Go Viral Video

Our friend Rohit Bhargava wrote a great post taking the best elements of Dan Ackerman Greenberg’s highly contested guest piece for TechCrunch. Greenberg authorized what can only be termed controversial astroturfing comments in his post.

Nevertheless, the post did have some excellent elements, and Rohit did a nice job boiling them down to these four principles, of which three of them where above the board (Rohit chastised Greenberg for using “inflation” tactics to hijack numbers, what we call astroturfing on this blog). Here are the three “above the water” principles:

  1. Content – Is the subject matter and story compelling enough to get people to pass it along?
  2. Optimization – This has to do with how long the clip is, how you optimize it, what tags you use, and when you submit it.
  3. Outreach – Obvious, but often forgotten … a key element to getting a video viewed is finding the right influential people to tell about it and increase the chances that they may pass it along.

Check out Greenberg’s post as there are many great ideas, but be wary of anything involving fake identity or spamming folks. For the record, here are Greenberg’s recommended tactics that I like:

Make it short: 30 seconds

Design for remixing: Create a video that is simple enough to be remixed over and over again by others.

Don’t make an outright ad: If a video feels like an ad, viewers won’t share it unless it’s really amazing.

Make it Shocking/Appeal to Sex: In short, make it entertaining. No one wants to watch a square… Or do they?


Optimize Tags, Title and Thumbnail: Use marketing skills to attract people to the video. Copy writing and intelligent visuals are critical. Know what’s going to sell the video to your client.

Use Your 48 Hour Window Intelligently: Once posted on YouTube, you have 48 hours to make it popular. Pitch to relevant bloggers, and through your social networks. But don’t cross the spamming line!

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5 Replies to “Go Viral Video”

  1. Imagine, overnight your message can be passed on to thousands of people, be seen all over the world through the joint powers of the internet and word-of-mouth advertising. Ask yourself this… Have you got what it takes? Will you be Famous By Morning? Nice movie and a useful advice.

  2. Mark, imagine someone who doesn’t really understand commenting etiquette trying to be cute promoting his company “Famous By morning.” Normally, I’d delete comments like this, but since you’ve hit a new level of poetic cheesiness, I thought your comment would be a great example of what not to do online. Readers: Know a bloggers readership, understand what the blogger cares about and ADD to the conversation, don’t spam.

  3. Hey sorry geoliv, that’s what happens when you pay a guy in Romainia to promote your site (even after you specifically said ‘no spamming’ in the selection criteria). I just like creating videos and showing them to others, no ads, no promotions… my failings as a marketer are made up for in my creativity as a videographer.

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