The singer Psy wasn’t looking for an American cult following, but when his YouTube video, “Gangnam Style,” hit the Internet, he experienced a meteoric rise to international stardom. So, what does it take to gain all the media attention that a viral YouTube video entails? It takes luck, and knowing who is watching YouTube and what they’re looking for.
Craft Video Releases for the Web
Web video surfers are offered 10,000 to 65,000 new YouTube videos every day. To create a top-grossing YouTube video, you have to get viewers’ attention. Start by making it so they have to watch the video to find out if the name is true. The title of your video should read like a news headline that reels viewers in. Keep your video clips to 30 seconds or less. Provide immediate action, appeal to re-mixers, and if all else fails, hire good-looking women for your video. What you don’t want to do is create an obvious advertisement; that turns viewers away.
Promote Your Video
Your goal should be to get your video on the “Videos” tab. The trick is to generate the first 50,000 views using relevant blogs and comments, forums, MySpace pages, e-mail links and, of course, Facebook sharing links. There are lots of ways to increase your click share on YouTube, but getting a truly viral video or video series takes buckling down for a few days of relentless promotion, reassessment and adjustment of titles, thumbnails and keyword tags.
If you’re lucky enough to create a viral video, promote it in the local media with a press release and get some print coverage out of it, and don’t forget to frame your news article for posterity. A new viral YouTube video will knock yours out of the running in no time, but custom video framing will celebrate your viral success for years to come.
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