ZackScott. I’m not sure when I started watching his stuff, but it was on Revver.com. Then I drifted off to YouTube. He cracked intoMetacafe, where he’s earned more than $17K with his pathetically unfunny pet videos. But for every video of his cat, Otto, there’s another that puts mine to shame. Can anyone top The Bird and the Egg? Or Carwash? These are insta-classics.
This is a guest post from Zack, since he was recently featured on YouTube’s homepage and now is officially on his way to viralness. This Tom Green Flyers video shows you he’s able to mute his social anxiety with an admirable ease.
Hello, I’m Zack Scott, and my recent video “Amazing Nintendo Facts” was recently featured on YouTube’s front page. Since then the video has been viewed over 1.5 million times. It is currently the most-viewed comedy video this week and the second most viewed video overall this week on YouTube. I wish it were #1 on both lists, but you don’t expect me to overcome Barack Obama’s “A More Perfect Union” speech do you?
Sorry if it sounds like I’m bragging. Honestly, I feel both proud and lucky right now. Frankly, I’m ecstatic! So, I decided to payback the community in the form of advice based on my recent experience. Hopefully this will be short and digestible. But first, I can’t take absolute credit for the number of views. After all, I don’t have the power to put videos on the front page. So I would like to thank YouTube’s staff. But here are some things that I think helped:
Thumbnail: A YouTube front-page feature can’t get you over a million views on its own. Just look at the current lineup. You have to have a clean presentation. The most important aspect of this is an interesting thumbnail. For my thumbnail, you’ll see that there’s a nice, clean, close-up shot of me dressed as Mario. That should be enough to peak any casual viewer’s interest. The video below mine has over 2 million views mainly because of the half-naked girl for a thumbnail.
Be Precise: It is important to tell the audience what your video is about before they even view it. If the thumbnail isn’t enough to do it, then the title and description should be. From the title, viewers can tell my video contains facts about Nintendo. The description further lays out what kind of facts they’ll be watching and how many.
Topicality/Nostalgia: It won’t be possible for all of your videos to include topicality and/or nostalgia, but it just so happened my video embraced both. Nintendo currently has the top selling console out, plus many YouTubers and Internet users grew up with Nintendo and video games in general. Seeing Nintendo in the title probably made them want to click.
Be Memorable: Breaking a million views requires your video to go viral. A video cannot go viral unless it is memorable. I couldn’t rely on the easy-to-digest facts about Nintendo to carry the video alone, so I included some bizarre humor as well. Half of the comments I got was about Nintendo. The other half was about my cats and how gay I looked in a bathrobe (Editor’s note from KN: Zack does look gay in a bathrobe, so I stand by that comment).
Spread It Yourself: I upload to many sites in hopes that my videos will pick up steam wherever they can. I will also email relevant blogs about my videos. Simply put, the more places your video resides, the more likely it is to go viral. In fact, my video was on the front page of some Nintendo blogs and eBaum’s World before it was featured on YouTube’s front page. This helped the video get on search engines and go viral beforehand.
The Snowball Effect: Subscribers are your lifeblood on sites like YouTube. Unfortunately, they are the hardest part to acquire, and they only come with time and dedication. “Amazing Nintendo Facts” got a strong initial boost due to my subscribers rating and commenting on it. I can’t thank them enough. Their actions helped the video climb the list of most viewed and highest ranked comedy videos, which in turn helped the video get more views. It’s basically a snowball effect. To get more subscribers it is important to network, collaborate on videos, address your fans, and make frequent good-quality videos. The more you do, the more you’ll receive. For example, a large portion of my subscribers was gained when Christopher Mast featured “Amazing President Facts” on YouTube’s front page last year. But that wouldn’t have happened if I hadn’t got acquainted with Mast through Nalts. Again, it’s the snowball effect. One day I hope to pay him back! Check out his song “No One to Blame.” –
Well I hope this advice comes in handy. It may not guarantee a successful video, but these are good rules to follow for general use. I hope it doesn’t make me sound arrogant or pretentious. Any success I have gained is mainly because of my subscribers and people like you. All of the views in the world would be worthless without the community and feedback I receive. So, thank you for reading and thanks to those out there who watch my videos. -Zack