What are your favorite online videos? Which catch your eye? With the ubiquity of YouTube and other sharing sites, a new crop of videos goes viral. How hard could it be to create one? You let a couple of toddlers loose in a house with a few bags of flour or you get your wedding party to choreograph a dance down the aisle (though that’s getting old by now). But, in fact, it is very difficult to “create” a viral video. Most happen purely by accident, and many fade away into the countless hours of content that is released each day. Businesses can’t afford to rest their hopes on going viral; they can, however, consider video seeding to give their content a fighting chance. Here are three tips that can help.
Find your audience. Not only can you target an audience that will be most receptive, you can get your video in front of influential viewers, including bloggers. By using Google Blog Search, for instance, you can search for related blog posts and link the video. YouTube is often the go-to, but sites like Vimeo often appeal to a more professional demographic, so if that fits, it is worth your while to explore alternative sites.
Search optimise. Just as you would text content, optimise videos. Place keywords in your title and description, as well as tags. Niche keywords that are very targeted towards your specific audience will work better than more general terms that have far more competition.
Social bookmarking. You should submit your video to social sites like Digg or Reddit. Users will vote on the video, which can help you gain popularity. It can also give you much-needed link juice. The risk here is that you will appear too much like a salesman. Users on social sites do not mind interacting with businesses, but they do not want to hear a sales pitch. They do not come for ads. Keep this in mind and produce quality, relevant, interesting content that people actually want to watch. How-tos are one great example.
Doing some preliminary work before launching a video can help increase the chance that it will be viewed. Seeding cannot guarantee a viral success, but it can ensure you reach the right people at the right places.