If you are trying to get YouTube views this season, take note of the lesson from Kmart’s Joe Boxer video.http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9PVhIMr4ScI
The video has garnered more than 11.5 million views since it was uploaded on YouTube in the first week, as well as more than 44,000 “thumbs up” and 5,000 comments – both positive (“funny”) and negative (“indecent”). Kmart not only used the video online, but also on TV. Various groups have launched protests, including One Million Moms, which is trying to get the spot taken off the air.
While Kmart has said they “didn’t intend to offend anyone,” you can bet that the retailer, that has had its difficulties in recent years, plainly knew that it would have pushback from such an edgy video/ad. That was the whole point! Controversy is clearly the magic sauce!
If you want to get a video, blog post or some other piece of content to “go viral,” make it controversial. And if you can make it a little funny and/or naughty to boot, all the better to wax the skis for the downhill ride. Even those people who hate the video are going to send it to their friends to view it so that they can discuss it afterwards.
Is it risky to do promotion like this? Of course. But doing “safe” advertising and marketing is even riskier. Think about it. Kmart has been largely invisible for a long time in the shadow of Target and Walmart. But with this video, their name has been on the minds and lips of people this week by the millions.
That doesn’t happen with advertising that doesn’t take risks. If you’re willing to take that kind of risk, you can win big. Just weigh the risk with the benefits. Certainly it can go over the top, and there are other ways to attract attention. Consider Miley Cyrus. Many say she went over the top with her raunchy performance at the 2013 Video Music Awards, forever tainting her brand. Others say is was a brilliant branding ploy. Only time will tell.
So, here are other ways to get YouTube views:
The basic tactics to get YouTube views:
- Make a great video – This is the obvious place to start. Without great content, you can forget it. But even a great video alone won’t go viral and get YouTube views if you don’t do everything else right. You’ve got to market it, just like everything else. So, let’s get busy!
- Optimize it with keywords – Do your research! Use this free YouTube keyword tool to get ideas.
- Add a great title – it will make or break your chances in the search engine. It must contain your keywords but still be catchy to humans.
- Add a description – write a unique description and use your keywords again. Put Your YouTube URL in the description so that when your content gets scraped and your video is embedding on somebody else’s site, you’ll get a backlink for SEO.
- Add YouTube Tags – They may not work on websites, but they are still important in YouTube.
- Include your contact information in your videos – Sounds basic, but many people forget the basics.
- Select a great thumbnail – Don’t just opt for the default. The thumbnail matters. Make sure it is relevant to the entire video.
- Ask fans to comment – This encourages engagement and sharing.
- Share your video everywhere – Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, social bookmarks, email to your friends and family.
Advanced tactics to get YouTube views:
- Brand your YouTube channel – Stand out from the crowd – make it your own. It should be consistent with your website/blog, sales materials, brochures, etc.
- Share your playlist rather than just the individual video link – This will encourage fans to watch all of your videos instead of just one. You’ll get YouTube views for your other videos.
- Use annotations to encourage sharing – List your Twitter username and Facebook URL or to add a few keywords.
- Subscribers – Ask people to subscribe to your videos. Annotations is a way to do this, or you can do this right in the video.
- Bulletins – YouTube now allows you to send out text and videos to your subscribers directly from a “Post Bulletins” field in your “My Channel” page. Once you post a bulletin, it appears on the homepage of all your subscribers. You can use this to let people know about your new videos or to share links to new content you think your subscribers would enjoy.
- Buy YouTube views — Sometimes you’ve just got to spend a little to make a little.
- Embed your video on your website or blog – This signals to YouTube that it is popular outside of the YouTube site. The more embeds and links it gets, the better.
- Video responses – Get more views on your own videos by posting a video response to somebody else’s popular video – in essence, you are riding somebody’s coattail. Parodies are very popular! For example, I would look for some video responses to the Joe Boxer video within days.