If you’re working to grow your own YouTube channel, you’re probably wondering how the most successful videos got so much attention. Part of working to grow your channel, as well as your own original site, is figuring out how to get cheap & real likes on your videos. Why do the most viral videos have so many fans? To help figure this out, we’ve compiled a list of the top ten most liked videos on YouTube, and what makes them so shareable.
10. Uptown Funk, by Mark Ronson Featuring Bruno Mars
This video debuted in 2014 and is still going strong, with more than 3.9 billion views and over 14 million likes (and counting). The catchy lyrics and upbeat tempo guarantee the song will get stuck in your head, and it’s hard not to enjoy watching Mars and his band the Hooligans dance their way from a city street, to a beauty salon, to a stage. Meanwhile, Mark Ronson plays the serious character who wears dark glasses and nods a lot in the background. And who wouldn’t love to ride in that stretch limo?
But one of the most important things that makes this video so memorable is the larger-than-life personalities of the musicians involved, which shine through the screen. It’s important to let your authentic personality, style, and humor show in any video you make.
9. Senorita, Shawn Mendes and Camila Cabello
This video also has more than 13 million likes, which it picked up even faster than “Uptown Funk.” The smolderingly sexy song shot up the charts in the summer of 2019, sparking rumors that the two singers were making beautiful music off-screen as well—and in fact, this later turned out to be true. Many fans found the chemistry between the two riveting, while others just enjoyed the flirty, playful song. Although it isn’t appropriate for every video, sometimes a little romance or sensuality can spice up a clip and inspire more clicks.
8. Alone, Marshmello
With more than 17 million likes and counting, “Alone” is a big hit on YT. This video tells us the story of a lonely teenager who is not exactly popular at school. (Maybe the huge marshmallow on his head has something to do with it?) After being tripped by the teenage janitor and laughed at by the cool kids, he goes home and mixes a song on his laptop. When one of the cool girls comes to apologize, she overhears, records him, and shares his music. The song quickly makes him popular at school, leading to an underdog-wins ending. Encapsulating a short story in a brief video like this is a great way to draw your audience in, and make them want to share your content.
7. Hello, Adele
Adele’s 2015 hit “Hello” is a ballad about reopening the door to past relationships. Its video, shot in old-photo-like sepia tones, conveys a feeling of nostalgia and the pain of old losses that haven’t quite healed. In it, Adele walks around an old house, pulling dusty slipcovers off furniture and rooting through papers piled on the desks, while wistfully remembering an ex. Then a phone booth appears in the middle of nowhere, Dr. Who style, because this is a music video. In its own way, this video also tells a miniature story in a few minutes’ time, striking an emotionally resonant chord with viewers.
6. Girls Like You, Maroon 5
Released in 2018, Maroon 5’s “Girls Like You” video has garnered more than 1.4 million likes, and is closing in on a billion views (currently at 198,419,595 as of this writing). This star-studded spectacle includes Maroon 5, uber-popular rapper Cardi B, plus cameos from dozens of female celebrities who appear behind lead singer Adam Levine as he performs at a microphone. Cameos include Mary J. Blige, Ellen Degeneres, Jennifer Lopez, and more.
It may not be practical to get an A-list celebrity for your next video, but if you can get anyone with a strong following to appear with you, it can help bring traffic and thumbs-up to your videos.
5. Gangnam Style, Psy
You’ve probably copied the “Gangnam Style” dance by now, but if you haven’t, the video currently has more than 18 million likes, and you can be the latest. Psy unleashed a new bow-legged dance on the world with this 2012 piece, which is still going strong. Starting a new dance craze is sometimes a fun way to get likes, but the humor and lighthearted fun of the video also helps. Most of the lyrics aren’t in English, but you can follow Psy’s journey through downtown streets, luxury cars, and spas anyway. Money! Fame! Romance! Universal appeal is always helpful to a video’s popularity.
4. Faded, Alan Walker
Faded is another video that focuses on telling a poignant story. This piece by DJ and record producer Alan Walker features vocals by Norwegian singer Iselin Solheim. It follows a young man’s journey of discovery as he searches for something precious to him, only to circle back to where he started. The haunting lyrics and melody combine with stunning outdoor visuals to leave a lasting impression. The viewer can easily follow the protagonist’s journey, and understands his heartbreak when he realises where he is. Sometimes a simple approach, such as following one person throughout the video, allows the viewer to form a strong emotional attachment with the content.
3. The Shape of You, Ed Sheeran
This piece is one of English singer and songwriter Ed Sheeran’s most popular, with more than 21 million likes and more than 4 billion views. It tells the story of Sheeran working hard and training at a gym, where he falls in love with another boxer. Near the end, the video has a surprise twist, with Sheeran ending up in a ring with a sumo wrestler, armed only with an inflatable suit. The element of surprise, especially one that adds humor, is a great way to gain likes and shares on YT.
2. See You Again, Wiz Khalifa Featuring Charlie Puth
Back in 2015, this video was released for the song from the Fast and Furious 7 soundtrack and quickly became popular. The song’s lyrics go with the movie, but the video was also intended to pay tribute to late actor Paul Walker, whose final appearance was in the movie. It features clips from Fast and Furious 7 heavily focused on Walker, as well as Puth playing the piano and Wiz Kalifa rapping next to some of the movie cars. This video speaks to anyone who’s experienced loss, and has received more than 25 million likes.
- Despacito, Luis Fonsi Featuring Daddy Yankee
If you don’t speak Spanish, you probably know Despacito as the song you always sing along with even though you don’t really know any of the words. (If you do speak Spanish, you’re probably tired of translating it for the rest of us.) The upbeat tempo is infectious, and the video is both down-to-earth and exciting at the same time. It mostly takes place on regular-looking city streets, and features dancing and partying interspersed with the lead singer showing off his pecs on a beach, as well as some up-close-and-personal scenes in a dance club. Mixing the everyday with the unexpected, or the humorous, can make videos more enjoyable for your audience. Although the video earned its share of dislikes, it’s still the most popular YouTube video with more than 35 million likes.
Still not sure what to do for your own videos? In general, humor, surprise, and finding a way to relate to a social cause your audience cares about, are all good elements to include in a video if you want to get more thumbs up. Make sure to share your videos on other social platforms as well.