Make Your Video Go Viral

Learn about the secret algorithms behind every viral video and the popular video editing techniques that are used across the internet.

Social media likes photo by karsten-winegeart

There are certain video-editing techniques that should be on everyone’s radar. This is true whether you’re seeking fame and fortune, or simply a “LOL” from a friend.

So, what makes a video go viral in the first place? Kevin Allocca, YouTube’s trend manager, describes some of the characteristics of videos that make content creators famous. He suggests a few different things based on the data, but one that we can’t overlook is the importance of evoking a sense of belonging from the viewer.

The impact of viral videos, which is loosely defined as those with more than 100,000 hits by Rafflepress, is enormous. This is true if you’re an individual content creator or part of a larger brand. Having instantly recognizable and relatable work opens the door to more organic shares of your content that lead to impressions, clicks, potentially millions of views, and all other types of engagement.

We’re introducing a few simple, yet highly effective video editing techniques on different social media platforms to make your next meme or video go viral. We will discover the mysterious algorithms on these social media platforms,

They’ll help you create content that resonates with your audience. These are found in almost every prominent or viral video online – from instructional explainer videos to memes, TikTok, or even documentaries. So read on!

How Do Videos Go Viral On Different Social Media Platforms?

Let’s start by looking at the most popular social media platforms in 2021. YouTube, Instagram, and TikTok are among the most used storytelling platforms today and each brandishes its own audience expectations. Understanding both what users are looking for and how the platform algorithms work is a critical step to developing your next viral video!

Creating A Viral Video On YouTube

Photo credit: Alexander Shatov

Google engineers Paul Covington, Jay Adams, and Emre Sargin have talked about the signals they use to rank videos for the YouTube search engine’s recommendations. Three signals exist that creators can influence directly:

  • Click-Through Rate (CTR): The number of clicks that your videos receive.
  • Watch time: The amount of time that viewers spend watching your videos.
  • How many videos the user has watched from your channel?

So to create a viral video on YouTube, it requires that you master the art of mid-longform storytelling. It allows for stories to be told over a longer stretch of time compared with Instagram and TikTok.

By using more time, you can tell your story in greater detail. However, more length also demands that you keep the audience’s attention over that span.

YouTube’s algorithm starts by assessing your video’s early performance with what defines as your “test audience.”

A test audience is comprised of both your subscribers and unsubscribed viewers that have either interacted with your page before or show an interest in your content type. This early performance metric is one of the reasons why building a strong connection with your audience and getting them to subscribe to the video platform is so important.

A strong initial performance with your subscribers will signal to YouTube that your video is worthy of sharing with a wider audience, so your videos will have more chances to be recommended by YouTube. As a result, you will also end up earning more from your YouTube videos.

But making your videos go viral takes more than just knowing YouTube’s algorithm, you also need to work on your content, visuals, style, and so on. Although there isn’t a magic formula to go viral, the quickest way to know the viral potential is to learn from the masters.

Source: Jenn Im

Jenn Im’s style and visuals are very consistent. She uses a fixed set of font and colors. All her video descriptions apply the same layout as well. She also creates a series of eye-catching custom thumbnails. The addition of text to these videos is paramount—key terms, names, and instructions are easy to miss when not spelled out on the screen.

Jenn Im’s wildly successful “Clothes Encounters,” an online fashion show, is one such series that makes clever use of text and graphics. When flaunting new gear, Jenn Im is careful to include the names of clothing types, brands, and stores in her videos so that her audience knows where to hunt for the latest fashions. Take it from Jenn Im—be sure to add subtitles so key points aren’t lost on your viewers.

Going Viral On Instagram

Photo credit: Alexander Shatov

After Instagram sold to Facebook with $1 billion in 2012, it has been rapidly growing. Up till today, it gets $1 billion active users per month according to the official statistics. If you want to have a strong social presence on social media, Instagram is definitely something you cannot miss!

One of the first steps on your path to creating a viral video is building a strong rapport with your followers. They’ll be the first to see your video upon its release, and their interactions, much like YouTube, signal the algorithm that your content deserves to be seen by more users.

