Moms Reveal Sleep-Inducing Tricks

Try to watch this without getting sentimental. Go ahead and try.

Hats off to Philips Avent for this adorable video featuring mommy tricks to get babies to sleep. I reluctantly made it through the first 20 seconds for a totally heart-melting collection of sleepy babies. I only wish Sleepy Charlie was included.

Another smashing sponsored video by The Viral Factory (the folks behind my 2011 favorite Samsung Girl). Here’s the company’s collection of branded entertainment videos– but the view counts are understated because the videos go viral on client YouTube accounts.

YouTube for Entrepreneurs & Small Business

Entrepreneurs and small businesses sometimes struggle with YouTube and online-video marketing. So I teamed with ReelSEO to write a guide called “Online Video 101: Small Business.” It’s free, and you won’t get a pesky sales call if you register and download it.

Sorry the blog’s gone a bit grey lately, but I’ve been busy posting a video each day (every time you poop). Caught the virus from Trippy at his wedding. See ’em in this playlist called “Holiday Blitz.”

20 Free Tips to Get Your Videos Seen on YouTube and Beyond

It’s been a while since I’ve summarized some of the most important factors to getting your videos seen. This post is based on my own YouTube creator experience, my work with big brands, and my book (Beyond Viral). I’ve also written a free eBook called “How to Get Popular on YouTube Without Any Talent (version 2).”

Here it is:

How To Get Popular on YouTube (free eBook, version 2)

I’m sure I missed some current best practices so please add your own thoughts below!

1. Hook viewer in first 10 seconds (teasing highlights)
2. Keep it short. A one-minute video will almost always trump a 3.
3. Encourage interactions- get people commenting and, like Facebook, your YouTube video will rise higher. Controversial questions to viewers can jolt views.
4. Personalize it. Look at camera as if it’s a friend’s eyes and don’t assume your viewer knows you.
5. Include real laughter. Laughter induces laughter like yawns influence yawns. Get a sidekick who has a contagious laugh.
6. At the end, provide something unexpected or bedbug. See how you didn’t expect the word “bedbug” there?
7. Include animals. We humans like animals more than humans. Babies are clinchers too. Giggling baby with an animal? Golden.
8. Take the “road less travelled.” Sure, boobies get views but if you base your video on something already seen, your video is less likely to break through clutter. Show us something we’ve not seen (or rare to see) and people will share.
9. Real trumps script. Almost all of my top videos are not scripted bits but real, candid moments.
10. Appeal to heavy video viewers. Teenagers drive significant views, and even adolescents and Tweens (Annoying Orange). Test your video on this audience and note when they laugh or get bored.
11. Post regularly. The most popular and most-viewed YouTubers post daily or on a predictable schedule. Fresh outsells good.
12. Flow with current events. Selectively parody topical news or “Memes” and you’ll be topical and more relevant.
13. Take the title, tags and description very seriously so your video can be found easily on search engines like Google (and don’t think YouTube isn’t a search engine). You can even transcribe the video and add the text. Important terms: “how to,” “why does,” “who is,” “when is…”
14. Watch top creators for new ideas. For instance, most top web stars are providing thumbnails of other videos at the end of their video. This keeps a viewer from wandering off to “related videos.”
15. Post at right time. Stay away from weekends and Friday afternoon (when there’s a lot of viewing but heavy competition). Mornings are good and Tuesday is a heavy consumption day.
16. Someone once said a new blogger focuses on their blog, but a seasoned blogger is roaming. Likewise you want to appear in videos by people getting more views. The kind plug by PrankvsPrank for my recent “Itchy Butt” prank drove more views that from my base of 250K subscribers.
17. Chill out on “subscribers,” which is as meaningless as “likes” on Facebook. 100 fans are more valuable than 10,000 subscribers that accidentally subscribed from the stupid “box for box” feature (where if you subscribe to one channel you can passively subscribe to their friends.
18. Jump start views on other social-media channels like Facebook and Twitter and Tumblr and Reddit (watch out for being seen as just tooting your own horn though).
19. Listen and talk back to your audience. When a creator acknowledges a viewer comment a bond is formed that is the lifeblood of a recurring audience.
20. Go for quantity not obsessive quality. I could never have predicted which of my 1000 videos would get tens of millions of views, and there’s a lot of power to trial and error. There’s almost an inverse relationship between the time I spend on a video and the views it gets.

