7 Most Important Aspects Of A Viral YouTube Video

One thing that the most-watched videos of all time on YouTube have in common is that they all reached viral status at some point.

But what is a viral video? It’s a video that has the potential to become immensely popular on the internet through being shared, liked, and viewed for an extended period.

For example, when YouTube premiered cat videos and funny animal reactions, it was one of the first viral videos that received many likes, shares, and views.

Those videos have been surpassed by a list of top-10 viral videos of all time, including the dance craze video “Gangnam Style” and Despacito, and topped by Baby Shark, which has over 1 Billion views and likes.

But what makes a video viral, and are there common elements you can include in your content creation to launch the next viral YouTube video?

At Raffiti Media, we’ve generated billions of organic views for our clients, so we have some insights into what elements creators should implement in their videos to garner many views and get their channels the attention they deserve.

So, if you’re a YouTube content creator looking to create content that gets views, likes, and shares, this article will explain what we’ve seen and used in our content creation process to get the reach and views that have helped our clients garner vast amounts of attention for their videos.

Ready to get started? Let’s get going!

What Makes A Viral YouTube Video

When YouTube began in 2005, it was quickly snapped up by Google and became a property of Google a year later. You’re probably wondering why the history of YouTube matters.

The history of YouTube matters because times have changed in the way videos become viral, but one element has remained the same since Google bought YouTube—its function as a search engine.

Understand that one function of YouTube is to give tips on positioning your videos for maximum exposure, watches, and likes.

If you develop a content creation strategy that understands, first and foremost, that YouTube is a search engine, In that case, you’ll better position your videos to be seen, and if they follow some of these pointers we’ll discuss here, you’ll have an even better chance of creating a viral video.

One significant difference in making a viral YouTube video now versus at the beginning is the prevalence and massive usage of social media channels to boost visibility.

Now that you understand YouTube’s foundation and how the platform functions, let’s examine the 7 most essential aspects of a viral YouTube video.

When you create content with the intent to answer a user’s search query, that’s just the start of increasing your YouTube views and making your content relevant and potentially widespread.

Again, there’s no secret sauce or magic formula for why a video goes viral. Still, this list includes some of the most common and essential elements of a video capturing the attention of millions and becoming viral.

Those 7 elements include the following aspects:

  • Unique And Original
  • Emotionally Appealing
  • High Production Value
  • An Engaging Thumbnail
  • A Captivating Title And Description
  • Impactful Introduction
  • Optimized For Sharing

1. Unique And Original

Unique And Original

When you consider that millions of videos are all competing for the same attention of audiences around the world, making a video that stands out from all the noise on the platform is crucial.

The first aspect of a viral YouTube video is that it is unique and original and quickly captures viewers’ attention. This can be a new perspective, an innovative idea, or a unique approach to common situations that is not like anything else that has been published and serves to address a specific niche audience.

An excellent example of this is the kid’s videos by Blippi or Ryan’s World. Blippi was the creation of Stevin John, who created a character that wore bright outfits and explored situations with child-like enthusiasm.

Ryan’s World started as a series of review videos that included unboxing, playing (illustrating use), and endorsing the product.

These kids’ shows became viral before becoming a brand and entity. A more contemporary example would be the videos by Mr. Beast, who endorses all types of products entertainingly.

2. Emotionally Appealing

Another feature of viral YouTube videos is that they are emotionally appealing, whether from enthusiasm, joy, happiness, or even fear.

The more emotive a video is, the better it is at evoking a response from the viewer. This increases the chance of being shared with others and the opportunity to go viral.

Emotionally appealing videos strike a chord. Still, videos that evoke laughter typically perform better, so design your content (if you can) to be light-hearted and fun to appeal to a broader audience.

3. High Production Value

High Production Value

People have come to expect a certain level of production value with videos, and having a high production value of your videos is the next aspect to consider in your content strategy.

Viewers are more likely to share emotionally appealing, original content with a high production value than lower-budget videos. If “low-fi” is the brand or part of the original content, it may have a chance, but it’s not as guaranteed as having better production values.

You should pay attention to compelling storytelling that is easy to follow, has good editing, and has high-quality sound designed for how your audience will consume the content.

4. An Engaging Thumbnail

The adage that you only get to make one first impression is true, but with videos, you may get a first, second, or more opportunity to make an impression.

