How to make YouTube video viral

How To Make Your YouTube Video Viral in 2023 [10 Easy Steps to Follow]

Discover the ultimate guide to making your YouTube video go viral in 2023. Learn powerful strategies, expert tips, and cutting-edge techniques to captivate viewers, boost engagement, and skyrocket your video's popularity. Unleash the potential of your content and become a viral sensation on the world's most influential video platform. Don't miss out on the opportunity to master the art of virality and make your mark in the digital landscape of 2023

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For most YouTubers, making their YouTube videos viral is the whole purpose of creating them. It can be disappointing if your video does not go viral despite maintaining its quality and value. However, you can turn the game around by learning effective digital marketing strategies and making your YouTube videos viral. These strategies will cover creating compelling visuals, maintaining the quality of videos and thumbnails, following SEO rules, and more. Before we explore the top 10 ways to make your YouTube video viral, let’s look at what kind of videos go viral.

What Makes YouTube Videos Go Viral 

A viral video is a video clip shared through various social media platforms to build a large audience quickly. The content of the viral video needs to be unique, attention-grabbing, and highly shareable to be successful. However, some videos might go viral at a slow pace but achieve high levels of engagement. 

Earlier, 1 million views were called viral videos. Now 5 to 10 million views fall into the YouTube viral video category. So, it is essential to build engagement to make your YouTube video go viral. Here are some elements that can increase your chances of building audiences and let your video go viral:

What makes YouTube videos go viral?

1. Humor:

Most videos shared on YouTube have some sense of humor. Pranks, funny babies, cute animals, bloopers, and lip-syncing are all great examples of funny videos. People love sharing such humorous content with their friends, which is how these videos go viral. According to BuzzSumo, most viral videos invoke amusement, laughter, and awe. So, take some time to brainstorm comical ideas and add them to your videos.    

2. Current:

Choosing your content topic “current” is crucial to make your video go viral. It is also easier to grab people’s attention toward your video if it talks about a topic they are already interested in. Check what’s trending, what’s current, and what’s making rounds on social media and create a video accordingly. Sometimes, making reaction videos on what’s trending also brings in a lot of engagement. 

3. Review:

If you are good at reviewing products or services, this can be your chance to make your YouTube viral. Audiences are switching from reading reviews to watching reviews created by expert YouTubers. Keep certain things in mind, such as:

  • Focus on features and explain them clearly
  • Keep it short and simple
  • Keep your voice and tone professional 
  • Edit smartly and clean up unnecessary stuff
  • Use a green screen or plain background to avoid distraction 
  • Be honest when sharing product knowledge 

4. Music:

Whether old or new, all kinds of music get hits on YouTube. Music videos can quickly go viral or gain momentum slowly and steadily as people revisit them. If you are a musician, try producing a high-quality theatrical video that can instantly grab people’s attention. Also, try to add elements such as memes and posters in-between to make it funny. Many budding musicians on YouTube use content from viral videos and produce background music for it. It is the latest trend on YouTube. 

5. Personality:

Branding is an excellent thing in the digital marketing space. Most videos that go viral have a personality in them. People go back to their favorite YouTube Creator to feel good or want some inspiration. It heightens their energy. So, when you showcase yourself in the video, you become a personality/face that people look forward to watching. 

6. Consistency:

Consistency is one of the essential elements for making your video go viral. If you are an established YouTuber, your subscribers, and followers expect more videos from your channel because they find your content valuable and engaging. So, ensure you constantly create videos based on your audience’s interest and see them go viral. 

7. Connection:

According to Unruly, there are two significant drivers of viral success – Physiological Response and Social Motivation. That means when a video connects with the audience in these two senses, it goes viral. So, as a creator or brand, you must try to evoke multiple positive responses through your video that resonates with your audience. 

If you don’t have a channel yet, here is how you can create and set up a YouTube Channel in 4 simple steps!

What are the Benefits of YouTube Viral Videos?