Finally don’t judge success by total views alone. Whether you’re a marketer or entertainer, not all views are created equally. Focus on engagement, comments, view duration, and getting to the right audience. A niche show meeting an unmet need is going to work more effectively than trying to please broad audiences.

What did I miss? Obviously the most popular videos are those involving dancing, music, comedy, satire, politics, sex, babies and animals. Don’t underestimate the power of the thumbnail (image representing the video) too. But any general tips I missed?

Online Video Tips for Small Business (MSNBC)

Get some coffee or program your TiVos, kids.

That video I shot Sunday for MSNBC Small Business (see MSNBC/Amex site) is going on television not the web (glad I didn’t quite realize that when I shot it, or I might have gotten nervous).

It airs this week 3/20/11 at 7:30am EST and will re-air Saturday, March 26th at 5:30am EST. This timing should work well for small businesses and entrepreneurs since they never sleep. And the YouTube peeps? They’ll still be awake from the night prior.

In the meantime, you can check some of the tips I shared with AOL small business, or buy Beyond Viral (Wiley) at your local bookstore or Amazon. And tell your friends at ABC and CBS they should book me. 🙂

Oh- I made an epic mistake on the video that I’m hoping people think was intentional because it’s so blatant. Be the first to notice it and comment below, and you get a free piece of cheese (and maybe an autographed copy of Beyond Viral if I actually remember).

YouTube Tips From Lawyers

Prompted by Google’s statement that YouTube vows “quicker, tougher copyright enforcement,” ReelSEO’s Grant Crowell tackled this issue on a listenable podcast titled “YouTube Copyright Tips,” with the help of David Michail and Daliah Saper (check 5-minute mark of this video to hear Saper’s illuminating story about what I’ll call a “social-media impaired judge”).

Crowell’s got a voice for radio and a light, funny style.. and he’s passionate about the cross-section of legal issues and the online-video medium. In keeping with the 12 days of Christmas, Grant provides 15 tips that are valuable even if obvious and painful to read/hear.

Increasingly even song parodies are coming under fire, and some companies are looking to make examples of people doing even innocuous things like putting together a “Google Images” collage. Even the Hitler parodies are under fire.

Here’s a link to Google’s Public Policy Blog on the subject, where YouTube is making 4 specific steps:

  1. New and improved 24-hour action on “reliable” takedown requests- per DCMA. I’ve noticed when my kids post their claymation videos using pop songs they’ve purchased on iTunes, their videos vanish quickly in what appears to be an automatic (thumbprint technology) bust.
  2. Preventing terms that are closely associated with piracy from appearing in autocomplete (SNL clips, justin bieber).
  3. Improve AdSense anti-piracy review: expelling violators (which would include YouTube Partners).
  4. They will give authorized content better accessibility in search results. That’s a big deal, and will negatively impact those video creators who have benefited from search mistakes. For instance, someone searching Keisha is probably looking for a Keisha video not a parody video.

So let’s use an example… Here’s what I got searching “keisha” on Google –an intentional misspelling of Kei$ha). Neither appears legit. One’s a rip, and the other’s a website that’s embedding a video. Will these sustain, or will Google direct people to the “singer’s” videos?

Keisha search result on google
What I found searching “Keisha” on Google.

Some key points from Grant and his lawyers:

  • To protect your own work, you should register/trademark your content (sorry, we’re a bit lazy here but thanks)
  • Even small stuff (using an image or brief clip of song) is a copyright infringement and can be penalized by death.
  • Check out legalvideoguides (Grant’s channel) or get a lawyer friend (most attorneys are eager and willing to be friends since they don’t tend to have any).
  • While you may be protected under “fair use,” you’re risking hundreds of dollars… to hundreds of thousands of dollars in and infringement suit. It can be expensive to defend.
  • Under DCMA, most creators can issue their own “take down” notice to YouTube to get them removed. So while that often means getting attacked by Viacom, it’s also a resource that YouTubers can use if their own stuff gets ripped by trolls… happens to me quite often. A ripped version of my stupid “head board” parody got more views than my own video, and I believe YouTube yanked it by my request. Usually I don’t bother.
  • Read the “terms of use” and understand the process (yawn).

