This Is What Actually Creates Viral Content
It’s not pure luck when you attract millions of views.
Every single minute of every day, 300 hours of video are uploaded to YouTube. Some people upload simply to share videos with friends and family. Others do it as a hobby for fun. Some do it just because they’re bored and need something to do.
But most people are hoping to create that one video that goes viral, gets millions of hits, and makes them into an instant success.
The same can be said for many other online platforms. When I uploaded my first recipe video to YouTube, I was naive in thinking that I’d attract at least a couple thousand views and get my start as a recipe creator and food blogger. That video has been up for over a year, and it has a pitiful 90 views. Like most people, I quickly felt defeated, and gave up after a couple uploads.
I had set myself up for failure because I refused to acknowledge that content doesn’t typically go viral out of pure luck. In fact, there are common elements that all viral content shares. So, if you truly want to reach a wider audience on any platform, here are the things you need to make sure your content does.
1. Stimulate Emotion
If you want someone to be attracted to your story, video, photograph, etc., you must bring out some kind of emotion in them. It can be sadness, anger, excitement, shock, or any other human emotion. But it has to be something. Otherwise, it’s just another piece of boring content that will live on the internet unseen by most.
One of the best ways to do this is by putting yourself in the story, video, etc. When you draw from personal experience, the viewer will be able to tell that you’re being authentic, they will trust that what you’re saying is accurate, and they’ll be able to relate to you better.
Whenever I read a story or watch a video, I want to feel like I’m the top priority, and that the content creator made their material with me in mind. Stimulating emotion is a great way to create that feeling.
2. Entice the Viewer
Drawing the viewer in is one of the most crucial parts of producing viral content. Why? Because if they never become interested enough to click on your content in the first place, then it will never be seen.
Enticing the viewer can be done in two ways:
1. Create an interesting title.
You must write a catchy title if you expect someone to become interested in what you have to say. I never click on an article or video unless the title sounds interesting to me. So, nailing down the title is key in giving you the best chance of producing viral content.
2. Use an eye catching visual.
The visual is just as important (if not more so) as the title. It should compliment what the article is about, and allow the viewer to get a quick idea of the topic without actually reading anything.
For example, if you’re writing an article about travel, you could include a suitcase in the image. If you’ve created a video that shows how to make banana bread, there should be a nice shot of the finished product as the thumbnail.
Get the visual right, and you’ll see a huge boost in your audience.
The title and visual aren’t exclusive either. You can and should be optimizing both for the best chance of getting your work noticed.
3. Post at Peak Publishing Times
Every single online platform has specific times when they experience the most traffic. Therefore, it is crucial that you learn the times you need to post in order to optimize this and draw in the most viewers possible. If you do, you’ll be able to gain a larger audience simply by hitting upload at a well strategized time.
For example, with a simple Google search, I was able to find this information about when to post on YouTube:
“Posting on weekday afternoons gives YouTube ample time to index videos and deliver them to subscriber feeds. Frederator advises post times between 2 p.m. and 4 p.m. on Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday, and between 12 p.m. and 3 p.m. on Thursday and Friday. (All times are EST.)”
So, if you can have your videos already uploaded to your channel and ready to make public at these specific times, you’ll reach a wider audience without changing a single aspect of the video itself.
While it may seem like pure coincidence when we hear of people rising to fame overnight, that typically isn’t the case. Most spend years perfecting their craft and taking actionable steps that help them achieve the success that they do.
Over the past few months, I have shifted my focus from chasing success to actually putting in the work I need to in order to reach my goals. I know this is what will ultimately help me reach more people and have a lasting impact.
So, learn from my past mistakes. Start integrating these key elements into your own content right now. That way, you’ll be on an upward trajectory to gaining the recognition I know you deserve.