In today’s YouTube “highest rated comedy videos of the day,” my videos represent spots 5, 6 and 8. YouTube, as you probably know, represents the vast majority of online viewing. So does this mean I produced the funniest videos on the planet this weekend? Of course not.
I have an advantage because I have a loyal following of “subscribers” that watch my videos and rate them highly — presumably because we share a sense of humor. When they rate the video highly, it propels into the “top rated” comedy page where it sits besides videos that are often far funnier (this Barats & Bereta video “Olympian” is a good example). But sometimes not- there are some YouTubers that have been around since the beginning and may not be hysterical but have fans that have basically developed parasocial relationships with them over time.
While on the “best” or “most watched” sections, the videos pick up secondary audiences, and sometimes get lifted and embedded on other sites (for a tertiary audience). So this has a resulting impact on total views.
Naturally, funnier videos exist buried on YouTube, where maybe 60-100K videos are posted each day. You might have posted one. Sorry you aren’t landing on these pages, but there’s hope.
The most important variable to getting seen on YouTube is the channel and the base of loyal subscribers. I could upload these same videos to my alias accounts and get virtually no views.
So how do you build a channel of loyal subscribers? Patience, decent videos, active participation in the community (reply, watch, collaborate) and hopefully get featured on YouTube’s coveted homepage. My lil’ YouTube career took off with Viral Video Genius and Farting in Public, both of which were featured on the YouTube homepage (thanks, editors).
In this video, titled “How I Cheat YouTube,” I describe some of the things creators (and marketers) can do to help get their videos viewed. Parenthetically, this video is the #1 highest rated “how to” video though I launched it just yesterday. Again, thanks subscribers!
What this raises is something interesting… the value of a channel, and more importantly the value of quality (not just quantity) of loyal subscribers. Marketers will have trouble developing this on their own, and that’s where creators can help (if it’s done tastefully). It’s why I’m reluctant to “sell out” my channel to any advertiser, and why I want to ensure my product-placement or consumer-generated ads are funny. I’ve got two or three on ice right now because I haven’t yet made them effective and entertaining.
YouTube is really the only place you can find this phenomenon online, but it’s not unlike the increased cost of an ad in a more popular television show.
Anyway, this blog is really directed at passionate creators and enthusiastic marketers. But I know some of my loyal viewers read and comment. Thanks so much, gang. Without you I’d be living in obscurity and making my reluctant neighbors watch my videos.