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How to Make Viral Videos – Ft. MrBeast

Sep 18, 2023

For the last 9 months I have been working as the Chief Creative Officer on all of MrBeasts Philanthropy Content, In layman’s terms, I make all the videos. Having come from 6 years of YouTube experience I felt I was well-prepared to take on the challenge of creating meaningful, purpose driven and story focused content. However there is a nuance between viral videos and story driven films. To go viral is one thing, but to go viral and make a cinematic film is another. I pride myself on making my films as good as they can be. Making sure the message gets across to the audience. But, to get across to a wider audience there are multiple techniques that are required to go VIRAL. By working with MrBeast I have learnt from the best, what it takes to create viral content. Starting from the thumbnail all the way down to the minor nuances in the edit right until the metric of the upload time. In today’s Blog I am going to explore what it takes to go viral, and unpack the 5 secrets and techniques MrBeast uses to create videos that get over 150 Million views EVERY TIME.


1. COLlaborate vs compete

Although he is the most followed individual on YouTube, he never let’s it get to his head. He understands that he is still young and does not know everything. Oftentimes he leans on multiple mentors in different fields of his company, whether it is business, storytelling, branding & marketing, psychology etc. He understands that he can’t do it alone and that is why he has over 200 employees. But remember he started all alone, in his bedroom with a shitty camera.  Jimmy often invites other YouTubers around to Greenville weather they are highly followed or have a micro audience that he sees as an x-factor in to learn from, he values others opinions, I was very surprised when he asked for my feedback on the storytelling and flow of  the edits, even for his main channel as I feel very insignificant to a YouTuber thats getting between 150 – 300m views a video. I won’t lie before starting my position there I had a very different understanding of Jimmy. I thought that he was the kind of person that just told everyone exactly what to do. Even with an unfathomably brilliant mind, he still takes advice from pretty much anyone. And on the other side of the coin he ‘gives back’ by helping grow tons of others’ channel’s by collaborating with them. I have been a part of his day to day schedule, but he constantly makes time to be involved in other creators’ videos, whether shorts or longer form. 

The reason he is the best in the world is because he never ever stops learning. He never lets himself believe he is the best. 

2. VIRALITY IS NOT AN ACCIDENT, IT’S A SKILL

As creators we often blame the algorithm for not going viral, or for the videos performing poorly to your standard. I know I do. Usually my best videos, the ones that I think are the best get the least views. This is so common with most of us. Although the algorithm has a major part to play in the virality of your content it is not the be-all and end-all. 

At the end of the day, tough pill to swallow here, if your video did not perform well, it’s on you, not the algorithm. There are so many factors that come into play here. 

  1. Your shitty title doesn’t correlate with your thumbnail which doesn’t correlate with the first sentence of your video.
  2. Don’t judge the performance based on your CTR – your click through rate, this does have a role to play, but it’s not as important as AVD – average view duration as well as the engagement (Likes, Comments & Shares) as well as how many people click through from the end of your video onto another one. This is super important. If you are the reason for someone staying on YouTube for longer, YouTube will favour that. Therefore you HAVE to give people a reason to stay.  
  3. Dubbing in multiple languages. This is a no brainer, but you can use certain AI tools now that aren’t expensive at all, or if you can afford it, voice actors with the right cadence to dub your videos. The more languages = the more views. 
  4. The churn. The churn basically means sticking to an exact schedule at the exact time. We have worked out that every 21 days works the best for the philanthropy while Jimmy is in the process of testing weekly when he can, but he always uploads at the same time on the same day. This also helps the audience know when to expect a video. 
  5. And lastly, the length of the video. As long as the video is over 8:01 minutes long, this gives youtube the ability to place two ads throughout the video it obviously prefers. 

 

3. identifiable characters

Throughout all of Mr Beasts videos there are the same characters. This helps us develop relationships with not just MrBeast, but with his supporting cast as well. They add the additional x factor and help with the banter. This also reaches a wider audience as there are so many more character types to relate to . You can also play around with using the most liked character later in the video to up the AVD as there is an expectation to see him / her. The audience starts to gain more and more insight into his personality and story as more and more videos come out. By having these characters we can allow our videos to have feeling and emotion, rather than just a montage of B-Roll. By doing this it definitely makes your videos easier to make as there is less pressure on you to act alone. 