There are many excellent benefits of your YouTube video going viral. Here are some:

  • Increase in clicks and reach
  • More followers and subscribers
  • High rate of audiences engagements
  • Spike in traffic for similar posts
  • Significant positive impact on sales number 
  • Raise brand/channel awareness
  • Build confidence in YouTubers to create more videos 
  • Retain loyal subscribers and followers 

That said, there are specific digital marketing strategies to help a video go viral. These strategies will help you create videos that connect with your audiences and improve your chances of sharing. 

Top 10 Ways to Make Your YouTube Video Viral

YouTube is no longer just a place for sharing funny cat and dog videos. It has become a dominant space for digital marketers and business owners. Getting more views on YouTube videos can directly impact sales and return on investment. Here are some ways to make your YouTube video viral.  

1. Create Short Videos 

Create YouTube shorts to go viral

The run time of a YouTube video is probably the trickiest factor in determining its virality potential, even though not entirely true. These days, especially young people have the attention span of a Goldfish; the sooner you grab their attention, the more likely they are to stick. Your aim should be to provide crisp and engaging enough information in a specific time frame. The length of your videos should follow the type of video you are making. Some videos must be longer for the audience to relate to them, while others don’t necessarily need much time to engage with the viewers. Those below 2 minutes are the most shared among the most viral videos. Learning how to succeed with Instagram reels can be helpful. 

Factors to consider:

  • Know your audience and their interests, and make videos around those topics.
  • While editing the video, be mindful and do not stretch the video unnecessarily.
  • Stay relevant to social media trends; this can help your video reach more.
  • Short, well-defined videos are likely to get more shares and engagement.
  • Understand the algorithm and how things work on YouTube. 
  • Do not expect results immediately; wait for a few days.

2. Optimize Video Description and Tags

Optimize video description and tags to go viral on YouTube

SEO is the key to the algorithm factor on Facebook, Instagram, YouTube and other social platforms. Optimizing your video will define how it will appear in the YouTube search rankings. Delve deeper and tailor your video description and tags that fit in with your content and, simultaneously, are the most popular among viewers’ searches. The description is a golden opportunity to add all the phrases and keywords that couldn’t make it up to your title; putting in pertinent keywords can boost your SEO. Refrain from adding irrelevant tags to your video, as it will do more harm than good. 

Factors to consider: 

  • Tags with the highest search volume win the race; research closely.
  • Mention your target keywords smoothly in your video.
  • Use the target keyword to rename your video file (youtube reads it).
  • To gain exposure, categorize your video under “Advanced settings.”
  • Half of the top videos have more than 50 words in their description.
  • Track which keywords are working for your video
  • Be specific and offer valuable content for your audience 
  • Include a call to action in the description – like, share, subscribe and read more.

3. Have a Set Time for Posting Videos

Best time to post on YouTube to go viral

As a YouTube video creator, you know your audience and exactly when they are active. People usually watch YouTube videos in their offices, on the go, or at weekends. Posting videos at the beginning of the week may help gain momentum, but posting on Fridays might lead to a higher chance of getting more views following the weekend. Mornings are hectic for almost every office-goer; posting after lunch hours around 2 or 3 pm is excellent on such days. Alternatively, the morning is the best time to post on the weekends, from 9 am to 3 pm. However, your niche and audience’s time zone will also play a significant role in your video posting. For example, any entertainment channel can benefit by posting on Fridays and Mondays, and any business can get more views if videos are updated on Tuesdays and Thursdays.

Factors to consider:

  • Look over the ad suitability and upload videos in HD, 4K, or SD.
  • Check real-time analysis to know more about the right time to post.
  • Post your videos a few hours before the peak; it allows Google and YouTube to index your video.
  • Posting videos at the best time intelligently can get 3 to 5X more views.
  • Posting videos in the evenings and Sundays can get great results from the younger segment.