I’ll leave you with what may be an example of Google/YouTube’s policy #4…. Note that a search for SNL results provides #1 ranking to NBC, with a lower ranking (but thumbnailed) video from Buckley… Of course it’s also possible that we humans have taught Google to rank NBC because the slow-load & intensive advertising experience is so much superior to the ripped SNL clips that “made YouTube” (he says sarcastically).

New Hacks & Tricks for YouTube

Thanks to WillofDC for mentioning this Mashable post packed with weird things you can do with YouTube videos.

  • Want to replay the same video to annoy friends and family? Got it.
  • Want your video to appear in a cube? Yep.
  • Hide comments for troll-free viewing. It’s there.

Check her out.

CubeTube turns your video into a cube. Not that you'd ever need it. But it's cool.

FREE “Cliff’s Notes” of My YouTube-Marketing Book

Beyond Viral: All the benefits of Ambien without side effects

So you’re too busy to buy a copy of my book (Beyond Viral), but maybe want a quick scan of the topics? Here are some of the key points addressed in each of the 18 chapters… these digital documents also identify the many experts who contributed to the book.

The cheat guide to Beyond Viral

From Daisy Whitney (This Week in Media), Mark Robertson (ReelSEO) and Ben Relles (Barely Political/Next New Netowkrs)… to  “YouTube Stars” like CharlesTrippy, VenetianPrincess, RhettandLink, ShayCarl, Mediocrefilms, and Daneboe/Annoying Orange. Thanks to all of you!

Here’s the Beyond Viral (www.beyondviral.com) on Scribd and Slideshare.

It’s called a “sneak preview,” but I hope you’ll read it and consider picking up the actual book. There was no way I could have summarized it in 5-20 pages because the book has loads of examples and details.

Online Video Media Buying Best Practices

Looking for best-practices and tips for buying online-video advertising?

ScanScout’s Jason Krebs provides tips and tricks for verifying your online-video advertising spend in Daisy Whitney’s New Media Minute.

He tells us how to buy by “cost per engagement” and to ensuring that we receive accurate reporting on our spend.

A Blog Post That Doesn’t Mention iPad (Video SEO)

Via Larry Kless, here’s Mark Robertson, the King of Video SEO, sharing some tips about video codecs, encoding, and other things we don’t quite understand… but know are important.

Until you or your agency are doing all these things as prescribed by Dr. Robertson, we recommend getting all of your content on YouTube. Turns out Google indexes YouTube videos, um, pretty darned well.

Google and YouTube Accounts Linked (and hacks)

Recently, YouTube requires having a Google account to register. That means you need a unique e-mail address for each YouTube account, and provides some unexpected benefits and problems.
I’ve often advised people to establish separate YouTube accounts under different e-mails, since if one account gets “suspended” or “deleted” than other accounts with the same e-mail are also usually effected.

Now that’s mandatory. It’s nice to have one sign-on/login for Google (which I use as my primary e-mail, reader and increasingly for creating documents) and YouTube. I login to Google, and I’m automatically logged into YouTube. However this becomes a problem when you want to create a new account or login to different accounts.
For instance, I’m posting vlogs on UncleNalts. If I logoff YouTube as Nalts, then go back as UncleNalts, my Gmail session expires. Imagine how much of a hassle this is if you’re moderating comments on various network accounts (for a Next New Networks, Revision3, or ForYourImagination).

Here are a few work-arounds:

  • If your gmail freezes (logged off) when you switched between YouTube accounts, don’t fear. Just open a new tab, log back into Google. Then go back to the gmail and it should send fine.
  • It makes sense to have two different browsers for each accounts if you toggle back and forth frequently. It’s confusing, but it saves a lot of trouble. In the past week, I’ve accidentally taken my gmail offline by going back and forth between various YouTube accounts.
  • If you want multiple YouTube accounts and are out of e-mail addresses, simply link them to various free e-mail accounts (Yahoo, AOL, whatever). Or if you have your own hosting account, create e-mails for each (username@domain.com), and you’ll have gmail/YouTube accounts that match and an e-mail name that matches both. Through Bluehost, I can create dozens of NAME@willvideoforfood, naltsconsulting, kevinnalts, etc. Of course I’ll never remember to check them, or have the foggiest idea what password I’ve used.