Going Viral Crash Course
In this tutorial, we will be explaining, from experience, what goes viral and what videos you should be uploading.
It’s All About the Algorithm!
The YouTube and Facebook algorithm is the driver of the success of a video. If the algorithm doesn’t like the video, then, even with 100,000,000 followers, the video won’t perform well. The video won’t get suggested at all.
But, if the algorithm likes the video, then the potential is unlimited.
The algorithm looks for a few thing:
The more time people spend watching the video, the better. If people watch only a few seconds of a 5 minute video, it is a sign the video isn’t great.
For example, you might have an amazing video of a lion hunt, but if the hunt is over in the first 30 seconds and then the rest of the video is of the lions eating, chances are people will stop watching the video quite early on.
If you have a video of an elephant attacking a rhino, and the whole video is 2 minutes, and the part where the elephant does the attacking is at 1 minute, then, most people will watch the whole video. This shows the algorithms that the video is worthwhile.
Here are some examples of videos with great watchtime:
Giraffe Tries Saving her Calf from Hunting Lions.
This video’s watch time is 2.3min, which is about 1 min more than the average watch time on our videos. The YouTube algorithm picked up on this, and the video has 75mil views.
How Not to Wake up a Lioness
This video’s watch time is 2min. The height of the action, where the lion wakes up the lioness, is at that time. So, everyone watched the whole video to get to that point. Facebook’s algorithm picked up on this, and the video has over 13mil views
In essence, the video can be great, amazing, the best ever! But, if the title and thumbnail don’t do the video justice, then people won’t click through. If they don’t click through, then there are no views. Click-through rate is the ratio of people who get shown the video to how many actually watch it.
Here are some examples of videos with great click-through rates:
Boomslang Snake Kills a Chameleon Quickly & Swiftly
14% average click-through rate.
Elephant Shows Rhino Who’s Boss!
13.7% average click-through rate.
Hawk Tears Head off Baby Bird
A lower, 9% average click-through rate.
High-Performing Types of Videos
The type of video is now the next most important part of making a wildlife video a success!
Stories. We are looking for stories. A video with a beginning, middle, and an end. It’s mostly that simple.
Often times, if the video is missing one of the three parts, it can affect the success of the video entirely.
If you say you saw the world’s most incredible wild dog kill, but you only filmed the chase and the feeding, but not the takedown, the video will most likely not be shared by the viewers. Sharing is what causes a video to go viral
Here are some examples of videos with great storylines:
Lioness Reunites With her Pride
Beginning: She’s lost and alone
Middle: The pride finds her
End: They relax together after reuniting
Baby Squirrel Saved From Death
Beginning: They find the squirrel calling for help
Middle: They rescue the squirrel
End: The squirrel is back home and drinking milk
A fan favorite is definitely videos showing different species interacting.
Here are some examples of videos with great storylines:
Squirrel Battles Cobra to Protect Her Babies
Hippo Learns Lesson from Rhinos
Low-Performing Types of Videos
Over the years, studying analytics, we have also found some consistency with the types of videos that don’t always perform so well. They definitely are some excepts, so don’t let this throw you off, but we thought we would highlight a few
–Cute and Cuddly–
We find that when we post videos of cute and cuddly sightings, they get a lot of love, but not many shares. Because they don’t get many shares, views on those types of videos don’t do increase as much.
Here are some examples of cute and cuddly videos:
Baby Elephant Falls and Rolls Down a Hill
Although this video is adorable, most people didn’t share it after watching it.
Baby Elephant vs Birds
There are always exceptions to the rule! We shared this super cute video during the time Cecil the Lion was killed. The world needed a happy wildlife story, and this was what everyone was looking for.
The video did so well, that the contributor was able to help her students pay for university, and the rest went towards elephant research.
–You’ve seen the first second, you’ve seen it all–
Often, we get videos of an incredible sighting, but it’s a sighting that doesn’t really change throughout the video. For example, as we mentioned above – fighting videos. When animals fight, you pretty much know what is going to happen in the video. This causes people to not watch the full video.
Rare sightings are the same.
If you see a pangolin, it is super rare! Most people go their whole lives without seeing one. But, in terms of a viral video, showing a sighting of a pangolin it isn’t going to perform well.
Here are some examples of videos that you know what is going to happen after watching the first scene:
We used to focus on posting only stand-alone viral sightings on our channels. But, we were receiving some really great sightings that we felt was a shame we couldn’t share with the community.
So, we’ve starting combining the videos that are great, but just aren’t enough to go out on their own, into compilations.
Earnings from compilations are split equally among contributors.
Here are some examples of compilations:
Lions and Cheetahs!
Wild Dogs, Hyenas and Lions!
Since 2017, YouTube has introduced the concept of being demonetized. They have put together a set of rules of what they believe advertisers don’t want to show their adverts on. If a video is not advertiser-friendly, YouTube and Facebook will then limit ads to show only for those that have chosen to advertise on un-advertiser-friendly footage. This dramatically reduced the earning potential.
Unfortunately, this can get quite frustrating. It is an automated system that often gets things wrong. With YouTube and Facebook being massive companies, it isn’t easy to get a decision overruled. So, once a video is demonetized, it is most likely going to stick to that.
But, we try our best to structure videos in ways that won’t get demonetized.
Here are some examples of demonetized videos:
Guts & Gore
Any extremely gory video will automatically get demonetized.
Kills, on the whole, don’t get demonetized, but they do sometimes do.
Online advertisers mark mating videos as “sexual content”, and will automatically get demonetized.
Minimum Requirements for Earning
- To earn on YouTube, there are no requirements on the length of the video. However, the YouTube algorithm favors videos around 3 minutes.
- To earn on Facebook, the video needs to be over 1 minute.
- To have multiple ads on a YouTube video, the released version needs to be over 8 minutes.
- We require unedited footage.
- We also ask to get the footage in HD.
What are you waiting for?
We hope this tutorial taught you something about how to go viral!