4. Focus on Quality over Quantity 

According to Brightcove, 62% of people can have a negative perception of a brand if their video quality is poor. 57% of people might not share a bad-quality video. You can get your near and dear ones to share your videos, but if the content is not good, you cannot grow. A good-quality video includes both editing and content. Factoring in both aspects will make your YouTube video viral. Production-wise, your video does not have to be “professionally shot,” or you don’t have to buy expensive equipment; make sure your video has decent quality. Ask yourself why anyone would share your video. What has to be in the video to make it worth shareable? When you analyze these factors and make a good content piece, there will be a higher chance of your video’s reach. Here is a step-by-step guide to create quality videos:

Factors to consider:

  • Post-production plays an important role. Avoid sloppy editing by investing time in delivering high-quality content.
  • Lightning, picture and sound quality are vital elements for the video’s overall quality.
  • 1920*1080 dimensions and a resolution of 1080p are the standard HD quality for a YouTube video and are best for viewing.
  • Produce valuable, engaging and entertaining content. 

5. Make Your Title and Thumbnail Catchy

Create catchy titles and thumbnails to go viral on YouTube

The title is the first thing that anyone notices on a YouTube video. Use the art of brevity and make your title short and catchy while correctly representing what the video is about. Ensure along with a catchy title, you also add relevant keywords in your title, so YouTube shows your title in their recommendation bar. Try some great Keyword research tools to find what words people are searching for and which words rank the highest, use those keywords and incorporate them into your title. After an eye-catching title, the thumbnail of a video is the second most vital element to grab the viewers’ attention. If the creator doesn’t put a thumbnail by themself, YouTube, by default, pulls a random image from the video for the thumbnail, which won’t look as good as a customized one would.

Factors to consider:

  • Since most videos are watched on a smaller screen, YouTubers recommend a 1280×720 resolution format for thumbnails.
  • Click baiting is a big NO, both for the title and thumbnail.
  • Use numbers and emotions in your title, but keep it under the title character limit.
  • Use trending hashtags in your title.
  • Ensure that the thumbnail is clear enough to read by the audience while scrolling through other videos.

6. Be Aggressive when Sharing on Social Media

Once you post your YouTube video, you might want to give your fair share in circulating it on every social media platform that you are on. Considering you have a decent following on Facebook, Linkedin, Twitter, or Instagram, you should promote your videos on these platforms. It is another way of getting views apart from your YouTube community. Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn are easier ways to re-post your YouTube video by posting about it on the feed. But, on Instagram, promotion works better on stories than on the feed. Primarily because you cannot add clickable links to your captions, but on stories, you can add them directly.

Factors to consider:

  • Engaging and interacting with your audience will help boost your videos. The more they feel connected, the more they will also promote them or give you a shoutout on their social media platforms.
  • Choose the right platform for your content according to your niche, as each platform has a different concept.
  • Podcasts are also a significant source of traffic; if you don’t have your Podcast, you can collaborate with any Podcaster of your choice and get a shoutout.
  • You can also use the YouTube community feature, and be active there, so your audience knows what you are upto.
  • Don’t underestimate the power of networking. Genuinely appreciate other YouTuber’s work and engage in their videos; they will do the same.

7. Share Valuable Information Entertainingly 

YouTube has a variety of videos for its audience, from comedy, lifestyle, and cooking to real-life stories. The viewers watch what appeals to them, so what goes on in their minds should be considered while creating videos. In your content, aim to connect to your audience deeper, and mere sharing information is never enough. Whatever your niche is, if you deliver your information uniquely and engagingly, it will hook your audience, and you are halfway there. Articulating your story in a fun way will compel your audience to watch your video and reshare them into their circle. This a classic example of small things making a significant impact.

Factors to consider: 

  • Watch videos of successful YouTubers and take inspiration from their viral videos.
  • Whatever your niche is, make sure your video brings value to the table of your viewers.
  • Ooze out positive energy; the audience can pick up vibes even through a screen.
  • Weave a solid script and practice eye contact with your camera; it will reflect in your video.
  • Utilize each second, and edit all pausing words (ah, um, hmm) from your video that disturbs the rhythm.

