YouTube is up to 30 million daily site visitors. People flock to it each day looking for the top trending video to share with friends, family, and followers. Data shows that younger generations prefer online videos to traditional television, making future subscriber growth on the platform seem like a sure bet.
With 2017 coming to a close, YouTube recently released its list of the top 10 trending videos this year. YouTube choose these videos based on the most views, likes, comments, and shares. Collectively, among all 10 videos, they have more than 633-million views!
So what is it that makes these videos so popular, and what can we learn from them?
All of the videos in the top 10 stir up people's emotions and create conversations that move people to share.
Nobody grabbed onto his or her viewer's emotions quite like Darci Lynne when she shocked social media with her debut on America's Got Talent. Lynne brought beautiful songs into her ventriloquist act, drawing in over 42 million viewers. She became the act on the show that viewers rooted for the most and wanted to see win.
Darci Lynne's video shows marketers just how powerful connecting with your audience at the human level can be.
Music videos have been around for decades and continue to be very popular on YouTube. Music videos, once just song and dance, now involve audience interaction. Viewers can get to know the artist personally in ways that weren't possible not too long ago.
English pop star Ed Sheeran appears twice on YouTube's top 10 list. He shows that it's ok to just be your authentic self on camera. In one video, he is in a car, singing karaoke with a comedian. The clip shows what a down-to-earth and funny person Sheeran is. His audience loved it.
Lady Gaga proves that mega-star power on a huge stage still drives up the clicks. Gaga made the list with her performance at the Super Bowl. It was the over-the-top performance that her fans all over the world, not just in the U.S., wanted to see.
Most people would rather see something come across their newsfeed that makes them laugh versus making their blood boil. Four out of the ten videos listed intend to be funny. Humorous videos that typically do the best are the ones that are the most relatable to a broad audience.
Professor Robert Kelly, whose children interrupted his BBC interview, was an instant classic. Plenty of parents out there could relate to having their child interrupt a phone call, only their interruptions aren't filmed on live TV on the BBC in front of millions of live viewers and another 25 million more on YouTube.
With politics being a difficult subject to broach, there are plenty of jokesters on the web looking to get a rise out of someone. Bad Lip Reading's video of President Trump's inauguration did so well because it appealed to one extreme or the other. Viewers either thought it was disrespectful, making them comment on it, or funny, making them more likely to share it.
Controversial videos that polarize the audience and create a raging debate get a ton of views and shares. However, marketers should use caution when taking this approach with their branding. While the views can be great for exposure, controversial content more often than not creates negative press.
Showcasing innovation in all areas is trending on the web these days. Marketers who can successfully combine genius-level innovation with humor have a recipe for a viral video every time.
Dude Perfect's video shows his amazing ping-pong tricks that keep getting progressively more difficult as the video goes on. The suspense builds, making it hard for viewers to close it out of their browser.
The creativity of his elaborate courses and the perceived difficulty of the trick shots made it a highly share-worthy clip.
Videos don't have to be highly sophisticated to go viral, though.
"The History of the Entire World, I Guess" is an entertainment-education animated film that got over 35 million views. The "animation" wasn't as sophisticated as what you see in the theaters or even other YouTube animated videos.
The nearly 20-minute video consisted of a series of words and images flashing across the screen, educating viewers about history in a very hip and catchy way. The video did its job of reaching its target audience, Millennials and Gen Zers. The snarky comments and sarcasm mixed with adult language made it a huge hit with younger audiences.
The simplicity and ability to share a video on social media are one of the many reasons YouTube is so popular. YouTube proves that you don't have to be a well-known mega-star to create viral videos.
With lots of creativity, highly relatable content, and near-perfect timing, you too can go viral on YouTube and drive massive traffic to your website.