Going Viral on YouTube #SMXWest

Going Viral on YouTube #SMXWest

14th March 2013

In San Jose the last few days SMX West took place. Gemma Birch is there and reports back on some of the sessions for State of Search.

The first session of day 3 of SMX West was all about how to get your videos shared and viewed on YouTube. The speakers were Jake Larsen of ZAGG, Steve Young from SmartShoot and Jonah Stein of ItstheROI and each had some key takeaways.

Jake Larsen – ZAGG

ZAGG sells tablet and mobile accessories online and shares a lot of video content on YouTube.

7 Secrets to Success on YouTube

1. Use Keywords – In the titles, descriptions and tags.
2. They have to add value – either they need to be informational or entertaining.
3. Timing – This isn’t always the case but depending on what the video is, timing can be everything. If it is related to a specific trend or event, time it carefully or impact will be lost. Looking at Google trends is a good way to find what people are searching for and publish content to capitalise on that.
4. Interesting – needs to be interesting and unique or you won’t get the engagement you’re looking for.
5. Include a call to action. Don’t lose the visitors once you have them – direct them where you want them to go.
6. Tell YouTube what your video is about. Put your link in the top of the description, include as much info in the tags as much its the only way youtube will know what your video is about and be able to show it to the audience you’re targeting.
7. Think about the thumbnail – it needs to entice people to click and watch.

And remember the Velcro theory – the more videos you have, the more people you will reach.

Steve Young – SmartShoot

Next up was Steve Young from SmartShoot, a marketplace connecting customers with film makers and photographers.

A viral video is a video that moves your tribe. It engages with the audience and makes them want to share it

Steve says you need to think like a street performer:

1. Stay away from product shots – don’t make your video a sales pitch
2. Be unforgettable. With video, being safe is risky as you won’t stand out.
3. Be real. You don’t need to hire actors etc.., people would rather see real, and genuine. If they find out its actors, people will actually have less trust in your brand and the video will lose credibility.
4. Take to the Streets. Go out and about. Ask people what they really think about a product.
5. Promote like a Kardashian. There is no point in publishing a video and then forgetting to promote it!

He also shared a strategy for promotion:

Email journalists personally a week before the launch of your video to get them to cover it.
Aim for coverage on 2-3 sites – you don’t need hundreds.
A useful tool for getting contacts is Rapportive – enables you to find email addresses.

Jonah Stein – It’stheROI

Finally, Jonah Stein from SEO agency It’stheROI shared a few other video thoughts and tips.

Viral can be slow and steady – its not necessarily important to have an explosion. Overall shares is what matters.

Think about emotional triggers – you need to connect with your audience emotionally, or they won’t share it!

Don’t mislead people. You can get away with it, but it won’t endorse you to your target audience. Make your descriptions etc.. a true representative of what your video is about.

Its all about marketing – use all your lists and existing channels to get that video seen and shared.

Video doesn’t really work on Twitter- images are much prefered but other social channels like Facebook and Google+ will work much better.


Written By
Gemma Birch has been working in international search since 2007 and leads WebCertain’s marketing team. She is responsible for managing WebCertain’s online marketing activities around the world as well as organising and programming the International Search Summit.
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