8. Engage with the Audience To Create Brand Awareness 

Your audience likes to watch you and will like you even more if you engage with them. Little things like liking their comment, replying to their comments, and pinning their comment will contribute to your engagement and make them feel heard. All these factors can be conducive to your overall brand awareness. Also, take the initiative of engaging your audience. First, you can encourage your audience to like, share, and comment on your video, add CTAs(call to action) to your videos, and make sure you engage in back timely with them.

Factors to consider:

  • Be consistent with posting your content; irregularity may drop your engagement.
  • Appreciate your loyal audience by giving shoutouts, organizing meetups and giveaways, and making real connections with them.
  • Thank your followers publicly, and feature the conversation often on your account.
  • Ask for suggestions from your community, and make content around them; not every video needs to be used for commercial purposes. This way, they will feel you keep their interest above yours.
  • Be that internet friend to them they have always wanted, converse like you are having a real-time talk, and keep it fun. 

9. Ensure Video is Mobile-Optimized

YouTube is the second most visited platform, and more than 22% of viewers visit YouTube from their mobile devices. Streaming videos on a mobile device is most convenient, and optimizing the video content according to mobile devices can be a game changer. Analyze your YouTube channel’s traffic and break it down by users, then the operating system, and voila! You know what you have to work for. Check the video compatibility for respective mobile devices and operating systems. Also, fix the thumbnails and the title if necessary; they should be visible. Work on these aspects and ensure a great viewing experience for your viewers.

Factors to consider:

  • YouTube shorts are also emerging (easy to watch on mobile), with 15 billion daily views.
  • Users with mobile devices visit double the pages than those with desktops. Mobile optimization is vital.
  • The average mobile session for a YouTube video is around 40 minutes, and more than 91% of the viewers who watch a YouTube video will share it across all social media platforms.
  • Produce shorter videos that are easy to load for mobile devices and fill in the crux of the content in the initial minutes.
  • Be mindful of the video aspect ratio; the standard 16:9 ratio is recommended for YouTube videos.

10. Measure Hits and Work Accordingly

Measure your YouTube analytics to go vital on YouTube

Putting up a video and watching it blow up can only be a sight for a few days as it has less shelf life. Why not make the most out of it and work on regular enhancement? Only when you know the performance of your video can you take steps accordingly to improve. Analyzing and working on metrics like watch behavior, demographics, traffic sources, devices, retention rate, etc., can enhance the performance of your video. Youtuber analytics dashboard can offer you enough data to take mindful steps; you can analyze shares, comments, subscribers, likes, and dislikes. Sometimes you will see that you are losing subscribers, which is normal, but if subscribers are constantly downfall, there is something wrong with the content. Moreover, if you want to go the extra mile and want to find out how much traffic YouTube is driving you, connect your account to Google Analytics, explore it, and you can find out about the referral traffic your account is getting.

Factors to consider:

  • Keep reshuffling your playlists to get your lower-performing videos some views.
  • Traffic sources may pave the way to your future potential collaboration; analyze other youtube channels through “suggested videos” and then find out the playback location. It will give you a lot of insight.


Making valuable, fun, engaging content is key to making YouTube viral videos. When trying to grab the attention of your social media followers, focus on posting consistently and with relevant hashtags. Creating excellent content on YouTube takes a lot, and each valuable piece of content deserves a shoutout. To make your YouTube video viral, learn YouTube marketing through experts. 

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  • Increase your chances of getting in front of the potential audience
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Digital Scholar

Digital Scholar is a premier agency-styled digital marketing institute in India. Which offers an online digital marketing course and a free digital marketing course worldwide to elevate their digital skills and become industry experts. Digital Scholar is headed by Sorav Jain and co-founder Rishi Jain, who are pioneers in the field of digital marketing. Digital Scholar’s blogs touch upon numerous aspects of digital marketing and help you get intensive ideas of different domains of digital marketing.

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