Ironic title because a video isn’t viral UNLESS it’s seen. But it got your attention, didn’t it? Here are some tips for ensuring your video is seen beyond 14 teenagers on YouTube.
Just like search engines are in constant flux, so is online video. So this advice has a limited shelf life:
- Make it good. That means it’s short, funny, topical, and short. Did I mention short? Even better, it should have a surprise ending. Example- while I like my “Killer Weed” better, the ending for “Prank the Garbage Man” inspired more viral activity (note- I serve all of my videos here on Revver because I make money if you click ads, but the 100K, 300K, and 700K views have occured on other sites).
- Get it on as many sites as you can. Don’t think posting it on YouTube will bring you fame. Try sites that have a decent viewership but aren’t bloated with videos (Google Video, Yahoo Video, Metacafe). Again- you want to make money so get it on Revver, but don’t stop with Revver as the traffic is higher elsewhere.
- Once it’s live, your viral task begins not ends. Market it!
- Blog about your video, or convince prominent bloggers to blog about it.
- Get the ball rolling by getting friends to view and rate it positively. Some good videos never make it out of the vicious cycle… they aren’t popular because they’re not popular. If it’s on YouTube, ask people to make it a favorite.
- Digg your video but don’t absuse Digg. Save it for really good ones and timely ones.
- Hitch your wagon to related stars. Find other popular and related video and leave comments about your video (don’t be spammish about this, though). YouTube allows you to leave a “video response” to other videos, and if you do that to a highly visible video you’ll get a decent percentage seeing yours.
- Be realistic about “conversions.” 95% of people don’t type URLs after they see a video. So don’t think a popular video that brands your website will get even 1% of people to visit your site. Unless your content rocks and you give them a specific reason to visit the site (like seeing a sequel).
- Choose your tags wisely. You don’t want to waste tag space on common words that are highly competitive (like “funny” or “hilarious”). Be as specific as possible. The search engines are quite kind to online-video site keywords. For instance, I’m the top listing on Google now for the word “Healies” (which I found out later is spelled Heelys).
- Keep trying. Quality is more important than quantity, but quantity is a close second. Don’t let a few failed attempts demoralize you. I’ve only had a few breakouts from the some 200 I’ve posted. And sometimes an old one will catch on months after I posted it.
Some good videos never make it out of the vicious cycle… they aren’t popular because they’re not popular.