If you don’t have access to a beautiful Japanese soccer playing woman, but still want to increase the popularity of your videos, don’t despair. Here are a few simple things you can do to help your videos stand out from the crowd…
1. Pick an attention getting thumbnail for your video.
The video to the left took only one day to get to the most viewed videos on YouTube for that day. I wonder why? Hmm… could it have to do with cleavage? I think so. YouTube currently makes a thumbnail preview for your video using whatever is at the halfway point in your video.
You should try to edit wisely so you can have a thumbnail preview that will make people want to click and watch your video. Or, do like LonelyGirl15 does and put a frame or two in the middle to make your video thumbnail. Other video sharing sites allow you to select a thumbnail, but until YouTube adds this option you will have to use this little “hack”. Otherwise you can end up with a very dull looking thumbnail that nobody will be interested in. Try to make a thumbnail that makes people think… “Hmm…I wonder what this video is about?!”.
2. Write a Catchy Video Title.
After you have made a good video thumbnail, it’s time to write an attention getting title. Try to summarize the video in a few words. Don’t use ALL CAPS or all lower case, try to Title Your Video Like This. Most people browsing videos are very impatient – so get to the point. Write a title to give viewers and idea of what your video is about.
Darren Rowse of Problogger has a nice article on how to write effective titles for blog posts. Apply these tips to your video titles to hook people into watching your videos.
3. Write a Good Video Description – Use Tags
Don’t overlook the importance of your video description. A good video description should summarize the video in a few sentences or couple of paragraphs. This can vary depending on the length of your video. Some videos may prompt questions from viewers, so update your video description to answer questions. Also use as many tags that are relevant to your video. A good description with tags will give you more viewers from search results.
4. Choose the Right Category
This should be a no brainer, but make sure your video is properly categorized. If you put your video in the Pets & Animals category when your video is of your friend getting kicked in the crotch, you will only annoy viewers. Pick the category that best matches who you think will like your video.
5. Promote Your Video
You’ve spent a ton time making and editing your video, choosing a thumbnail, crafting a catchy title with description and choosing a relevant category. You can’t rest now. If you really want your video to gain traction you need to promote it. The first thing you can do is join some of the groups on YouTube and submit your video to those groups.
Next, click the “Post Video” link under your video to submit to social bookmarking sites such as Digg, StumbleUpon, Delicious, etc. If you want to get really crazy, check out this list of social bookmarking sites you can use. If you really believe in your video, do whatever you can to promote it. You can’t expect it to be discovered while you sleep at night.
All of this advice is useless if your video sucks. There is a lot of mystery involved with what it takes to make a good viral video. There is no guarantee your video will be a hit, but here are a few resources to check out improve your odds:
Portrait of a Viral Video Genius
Are You Contageous? Viral Marketing 101
I Want to be a Viral Video Star
How to Get Famous in 30 Seconds
Good luck and hope to see you featured on the YouTube homepage soon!