A couple of months back a guest post on TechCrunch outlined how he gets at least 10,000 people watching his clients’ “viral” videos.
The writer was Dan Ackerman Greenberg, co-founder of The Commotion Group and he got roasted alive for the ‘secrets’ he outlined.
The main reasons for this were to do with the underhand methods he described. What his views showed was that it was clearly possible to force something viral. What it also highlighted was the liklihood of being shown up if you did it badly – being seen as a charlatan is the last thing a big brand wants – particularly if they’re pushing their content in order to generate greater advocacy – it’s counter-productive.
There was another post I found recently which showed another way of doing it. Written by Kevin Nalts, a career marketer, on his blog willvideoforfood has written a 34 page booklet on how to promote your videos on YouTube. Called “How To Become Popular on YouTube (Without Any Talent)“, it explains how hard work, passion and dedication have made him the YouTuber he is today.
Both the above views should be read and digested. When it comes to promoting content on behalf of a brand a balance between the two views needs to be found. More often than not there simply isn’t the resource available to create the kind of YouTube persona that Kevin has achieved – it’s only over a long period of time and constant effort that he’s created the influence he has. More often than not agencies need to hire that kind of influence in the form of a guerilla marketing company along the lines of The Commotion Group.
However, there are a number of steps that can be taken to ensure content spreads successfully:
- Content - Is the subject matter and story compelling enough to get people to pass it along? This is a different question to whether or not it’s entertaining.
- Optimisation – This has to do with how long the clip is, how you optimize it, what tags you use, and when you submit it. In this regard, both Dan and Kevin have some excellent suggestions which are worth reading.
- Reach – This is a key element to getting a video viewed by as many people as possible. It boils down to finding the right influencers to pass it on. In Kevin’s situation he is the influencer. This is the best scenario – by truly spending the time to find people that the video will be relevant for. The worst way is to spam large groups of people; only a small percentage of whom will find it relevant, and to fabricate identities which leads to the 4th factor
- Inflation - This is where the views of Kevin & Dan vary the most. A key element of Dan’s strategy in making videos go viral amounts to Inflation. By gaining views by spamming friends, creating fake profiles and hiring ‘click monkeys’ it’s true that you do get better stats, sadly they are tactics that many SMO are employing, bringing the entire business sector down with them.
YouTube and others are investing a great deal of time and effort against fraudsters who employ inflation and spamming. Whilst it’s possible to create an approach that avoids necessitating use of Inflation, it may mean that you don’t reach that elusive 100,000 viewer mark.
At the end of the day, a much better metric for success is usually whether the right people saw the video, not whether the right number of people saw it…
“The more people you reach the more likely it is that you’re reaching the wrong people” – Seth Godin