Dear America Supports You,
Today, I noticed you have a new channel on YouTube. It looks like it was created sometime last week. Well done for putting good video online, like this one:
My praise for you, however, ends there.
Putting video online is not a communications strategy. It is a necessary step to get out your message; if it is not uploaded, it has no chance to be seen. However, it is not sufficient.
John Bell notes that this is one of the four myths of viral video:
Plopping a video on YouTube is a digital strategy. That’s the third part of the myth. It says that something that is worth talking about will find its own audience organically (i.e. with no marketing effort) and will gain viral velocity until it reaches millions. Duncan Watts would point out that most ‘viral’ things die off before reaching what anyone would claim is a tipping point of volume. If part of a digital strategy includes video(s) that will grab people’s attention then we need to support them with smart, authentic promotion. Viral videos go better with outreach and advertising. This seems couterintuitive if you as a marketer are using video to raise awareness of some engagement opportunity with your brand online. Now we want you to promote the promotion? If you are designing a truly engaging experience for your users than this will make sense. If you want to use video as your entire strategy, then it may not make sense.
Not surprisingly, in four days, the five videos uploaded to your page have accumulated fewer than 100 views. Combined.
Compare that to this one clip of Miss Teen South Carolina answering a question about education (with hilarity ensuing):
That clip, in just two days, has had over 2 million views on YouTube.
The trick to successful online video is (a) having compelling content, (b) making it sharable and (c) letting people know it is out there.
You have taken the first step. Time to get moving on the other two.
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