As I mentioned in my recent eBook (“How to Become Popular on YouTube Without Any Talent“), Obama-Girl creator Ben Relles taught me about the power of blogs to get a viral video to a tipping point. Candidly, I’m usually too lazy to go searching for blogs that might like a video, and kinda hope they’ll find it on their own. But Gizmodo (a very popular blog) recently posted about my “MacBook Air Obsessed With Thin.”
Back story: this short parody of a Mac ad (see original post) took about 20 minutes — from idea to upload. So I decided to invest another 5 Googling a few Mac blogs, and sending them the video’s URL. I had to move quick because the Ambien, at this point, was bringing me down like a tranquilized elephant with a dart hanging from his neck.
This paid off. I would have forgotten about my little self-promotion binge (I’m prone to “black outs” after my post-Ambien activities). But this morning I noticed the Mac parody had 40K views already, which far exceed my number of subscribers (27K) and what I’d normally get by being the 3rd-highest rated comedy of the day. Paranthetically, my antecdotal feebdack suggests the video has some innate viral elements because a) my wife liked it (rare), b) I got a call from my advertising agency about it, and c) the CEO from Xlntads sent me an e-mail about it.
Still, a little “blog gasoline” on the “viral spark” is well worth its time.
Is it working? Google your video’s unique title to see if there’s uptake. Also, 0n YouTube, you can select “links” under a video (it’s easy to miss), and see if any individual site is tossing a lot of traffic your way. I don’t usually notice a lot of activity here, but I do recall finding an Asian porn site throwing my “HappySlip on eBay” video a lot of views).
Today it shows that 12K of the 39k views were coming from Gizmodo. I couldn’t recall sending them the URL, but it appears they posted about the video and credited Cult of Mac (I suppose I had sent the video to Cult of Mac before Ambien shut me down completely). Oddly, Gizmodo reports 6000 people reading that post, but I’m seeing 12,000 coming to my video via Gizmodo. Huh? YouTube usually drastically under reports the inbound links.
Are you paying attention or glazing over this in an ADHD fog? Let me summarize with the “least you need to know”: if you do a video that has viral potential, find some bloggers who might be interested in the story.
Don’t spam bloggers, but send them a personalized, relevant note and connect the video to their readership so it doesn’t look too self pimpin’. And I wouldn’t advise this tactic unless you’re fairly confident they’ll get a chuckle over the clip. It also makes a big difference if you’re a regular reader of their blog and can demonstrate that. I’ll confess I wasn’t a regular reader of Cult of Mac, but now I’m hooked.