Topicality: The Killer Driver of Video Views

Want lots of views on your video? Timing and topicality is important. The reason sxephil and whatthebuck are two of the most-subscribed YouTube amateurs is partially because they vlog about what’s hot. That means the next day, their videos are found when people search YouTube (and even Google, which is rather kind to videos).

The implication to marketers? Be ready to approve a campaign quickly. And for video creators? Stay current, create quickly, and tag your videos with the keywords that are hot. My Superbowl “top 10 commercials of 2009” video is among my most-viewed videos now (2.7 million) in part because I posted it just as the game was starting. That placed it above other videos when people searched, and the result was primarily because of topicality and search. The booby thumbnail didn’t hurt. 

By linking that video to this blog for information about seeing full commercials on various sites, I also helped this blog get a jolt of visitors (even temporarily). That will help WVFF on search engines and Alexa placement. 

So now… how do you keep current? Well you can watch the news, but you’re probably too late by then. So here are two other options. An oldie and a new one:

    • Go to Yahoo Buzz. Yahoo, unlike Google, shows what’s hot. Here are a few hot items, and you can see there’s a delay in this reporting:
      • Chris Brown 
      • California Octuplets 
      • Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Issue
      • Westminster Dog Show 2009 
      • Jennifer Aniston 
      • Jeremy Lusk 
      • Katherine Heigl 
      • American Idol 
      • Economic Stimulus Package 
      • Biggest Loser
    • Check out Twitscoop for the top searches “real time” on Twitter (a microblogging site for short messages). For instance, as I type, the hot searches are Gmail (apparently it’s buggin’ out, and people hope it’s a sign that a better version will come out). Also at the top: earthquake magnitude indonesia and brett favre retires. 

    Now if you have a big subscriber base on YouTube, your video about any of these will get an immediate lift, and then place highly on the search results. But if you do a smart parody about these topics, it will be found on search results, and also shared among blogs and even media (who are always looking for b-roll to use for these stories).

    8 Replies to “Topicality: The Killer Driver of Video Views”

    1. Topicality and timing don’t always do it for the lower level channels. You are algorithmically demoted to the older vids with more views. I know this to be true.

    2. I’ve only recently started doing this with my BOBJENZ channel, as I’m trying to build it up. I follow YouTube Community Buzz trends (last month sxephil featured my Boxxy Spoof) and today I’ve posted a video about A-Rod’s other “Confessions”.

      I had a fairly popular YouTube Channel with Wicked Awesome Films, but nearly all of it is scripted comedy I can do on weekends, weeknights, takes forever to edit, etc. I can’t keep up with that strategy, whereas on BOBJENZ, I can come home from work, whip up a little green screen video, and voila. I’m in search.

      This worked well for me last week as I was one of the first Christian Bale Spoofs up. While it only got 25,000 views (good for BOBJENZ) less than 10 hours after I finished editing it, portions of it were featured on The Daily Ten on E!

      This is a valuable post. Thanks Nalts!

    3. I can attest to topicality. My videos get more views than I think they should, given my sub 6,000 subscriber level.

      However, random stuff works well too. Completely insane stuff people like watching if it has a beginning, middle, and end. No matter what you are doing, if you remember you’re telling a story and act as such, it will turn out better.

    4. @7: Don’t forget pooping, Nutcheese! You often include your toilet in your videos as well. And as the children’s book states, “Everybody Poops”. And everyone has a toilet, so they can relate.

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