The importance of premiering fresh content is especially vital to Instagram Stories. New posts will appear at the start of your active followers’ feed, certain to be seen. In other words, when more people engage in your posts, stories, or social videos, it’s more likely for your viewership to grow.

The simplest way to strengthen your relationship with your followers is by interacting with them whenever they comment on your posts. Reaching out is a quick activity that goes a long way with endearing yourself to your loyal fans.

Instagram’s algorithm also appreciates your engagement! Two things that impact platform visibility are: engagements on a particular post and how that account interacts with others.

It makes sense if you think about it – Instagram shows preferential treatment towards those who use the platform for more than just posting content and forgetting about it. They infer that posts that spark conversations (again, keeping other people on the platform) should be viewed by a larger audience.

The last requirement before you can create a viral Instagram video is that you consider how to tell your story. Instagram offers various formatting options to choose from, including Story, Reels, Live, IGTV, and Posts.

If you haven’t yet mastered these different forms, are curious about how to post ten-minute videos on Instagram, or aren’t sure what resonates more with your following, learn more here about the best practices of Instagram videos.

Creating The Next Viral Video On TikTok

Photo credit: Alexander Shatov

TikTok is the newest social media platform compared to YouTube and Instagram, and its popularity has skyrocketed, becoming one of the major social media platforms.

TikTok videos come with the most restrictions relative to the other two platforms mentioned. While YouTube and Instagram offer options for storytelling over different lengths, TikTok is limited to only 60 seconds, while much viral content is far shorter.

What does this mean for content creators hoping to go viral?

You must be brief while also not cutting out information that’s critical for your audience to understand the message.

It’s a challenge that, when executed with precision, can impact users, and make a lasting impression. This is why so many popular videos remain stuck in users’ heads after viewing.


Love this Hack.. what would you add inside?? #HomeCafe (via @miaobianshishen)

♬ original sound – foodgod

TikTok cites one of their highest-weighted factors when suggesting a piece of content to a user is the number of interactions on the post. This comes as no surprise, as the goal of any social media platform is to keep users from leaving the app for as long as possible.

If your content keeps people on the platform and actively engaged, you’ll be rewarded by TikTok’s algorithm!

Qualities Of A Viral Video

No two viral videos are quite the same, however, there are certain commonalities among them that help us learn about what users are looking for in the “next big clip.” Creators of videos that achieve the coveted “viral” status often follow these storytelling practices:

Share Frequently & Consistently

Source: sproutsocial

Managing viewers’ expectations is of the utmost importance in your quest for viral fame. Posting regular content, whether you’re sharing on Instagram, TikTok, or YouTube, helps on both the technical and content-related fronts.

When platforms see that users are watching many hours of video from your profile, it significantly boosts your chances of growing your audience.

The algorithms of each medium will reward frequent engagement with their platform. That means the more love you show your content platform of choice, the more love it will show you in return!

Your users will love the frequency of your posts, too! That’s because users will often form viewing habits. Sharing often and consistently (such as every Friday or the first day of the month) will help your loyal fans know when to look for your videos. And like we mentioned above, a strong initial debut of your content does wonder for its long-term reach!

Consistency In Style

Right alongside consistent posting schedules is the importance of consistent style. This benefits your online visibility in two main ways: getting people “in the door” and keeping them there.

Source: Happy Bunch

What do we mean by that? A consistent visual style on the content you share, including the thumbnail image, helps users pick you out of a crowded feed and helps you get more views.

Consistency of the videos themselves, including the voice, presentation, and other thematic qualities, helps users stay engaged. They started following your story because of the way your style and message resonate with them, so it’s a best practice to continue building upon that relationship using a consistent tone.

Stay Relevant And Authoritative

Many of us have our go-to experts when it comes to any subject. It might often concern content marketing issues or it might even be related to the term papers writing services. We seek out content related to a certain subject from creators because they’ve earned our trust over a stretch of time.

So, the final best practice we’ll discuss as part of going viral is establishing yourself as an expert in a particular field. Your area of expertise could be technical or related to a hobby you enjoy.

Whenever someone who shares your passion for a topic wants to view more content, your feed is the one they search first.

One of the best ways to stay at the top of users’ mind is by analyzing trends in your area of interest and creating content that’s related to the big issues of the time – whether it’s staying up to date with news in a particular industry or taking part in the latest trend that’s “breaking” the internet.