That being said, you must still have a “hook” or way to capture your potential viewers’ attention, and the first thing they see on the platform is your thumbnail.

A captivating thumbnail will entice users to click your video, so make it a focus of your content strategy. Be sure to include relevant, intriguing elements of the video to grab the viewer’s attention and motivate them to watch your video.

An Engaging Thumbnail

5. A Captivating Title And Description

Since YouTube is a search engine, you’ll want to have a captivating title and optimize your description so that the algorithm knows what the video is about and how to rank it for search results.

The better title you have that is both interesting and yet describes that content clearly will have a better impact than creating a silly title that has little to do with the content of the video.

Strange titles that pique interest can help–think Gangnam Style or the Macarena, which until they became famous meant nothing, but once they became viral, are now part of the cultural lexicon.

6. Impactful Introduction

Attention spans are getting shorter, and the opportunities for distractions are only increasing.

There are many reasons for this, ranging from more access to screens like phones and mobile devices to shorter, snappier cutaways–the editing of a video that jumps quickly from one element or action to another–to the immense popularity of short-form videos like TikTok, Instagram, and yes, even YouTube Shorts.

Regardless of the cause, attention spans are getting shorter; the average person’s span is 8 seconds. That means you have a limited time to catch and engage a person’s interest before they move on or scroll to the next thing.

To be relevant, much less make a viral YouTube video, your content needs to be snappy and have a sharp introduction that grabs and holds viewers’ attention. Your introduction is crucial to your potential to become viral and to get any kind of attention and views.

So, whether you’re taking a robust stance or statement, posing an interesting and compelling question, or having a visually intriguing opening, you’ll want an introduction that is sure to capture your viewer’s attention and imagination.

7. Optimized For Sharing

Optimized For Sharing

To get seen on the platform, your content needs to be designed to align with a search intent and have something that hooks and maintains the audience’s attention.

Your content will also need to be shared to become a viral YouTube video, meaning it should be optimized for sharing on the platform and on social media channels.

It’s crucial to incorporate critical elements like title and descriptive elements, captivating thumbnails, unique and compelling content, and having SEO behind it all.

Using relevant keywords and search terms, tags, and descriptions is crucial to helping algorithms discover and rank your video, so you’ll need to spend some time on your SEO strategy.

Collaborate And Listen: Strategic Promotion Is Key

Ok, with apologies to Vanilla Ice, who was a viral sensation in the ‘90s as a “hip-hop” artist, let’s look at one area that is a vital step in helping make your video potentially viral.

Another critical feature of increased sharing is collaborative and strategic promotion campaigns. While the quality of your content is of utmost importance, broadening the audience’s reach and exposure, either with the video you’re trying to promote or with others under your brand umbrella, is essential for maximum potential.

By strategically collaborating and having a clear promotion strategy, you’ll have better audience exposure, further enhancing your opportunities for going viral.

Considering all the various social media channels that your video may be relevant on, collaborating with influencers on those channels for broader exposure, and engaging with your audience are all ways you can amplify your reach and potential.

Forums and online communities are another way to get your content exposure and promote your video. You can create new viewers who could potentially help spread the word about your content.

But Wait, There’s More!

Finally, one crucial aspect of making a viral YouTube Video is in the “ask.” Don’t be afraid to ask your fans and audience to like, share, and promote your content to their sphere and their friends, family, and colleagues.

Don’t be shy if you provide valuable, entertaining, and helpful content. Ask your fans to help promote your content to their people; after all, the concept of reciprocity is powerful.

The idea of reciprocity is that people are more inclined to help someone who has offered something without expecting a payback or reward.

But you’ll need to ask, so include a CTA (call-to-action) to like, share, and “smash” the subscribe button. Who knows, your next video may become a viral YouTube video.

So there you have it—the 7 (plus a bonus) most important elements of a viral YouTube video. If you are a content creator looking to take your videos and channel to the next level, at Raffiti Media, we’ve helped our clients achieve billions in organic views, likes, and shares.

If you need help or want a full-service YouTube management agency to help your content and channel reach its full potential, contact us today for a free one-on-one consultation and see how we can make a difference. Who knows, your next video may just become the next viral sensation!

So what do you have to lose? Contact us for a free consultation today.

7 Most Important Aspects Of A Viral YouTube Video