Video Seeding: The Road to Viral Videos

Posted by Ashley McChesney

Though viral videos are fickle by nature, some successful viral campaigns have helped businesses gain astounding revenue, as well as widespread recognition (check out our article about the nature of viral videos).  Viral videos, which, according to YouTube Celebrity Kevin Nalty, gain “more than 5 million views in a 3-7 day period,” often feature humor or shocking content in a short, easily shareable production.  However, it takes much more than a great video alone to attract a global fanbase or to give your production the potential to go viral.

Enter video seeding, a process that combines word-of-mouth, PR techniques, and online sharing to gather an initial fanbase and viewership for a specific video in hopes that it will be shared and eventually go viral.  This technique takes the first step into the world of virality, which is public awareness.  The videos used for this type of campaign should not just be repurposed from the original series of advertisements; Josh Warner of iMediaConnection urges businesses to “think like an entertainment company and develop different creative altogether.”

So, where should you begin?  The first step to take in seeding your video is (obviously) uploading it to a video hosting service, such as YouTube or Vimeo.  Be sure to take full advantages of the options these platforms offer by creating a catchy title, adding a description and tags, and making the video available for mobile devices.  Doing so will not only generate a link for your viewers and eventual fanbase to share and spread globally, it will bring in extra viewers from the hosting sites who search under your specified parameters.

The next logical step in the seeding process is sharing the video on your social media channels.  Take a sort of grassroots approach to generating awareness for your video.  Ask current friends, family, and followers to engage with the video post and share it.  According to Dan Zarella of Hubspot, asking followers to share or retweet your content within the post brings in nearly 160% more interaction with that post, instantly increasing the potential for viewing by a great deal.

Finally, identify your “Influencers,” or any prominent bloggers and social media gurus who will bring in vast quantities of free traffic.  Make sure that your influencer is relevant to your message and purpose; for example, asking a food critic to share a post about GoPro cameras would not be as effective as the same request of a video production expert.

With some insight to the web video market and strategic planning and research, video seeding is not as complicated a process as it may initially seem.  Even if your video does not meet Kevin Nalty’s definition of virality, with the implementation of these simple steps, you are sure to increase your viewership.