Before you know it, you’ll be on the path to maximum viewership!

Plan Your Story For Your Medium

We discussed a common theme for each of the three platforms we discussed above: if you want to go viral, make a plan!

The work you put in ahead of time will your viral potential. That’s why we suggest creating a game plan that helps you leverage your time effectively for maximum impact and effective communication.

Professional production companies will establish quarterly or monthly plans on all the subjects they want to cover to guarantee regular video releases.

Production companies know that they need to set a particular tone and style and make sure all the elements such as titles, descriptions, thumbnails, and storytelling are consistent.

They will also use things like storyboards to meticulously plan out each scene when creating anything from feature-length videos to commercials. We suggest a similar approach whenever you’re introducing fresh content to your page or channel.

Write-on Video is great for this creative process. With most other editing tools, it might be hard for beginners to edit videos or find time to learn advanced tools. If you’re not an experienced video editor, choose something easy to use and affordable (or free).

Write-on Video is a very beginner-friendly and affordable tool. One of the most helpful things about Write-on Video video-editing software is its Pods feature.

What’s a Pod? Each one is a short piece of the video within the editing tool that lets you focus on one thing at a time.

Write-on Video

  • Turn ideas into “Action”! Plan, edit, and share your video stories.

The Video editor for storytellers.

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With a Pod, can perfect each scene on its own while also making sure they work well together. Pods make it easier to organize your thoughts, edit your work, efficiently utilize your time to tell your story.

And for YouTubers in particular, there’s an added bonus of using Pods. Inside a Pod, you can easily mark “Key Moments” which help users find specific information and tell YouTube’s and Google’s algorithms what information you’re providing. This increases the likelihood of the algorithms recommending your content to users looking for answers.

The Best Free Video-Editing Apps For Making A Viral Video

There are several other free video editing apps that can help you kick off your creative journey. Some of which are even part of your favorite storytelling platform!


People often think of YouTube as a platform, which it is, of course, but you won’t want to overlook the editing capabilities within.

YouTube’s editor or other YouTube video editing software available online gives you the chance to add your own captions, which is great for making your content more accessible and helps you add outros, links to other videos you’ve shared, and more. With the help of best royalty-free music and sound effects, you are more close to make you video go viral.


You may have seen people sharing Instagram’s newest type of video format: Instagram Reels. Reels are not only a new way to tell a compelling story, but the addition to the platform comes equipped with its own host of editing features.

With Instagram, you can edit a Reel’s soundtrack, timing, and add other effects all from within the app.

Screen Recording on iOS Devices

If you’re an iOS user, you may already be familiar with creating screen-captured video content. This is a great way to showcase anything from a website project you’ve been working on to creating a tutorial.

You can also leverage your device’s native editing features to trim according to your preferences before adding the clip(s) to your next video.

Quick Tip: You can use these links to learn how to create video recordings for iPhone or Mac.


Canva is great for making short clips and thumbnails. It supports various media types, so you can insert videos, images, and/or shapes into a video and adjust each scene’s timing, transitions, and more.

Write-on Video

Kdan Mobile’s Write-on Video is a tool for both beginners and professionals. With Write-on Video, you can annotate photos and videos with built-in digital stamps, freehand writing, text boxes, and audio clips.

Write-on Video is perfect for creating and sharing interactive videos on YouTube and Facebook.

Animation Desk

If your creative talent also includes drawing, you might consider Animation Desk for your next video-editing project. You’re able to import video clips as files and supplement them with hand-drawn animations.

This is great if you want to add a more personal touch to your captions or insert illustrated effects or objects to 3D video clips. You can also use its Storyboard to plan out your content.

What Are You Waiting For?

If you have insight that appeals to a wide audience, the wit to launch the next big meme, or the vision to create a fascinating documentary, then all you’re missing is a camera and the right software. So, channel your creativity and make your video go viral today!

Write-on Video

Plan, edit, and share your video stories.

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Author: Joey DiGangi III

Joey DiGangi is a global marketing specialist with Kdan Mobile, located in the US office in Pennsylvania. He graduated in May 2018 from Juniata College with a degree in marketing management and a minor in communication.