4. make movies to make more money to make more movies

This is something I have always lived by too. If the purpose of your content is to make the best video possible and do whatever it takes financially. If it means using all your budget (Outside of what you need to pay for on your day to day expenses/ monthly overheads) to outsource the thumbnail design to a freelancer, or spend on some props, then do it. The best investment you can make in the creative industry is in your brand. I always tell my team that if they need something that will make the video better, whether it is a LUT pack or even just a more comfortable chair to do work with, then buy it! If it will increase productivity and efficiency and overall satisfaction in the work place, the easier it is to create videos. Also the more money you invest in your videos, the more views you get, the bigger the brand deals are and the more you can invest – like a snowball effect. 

5. storytelling = retention

The number one rule I have is that “Story Comes First”. Story is a very misunderstood term. 

Story needs to have 4 elements: 

  1. Identifiable characters, 
  2. Significant moments,
  3. Authentic emotions, 
  4. Specific details

You have to ask yourself. What is the story you are trying to tell, what emotion are you trying to convey and how will you convey it. Jimmy has started to adapt and evolve his content by adding more story.  Previously, although his philanthropy videos had great ideas they lacked in story as well as aesthetic. One of the reasons he brought me onto the Philanthropy Channel was to try and convey the emotion that these films deserve to have. To actually make the audience feel something. 

Jimmy told me that he is trying to bring this approach more into the main channel videos. Creating a story will not only create a more complete video but also build retention. Storytelling techniques like foreshadowing and conflict allow the audience to stay engaged until the end of the film. This also gives his videos more structure, a good story makes the video so much more pleasant to watch and will separate your videos from the rest.

conclusion

So there you have it, the 5 Secrets I have learnt from MrBeast over the past 9 months. If you want a more in-depth analysis of this topic, watch this video that I just uploaded! Subscribe to the mailer below to stay up-to-date with our weekly blog posts as well as get notified as soon as one of these go live. Other than that, don’t forget – you’re awesome BRU and I’ll see you next week where we discuss: How to know when to GIVE UP.

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61 Comments

  1. Week in and Week out you keep delivering so much value! Thank you so much for putting the time into giving us this information! For free!❤️

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    • You are awesome bru, i am learning a lot from reading these blogs💯👍❤️

      Guest
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      • Such an awesome read with insightful tips for the up and coming YouTuber ♥️

        Guest
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        • Haha thank you so much, Raine! Appreciate this comment.

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      • Awesome Read. Loved it and keep posting these insights. Thanks

        Guest
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        • Thank you so much, Hassan! Be sure to check out my other blogs!

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    • Dan, these blogs already have become my weekly favourite read. Thanks for sharing all these valuable insights. It is much appreciated!

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    • Always my bru! Thanks for everything you do! These tips are so important for us as creators.

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    • Raiffe!! My bru! It’s my pleasure and I am glad you enjoyed the read.

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  2. Great article the part about COLLABORATE VS COMPETE and languages, culturally awareness helps.

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    • Thank you, Cheryl! Knowledge is power and people can never learn too much, especially from one another.

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  3. Great to see some insights right from the font! Thanks Dan!

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    • Filipe bru, thanks a lot! I appreciate it.

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  4. Love it bru. These are super valuable insights.

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    • Glad you enjoyed it, Ash! Appreciate the feedback bru.

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  5. Great value in this blog. Keep it coming Dan!

    Guest
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    • Thabani my bru! More to come very soon!

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  6. Such an awesome read BRU!!

    Guest
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    • Thank you so much BRU!!

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  7. Always a great read from you, Dan. Love the insight and the way you’ve neatly laid it all out

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    • Matt my bru, I am glad you like the blog. There are so many valuable lessons to take from this and there is always more to learn!

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  8. SO SICK, these are rad tips man. Really appreciate the insight into some of the biggest Youtubers (if not biggest!!)

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    • Haha shot, Timothy! At the end of the day we are all creators and want to make our stories and visions a reality.

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  9. Learning more in these blogs than I ever did in Film School hahaha
    Rad man!!

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    • Damn right, Matthew! Haha… The experience that you gain from taking valuable advice and learning from it is what will take you further than what school could ever do for you.

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  10. Loving these dude, hopefully some budding new Youtubers are giving these a read

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    • Carly bru! I aim to give as much insight as possible. Appreciate you liking the blog!

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  11. AWESOME!!!

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    • Shot Shadiq my bru!

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  12. I’m still waiting on a full Gaffer Tape tutorial <3

    Guest
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    • Haha! The stuff you can do with that gaffer tape is absolutely incredible! I don’t know how we would survive without it… Great idea!

