How to Get Your First Viral Video on YouTube


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How to Get Your First Viral Video on YouTube

Sometimes it only takes one video to take your YouTube channel from obscurity to popularity. This is the dream of the viral video, a video that quickly gets millions of views and engagement, resulting in a new surge of subscribers. But while some viral videos might be freak accidents — seen by the right person with enough of an audience to blow it up — most take work that viewers never see.

So if you’re still trying to get your first viral video, here are a few of our tips.

#1 – Work With Influencers

Remember the anecdote about freak accident viral videos that are spotted by big names who share them with all their followers? Well, you can actually make that “freak accident” a little more intentional by working with influencers. By working on a project with an influencer popular with your audience, you can get your name out there with their audience. This could be creating a response to their videos and tagging them or even filming a video with that influencer.

A couple strategies for success here: first, make sure you have something of value to offer the influencer. If it feels as though you simply want to chase their clout, they’ll likely be disinclined to work with you. But if you have something that actually relates to their brand, you might catch their interest. The second is to be sensible in the influencers you reach out to. If you have a YouTube channel that’s just starting out, you probably won’t get big name reality TV stars to work with you. But you might be able to work with successful micro-influencers who can still help your video gain traction.

#2 – Post Consistently

Behind most viral videos are an entire backlog of videos that only got a couple hundred views. But that’s part of the process. The more consistently you post, the better the chances of your videos being seen. This happens for a few reasons. The most obvious is that when you post consistently, you slowly build up an audience, and that audience can share your video with others. YouTube’s algorithm also prioritizes channels that post consistently so that they can avoid spam. Thus the more consistently you post, the higher those videos will rank in searches.

#3 – Make Videos With Engaging Topics

Don’t just make the same old videos you see over and over again? That market is oversaturated. But when you make something unique, controversial, or otherwise engaging, it’s much more likely to catch the interest of your audience. If you’re still trying to get that viral video, consider filming your hot takes, funny videos, or unique video format ideas. It may still take a few to gain traction, but you’re likely to see some growth when you offer a different perspective than most of what’s out there.

#4 – Network and Engage

Respond to your comments — without launching into a comment battle with a troll. Ask them questions on social media and make videos based on their preferences. This can make your channel something that they look forward to, a chance at a further conversation. Network with other creators, as well. Consider promoting your favorite YouTube creators or attending networking events where you can meet other creators. These networking connections may help your videos to be shared with broader audiences.

#5 – Know Where To Share Your Video

Don’t just rely on the YouTube algorithm to get your video out there. Share it on social media. Look for Reddit forums relevant to your subject matter and post there, as well. If you have a blog, share the video on your vlog. Post shortened versions as stories on Facebook, Tik Tok, or Instagram. All of this can help to bring in outside views. Plus, as shareable as social media is, it may help your audience to get some circulation on your would-be viral videos, as well.

#6 – Perfect Your Metadata

Your metadata is the keywords, tags, titles, thumbnail images, and more that your video uses to be sorted in YouTube’s searches. This is fundamental if you want your video to go viral. Know what keywords trend related to the subject of your video, as well as the tags that might be explored. Use those where it’s appropriate in your video. If you can use the main keyword or tags in your video title, all the better. Your thumbnail should be clear and attractive, with some kind of caption that further describes what the video is about.

Consider adding audio descriptions and captions on YouTube, as well. These will make your video more accessible, but they will also give YouTube more data to sort your video.

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