the product of rigorous planning and preparation.

So, we’ve put together some top tips that will give your video far greater chances of going viral.

Keep it short and sweet

Viral videos need to be short and sweet. Essentially viral videos need to be shareable and therefore they need to be short enough to hold your attention, otherwise…

Create good content

This again comes down to share-ability, if your content is dry, no one will share it. It either needs to be funny, interesting, thought-provoking or trending – anything outside of these has little chance of success.

Ride the YouTube algorithm

YouTube’s algorithm favours videos that have high levels of engagement, are transcribed, have very low abandonment rates and have a regular upload frequency. So, if you’re trying for a one-off viral video (without an established channel behind you), you might need a slightly different tactic…

Video Piggybacking

Okay, so this tactic isn’t very well known, but it can work wonders if you can pull it off. Video piggybacking (that’s the technical term) basically plays on YouTube’s auto-playlist feature. You can use a plug-in that allows you to view YouTube video tags and meta-data – such as vidIQ (a YouTube-certified plugin). In a nutshell, find a video that closely matches your content (ideally one with a high daily view count), use similar video’s tags to theirs and the same keywords from the description box, then allow YouTube’s auto-playlist feature to do what it does best. Video piggybacking essentially acts as a launchpad to get your video in front of people and if your video is good, it really works!


If your content is brand new, you’re going to need:

  1. A really great video
  2. A very strong social media campaign to match

More than anything, viral videos rely heavily on the connections you already have. The more people you can encourage to watch and share your video, the better your chances. It doesn’t matter how good your video is if ultimately, no one can see it. Compile a list of everyone you know and do whatever you can to encourage them to share it – on both their business and personal accounts if possible! Ask anyone with a following to share your video even relevant bloggers and Reddit. Remember the snowball effect simply cannot happen without shares.

Forget everything you know about branding… almost


People don’t want to share an advert!


Keep your logos small so they don’t detract from your content. The best viral videos do not feel like an advert. Essentially you want your video to be great, not because of your product or service, but because the actual video is great. Amazon did this brilliantly…

Tell a story

Our whole world revolves around stories. Good stories keep people engaged and engagement is the key to a viral video. Get people to hang off your every word!

Name your creation

Make the title of the video snappy and shareable. Come up with something intriguing that makes you want to know more, *cough* click bate. 

Be emotional

Make your video provoke emotions to really connect with your audience – anger, sadness, empathy, happiness, surprise, shock etc. Viewers are far more likely to share a video if it’s made a real connection with them.

Now you have the inside scoop on what it takes to make a viral video. Use your newfound powers wisely… no more cat videos, please!

Cat Gif

We should warn you though, it’s not an easy job and there’s no ‘one size fits all’. Come and talk to us to see how we can get your brand going viral.

2nd August 2019

Website Performance and Optimisation Checklist

Is your website slowing down? Organic traffic dropping off? Bounce rate through the roof? Is…
Read More
25th July 2019

Edson Evers wins twice at the PRCA DARE awards

Edson Evers has been shortlisted for six awards in the 2019 PRCA Midlands DARE Awards.…
Read More
5th July 2019

Influencers: Election Canada’s mistake

In my previous blog post, ‘making the most out of influencer marketing’, I touched upon…
Read More

Got a story to tell us? Get in touch