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  13. Great read, thank you for the valuable content Dan!

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    • Always a pleasure, Hilde! Thank you.

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  14. Such great insight! Thanks for sharing. Loving the blog content Dan, keep it coming 🤩

    Guest
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    • Thanks Mark my bru! There will be plenty more to come!

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  15. Always such an inspiring message Dan! Appreciate you sharing your wisdom and advice to other like minded creators❤️

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    • Thanks, Jack! I will continue to share my lessons and help others achieve their goals!

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  16. Love this, thanks Dan for inspiring us! I really look up to you, and hope that I can replicate the kind of impact you’ve added to this world. 🙂 Keep being awesome, bru.

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    • Wow, thank you so much, Asher. I am glad I can be someone you look up too. We can all make an impact and a difference!

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  17. This was such an awesome post! Thanks for sharing this and for telling us your story.

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    • Thanks Isla! Plenty more to share with you all!

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  18. This was so good that I had to watch the video and I was not disappointed at all! The experiences you share are amazing.

    Guest
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    • Appreciate you checking out my videos as well, Duncan! Thanks my bru!

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  19. Wow this was a good read with my coffee in the morning. You make it look so easy, Dan! Keep up the insightfulness.

    Guest
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    • If your a coffee fan then you will love my BRU bars, Haha! Glad to have made your morning a little better.

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  20. You’ve said it how it is. No sugar coating, no drama, no click to subscribe and pay, no rubbish. I appreciate the honesty and thank you for sharing your thoughts and experiences. I am so happy to be reading all the topics you speak about.

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    • Arthur bru, thank you. I try to not beat around the bush with my topics of discussion even though I can write for hours on end.

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  21. For me It is the authentic emotions… You can have everything in a video, pour your heart into it, go over budget to make things happen, work long hours, get the editors to chop and change what doesn’t fit but at the end of the day if the video doesn’t make the audience feel a certain way or attempt to make an audience lean towards one side then you have failed at storytelling and conveying what you are trying to actually show. The emotional connection people feel when they watch your videos and read your blogs is what keeps them coming back. The brutal, raw, uncomfortable truth. There is something beautiful about it even though it can seem quite scary at times. Such is life and we live and learn.

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    • Thank you for such a nice comment, Mia. You are right. People want to feel that connection and feel relatable. We live and we constantly learn.

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  22. I have been watching you for some time now Dan and to see how far you have come and the success that you have made from the non-stop work ethic really shows. Your blogs are relatable and truthful, your videos are shot well and make sense, and the people you work with are on a scale so big that you have a chance to make an actual difference in people lives and how they go about their daily livings and struggles. It is so incredible to see how far not only you but your company has come. All the best for your future endeavours!

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    • Thank you so much, Anastasia! Comments like yours always make me stay on my path of guiding and sharing to others what I have learnt.

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  23. You and Jimmy definitely seem to understand what the audience wants. The audience wants to feel something rather than watch something for meaningless entertainment. Times have changed and so has the audience and their relationship with what they watch and spend time absorbing online.

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    • Enzo Bru! Thank you. The things we watch now are so different to what I had growing up… the social media side of technology has completely evolved and continues to evolve at such a rapid pace. With these constant changes people have been pushed into fast paced, entertaining and heartfelt content that keeps you engaged.

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  24. I love reading your blogs and I am a huge fan of Mr Beast. I think you two together are an unstoppable force that can give back so much especially to the people that need it the most. You have my support all the way from France!

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    • Thank you so much, Alice! We hope to continue to work together to make a difference in the world.

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  25. This is awesome Bru! Thanks for another good read man! I appreciate all the pointers and help you give. Next step is for me to use these tips and make a viral video myself 🙂

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    • Haha! Take what you have read and apply it! Don’t stop and create that viral video, Leo!

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  26. Make movies to make more money to make more movies!! I love it! So poetically said and from someone with such a passion for film. I will never get tired of these blogs. You are so accurate and logical with what you say.

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    • Thanks, Aurora! If you are passionate about what you do then it really doesn’t feel like work. It feels more like a way of life that you follow in order to pursue your goals and dreams.

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  27. This was a really good read. Very clever and honest. I love how you and Mr Beast are working together to make a difference.

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    • Django my bru! Thanks for the support. I put a lot of time writing these blogs and I will continue to share my stories so we can all learn and make a difference in some way.

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