Q. “I launched a YouTube channel but some of my videos only have views in the hundreds. What can I do to change this?”
A. I uploaded my first video to YouTube in 2007 (“Hott 4 Hill”), and within a week the video racked up more than a million views. This would be my first, and last, “viral video.”
Aside from the anomalies (i.e., Psy, Double Rainbow guy), getting massive traffic to a one-off video without a preexisting audience is next to impossible. When I consult for businesses and individuals, we develop a customized plan to ensure that the content they produce is “share friendly,” with content that is easy to repost across blogs and Facebook feeds.
To get you started on your quest for more eyeballs, here’s what you should consider.
1. Relatability. Does the video touch on topical or niche topics that people will want to share on their Facebook page, blog, or other social community?
2. Relevancy. Touch on topics being discussed in the news or the public zeitgeist to benefit from Google searches on these topics.
3. Frequency. YouTube’s search algorithm favors users who post frequently, with one video per week as the recommended minimum. If one video hits, all the others on the channel benefit.
4. Shoulder Content. Extra content made up of bloopers, behind-the-scenes footage, live chats, etc., are all ways to bring more eyeballs to existing content.
5. Playlisting. Placing your channel’s video content in playlists encourages viewers to watch not just one but multiple videos from your channel.
6. Interaction. Never turn off the comments. Moderate them if you must, but viewers’ social actions show up in their friends’ feeds and move up the ranking of your video by YouTube SEO. Sometimes the best strategy is to simply ask your audience at the end of the video to like, comment, or add to a playlist. Run giveaways. Give your audience a reason to get involved.
7. Press. Aside from major blogs, a few digital outlets consistently cover Web videos and series—Tubefilter, NewMediaRockstars—so consider reaching out to them with updates on your video material.
8. Collaborations with online stars. Web stars can drive more traffic than mainstream stars, so keep this in mind if you’re just starting out on YouTube and trying to maximize your effort.
9. Point of view. This goes without saying, but YouTube is a dialogue—not a one-way viewing experience. Make sure you or your characters have a compelling point of view. Otherwise, you’re lost in a sea of other videos.
10. Bikinis and pets. Enough said.
Getting views on video content amid the masses is not easy, but with time and effort you’ll start to see the numbers rack up. For real-time statistics on your own video views, visit VidStatsX.com.