Attaining organic views on Youtube isn’t straightforward. In 2019, the market is competitive; thousands of channels are pushing out quality content in nearly every niche you can think of.
In the good old days of 2012, if there was an attractive girl in your thumbnail you’d be guaranteed views – thousands of them. It was also easy to copy the likes of NigaNiga, Smosh, and VSauce and sure, you’d get a few views. In 2019, the platform is so crowded that it’s near impossible to succeed by simply replicating another channels style of content.
MrBeast’s Viral Phenomena
In this article we’re going to be looking at Jimmy “MrBeast” Donaldson. Even if you haven’t heard of him, I bet you’ve seen one of his videos.
MrBeast made a name for himself on YouTube by giving away money to random people; the homeless, famous fortnite streamers, waiters and waitresses. He’s been coined the platforms biggest philanthropist. Aside from donation style videos, he uploads challenge videos, reaction videos, and more.
His growth in 2018 and 2019 has been ridiculous and seen a growth of over 20 million subscribers in the past 18 months. Even if you don’t like his content, there’s still a lot we can learn from the 20 year old.
Disclaimer: we’re aware that MrBeast gives a lot of money away in his videos. Of course this had a big impact on his success, but there are other factors.
Eye catching thumbnails and Titles
Typically, a content creator would have a video idea, plan it out, and then shoot and edit it, only to design a thumbnail and title at the end. I’m convinced that MrBeast starts out with the thumbnail and title in mind and then work backwards.
The function of the title and thumbnail is to clearly communicate exactly what a video is about (duh). The trick is to create a thumbnail that seems “clickbaity”, but actually turns out to be true. MrBeast’s are so compelling that they seem too good to be true. His thumbnails aren’t extreme though. They’re simple enough that they align perfectly with his non-professional video style, but alluring enough that you want to find out more.
Another thing to keep in mind is that over 50% of YouTube traffic comes from mobile devices, and the size of the thumbnails are obviously pretty small. MrBeast is perfectly aware of this, and I think that has something to do with keeping the thumbnails simple and minimal.
Check out this section of a podcast where MrBeast talks about the art of thumbnails:https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0vxwUT9Ujkg
Extraordinary Content on Trending Topics
Besides his obvious love for giving to others and general altruism, I don’t think anyone watches MrBeast for his personality. Sure, he’s a nice bloke but he’s a pretty average 20 year old (the same can be said for his friends who feature regularly on the channel).
Many successful YouTubers rely heavily on their personality to provide entertainment. MrBeast takes lets the content do the talking. His strategy is to create “larger-than-life” scenarios and situations and by capitalising on trending topics (e.g. the subscribe to pewdiepie movement).
It’s hard not to click on a video when the scenario is so utterly ridiculous. One of my favourites is where he dresses as a homeless person and walks into a lamborghini garage… and purchases a $100,000 lamborghini. It’s just an absolute insane situation that can’t be fathomed. These videos are a spectacle and generates urgency.
Fortnite has been all the talk in the mainstream gaming community for the past 2 years. MrBeast was extremely smart in starting a Fortnite donation series, where as mentioned before, he donated large sums of money to famous fortnite streamers. The video where he sends $50,000 to Ninja has over 50 million views at time of writing. 50 million! These kinds of views are only possible when you’re making videos around a trending topic!
Consistency and length of videos
The YouTube algorithm is always being updated, but something that will always work in building a successful YouTube channel is consistency. Simply uploading every single day isn’t enough. The content needs to be consistently high quality! The last thing you want to do is burn out your loyal fans because you’re obsessed with churning out rubbish videos every day.
MrBeast doesn’t have a fixed upload schedule, but instead uploads 2 to 3 times a week, the sweet spot in my opinion (unless you’re creating high quality daily vlogs, like Casey Neistat started back in 2015). Having attractive content will lead to a consistently high click-through-rate (CTR), which is essential to stand out in the YouTube algorithm. Some reports have shown that YouTube’s algorithm judges the quality of a YouTube channel purely by the CTR. This metric essentially reflects the quality of the video and how dedicated your fans are.
The point of all this is; create quality and consistent content. Posting 2 to 3 times a week gives you time to breathe and plan/produce videos properly. Furthermore, MrBeasts’ videos are longer than the previously assumed sweet spot for a YouTube video. His are usually 10 to 20 minutes, compared with the original 6 to 7 minute optimum.
Have a primary goal
The most fascinating thing about MrBeast’s channel is that he doesn’t adhere to one type of video format.
I think what we can learn here is that your channel should have a primary goal to strive towards. In MrBeast’s case, his aim is to create a video that capture users’ attention, whether that be through a challenge video, reaction video, sit-down-commentary video. When I say “user’s attention”, I mean every single person on the planet. The amount of views he receives clearly indicates there his demographic is large and wide (albeit, there are a lot of children on YouTube who love his content).
A few examples of primary goals and some example channels;
- Capturing attention (MrBeast)
- Making people laugh (NigaHiga)
- Providing a reliable source of news (Philip de Franco)
- Inspiration (Casey Neistat)
Develop content that’s easy to communicate through a thumbnail/title and think of some video ideas that will spark the attention of the masses indefinitely. Have fun making the content and get your closest friends involved!