Ever wonder what it takes for a video to net millions of views? Well you can stop wondering.
Advertising publication AdAge recently released its first ever Viral Video Awards, a contest looking for the biggest tear-jerker ad and the funniest video ad. The respective winners were Expedia's "Find Your Understanding," a video depicting a father traveling to his lesbian daughter's wedding and Liquid-Plumr's "Double Impact," a plumber video full of innuendos.
While these are huge companies pouring resources into production, videos don't go viral based on budget but rather content. Take for example, the famous "Will it Blend?" videos, put on by blender company Blendtec. The videos show the strength of the appliance by blending items like iPads, golf balls and rake handles. The first video put out by Blendtec, one depicting marbles getting crushed, garnered more than 6 million hits, and it reportedly only cost $50 to create. The company has now produced a number of videos with the most successful one nabbing more than 15 million views.
1. Sharing is a two-way street.
If you want others to share and talk about what you've produced, one of the best ways to get the ball rolling is by being a sharer yourself. Even big influencers want to see more people sharing their content, and if you share consistently, you're likely to get some reciprocal sharing in return.
When you're sharing others' content, be creative and put some thought into it -- especially if you're hoping to get someone with a lot of followers to share yours. Don't just put a link to their video or upload it, add a little bit of context or tell how it was beneficial to you or will benefit your audience. You're much more likely to get noticed this way, and you might even develop a mentoring relationship with a seasoned entrepreneur.
2. Ask (nicely).
As with everything, you can't expect to get what you want without asking for it. It's important to ask the right people in the right way though. A blanket, "Hey, share my post!" blasted out to your social networks probably won't see a lot of results. Instead, ask specific people, and tell them how it will benefit them. Does the video you shot contain information that's valuable to their audience? That's the kind of benefit that will convince someone to share it.
3. Create strategic alliances.
Chances are good that there are other young entrepreneurs out there who share a target audience but don't compete with you. Build relationships with these people to get in front of their community, while introducing them to yours. It's a great way to help each other find success, and it just might result in a lasting friendship.
4. Reach out to the pros.
Bloggers and journalists are always looking for intriguing content to share with their viewers. If your video would be a good fit for their core audience, reach out to them. Just keep in mind, these people get a lot of pitches a day, so keep things short, simple and relevant.
What other tips do you have for getting your content to spread? Share with the community in the comments below.
The author is an Entrepreneur contributor. The opinions expressed are those of the writer.
Matthew Toren is a serial entrepreneur, mentor, investor and co-founder of YoungEntrepreneur.com. He is co-author, with his brother Adam, of Kidpreneurs and Small Business, BIG Vision: Lessons on How to Dominate Your Market from Self-Made Entrepreneurs Who Did it Right (Wiley). He's based in Vancouver, B.C.