Skateboarding dog There’s no point in making a beautiful video if only a few people are going to see it. Sadly not all videos spread as fast as skateboarding dogs and despite putting a lot of time and money into creating videos, some organisations don’t put as much effort into promoting them. Here are 10 ways to increase the number of people watching and sharing your videos.

1. Push it through your organisation’s networks
Hopefully everyone is already doing this but just in case:
• Include a link in email newsletters
• Post on Facebook, Twitter and other social networks several times
• Embed the video into your website

2. Seed it through other people’s networks on social media
Seeding involves proactively asking sympathetic people to share your video through their groups and networks. The main groups I’ve found helpful are:
• Organisations working on similar issues
• Popular Facebook Fanpages that post content on similar issues
• People with large followings on Twitter who might be sympathetic

In my experience it’s always worth asking out of the blue. When I produce a video I message the admins of relevant Facebook Pages asking them to share it. A lot of the time it doesn’t work but when it does and a Facebook page with 200,000 fans shares your video then it’s worth the effort. I’ve included a list of some big Facebook pages at the bottom of the article.

3. Push it through your staffs personal networks
If staff at your organisation won’t share your video then who will? While ordering everyone to post it on Facebook is probably a bad idea, why not encourage people to share it and lead by example. If still no-one does, it might tell you something about the quality of the video.

4. Engage with bloggers
There are communities of bloggers around almost every topic and they are likely to have exactly the audience you want to reach. As Beth Kanter discusses in the Networked Non-Profit the best approach is to cultivate these networks through longer term engagement. For more on connecting with Bloggers see Karina Brisby’s article on setting up a blogger outreach program.

5. Choose the right name
People on Youtube make snap judgments about what to watch so naming is crucial. 3 simple tips:
• Be descriptive. People want to know what they’ll get when they click on the video
• Look at other videos on the same topic and see what is popular
• Keep it short. There is an automatically cut-off on Google search results after 66 characters so keep it less than this

6. Optimize for Search
Youtube is the second biggest search engine after Google so it’s worth optimizing your video to increase the chance people will stumble across it:
• Include popular and relevant keywords in the title of the video. You can use Google adwords to help you do this
• Add tags
• Add a description. Just including the script of the video in the description can help as it often contains relevant words

For more on Optimization see the Youtube Creators Playbook.

7. Release at the right time
According to this blog Monday’s or Tuesday’s are the best day to release your video as people are more likely to watch videos on weekdays and weekend’s can act as a “speed bump”.

Also try and release your video at a time of increased public interest in the topic. Youtube calls this Tent Pole Programming.

8. Paid Promotion on Youtube
More and more charities are paying to promote their videos on Youtube. It may seem like an expensive option but spending a bit less on the video and more on promotion could mean way more people watch the video.

Also Youtube now allows Non-Profits to use a donate button so you can get a more direct ROI.

More on paying to promote videos.

9. Grow your subscribers
In the longer term the best way to get more people to see your videos is to build a community of Youtube subscribers. Check out my blog post on how to do just this.

10. Make videos that other people want to promote
Getting people to share your videos only works if people are happy to be associated with what you’ve produced. If you find that no-one is willing to share them then it might be worth re-assessing the types of videos you’re creating. This is a massive topic but common mistakes for charities are:

  • Too much focus on the information the organisation wants to convey, rather than providing information that interests or benefits the audience
  • Overly serious tone
  • Over reliance on talking heads

By Richard Roaf, 10th October 2013

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