is a great way to get your message out. The most viewed YouTube video
ever, “evolution of dance”, was viewed more than 53 million
times. “Vote Different”, an Obama ad, was seen by three and
a half million people. Those are amazing numbers – many organizations
would be happy with even a fraction of those views for their own videos.

Unfortunately, without
a well planned and properly executed promotion plan, even a great video
won’t have a real chance of attracting more than a few thousand
viewers. You have to find a way to make your video stand out from the
millions of videos available on YouTube and the tens of thousands of
new videos that are uploaded daily.

Here are ten tips we’ve gathered here at Collactive, to help you promote your next YouTube video:

  1. Create a Relevant, Informative Video
    – Even the best promotion strategy will fail if your video is not
    attractive. Your video should be as interesting and informative as
    possible. It should provide a fresh insight and be tied to current
  2. Keep the Video Short – Try to
    keep your video under five minutes and preferably under two minutes
    long. Don’t lose the short attention span of today’s
    viewers, and you’ll have a higher chance of seeing your video
    blogged about.
  3. Select a Catchy Title and Thumbnail
    Most video lists in YouTube show twenty videos in a single page. The
    things a casual user will notice first are the video thumbnails and
    titles. Attract the user’s eye with a catchy title and an
    interesting thumbnail. Currently, the thumbnail YouTube uses is a
    single frame taken from the exact middle of your video. Turn this
    “center frame” into a powerful video invitation!
  4. Embed Wisely – Embedding a video in your
    site is an efficient way to turn your readers into viewers, but it will
    require a visitor to explicitly click the “play” button for
    it to be counted as a view. You should either make the embedded video
    auto-play or link to the video page on YouTube directly.
  5. Promote “Fresh” Videos
    Focus your promotion efforts into the first 48 hours after your video
    is uploaded to YouTube. Only videos that were posted in the last 48
    hours appear in the “most viewed today” list, the list that
    is most visited by YouTube viewers.
  6. Choose Your Video Category Wisely
    You will need at least 5,000 to 10,000 views to appear in the
    day’s 100 most viewed videos in any given category – a crucial
    milestone in promoting your video. With 10,000 views in the first 48
    hours you will be the #1 most viewed video on the Auto & Vehicles
    category while with the same number of viewers you won’t even
    make the first 20 on today’s most viewed entertainment videos.
    The more such “honors” (top lists you appear in), the
    better the chance that your video will reach fame. If you don’t
    get on any top list within 48 hours, your video will probably never
    rise from obscurity.
  7. Target the “Most Viewed” Lists
    – As most people in your community are yet to have a YouTube account,
    without simplifying their registration to YouTube it’s unlikely
    that many of them will register to rank, discuss or add the video to
    their favorites list. Therefore, chances are that you’ll not get
    many views from the important “Top Rated”, “Most
    Discussed” or “Top Favorites” lists.
  8. Ask Your Community to View Your Video
    – Your community is a key resource, and you should use its power to
    kick-start your view’s popularity. You’ll need to bring in
    thousands of views by yourself to have a solid chance of getting your
    video picked up by the YouTube community on its way to becoming
    popular. According to our experience at Collactive, you can expect 3%
    to 5% of your mailing list to watch your video during the first 48
  9. Ask Your Community to Promote Your Video
    – Asking your community members to pass the video to their friends is a
    simple and effective approach to gain more views. They can do it over
    email, share on Facebook, send MySpace bulletins and more. You should
    provide easy sharing functions for them and not rely solely on
    YouTube’s sharing features.
  10. Ask Your Community to Promote Your Video on Social Media Sites
    – Getting your community to promote your video on social media
    sites, such as Propeller, Digg and reddit is a great way to spread the
    word about it. Reaching the front page of a social media site will
    bring thousands of views within those critical 48 hours.

If you’ve executed your promotion strategy
well, your video should have received a few tens of thousands of views
during the first 48 hours. From then on, your video will be picked up
by the YouTube community itself, popping up in Most Popular pages,
relevant search results, related videos and so on. Some of our
customers’ videos accumulated as much as a million views within
several months – without any further promotional efforts!