The online video market continued to gain momentum in 2010, with an average of 179 million Americans watching video each month, according to comScore's 2010 U.S. Digital Year in Review. That's a bigger audience than the record 111 million viewers who watched Super Bowl XLV on Fox.
But watching videos online is different than watching TV. After the Super Bowl, Fox followed with "Glee," which drew 26.8 million viewers. After watching the Super Bowl commercials, millions of viewers shared some of their favorites via Facebook, Twitter, and blogs.
According to the Viral Video Chart list of the Most Contagious branded content, "Volkswagen Commercial: The Force" has been shared 801,432 times -- 763,969 on Facebook, 36,728 on Twitter, and 735 in blogs.
It's worth noting that Volkswagen's commercial has been viewed more than 26.8 million times -- which is about the size of the audience for "Glee" after the Super Bowl.
So, how do you encourage people to share your YouTube videos on Facebook, Twitter, and blogs?
First, you want to tell a story that is worth retelling. Or, as Guy Kawasaki says in his new book, "Enchantment: The Art of Changing Hearts, Minds, and Actions," "video content that can enchant people must provide intrinsic value to your viewers." This can come in four forms:
- Inspiration. YouTube has brought to light thousands of inspiring stories of courage and bravery. Example: "Free Hugs Campaign - Official Page (music by Sick Puppies.net)."
- Entertainment. Some videos are plain-and-simple guffawingly funny. Example: "United Breaks Guitars."
- Enlightenment. These are documentaries similar to what you'd see on PBS or the Discovery Channel. Example: "Genocide: Worse Than War | Full-length Documentary | PBS."
- Education. Educational videos show how to do things and use products. Example: "How to Fold a T-shirt in 2 seconds."
In addition to telling a story that is worth retelling, you also want to take advantage of YouTube features that enable viewers to share videos that enchant them with their friends.
As soon as you upload a new video, your YouTube subscribers are automatically notified when they return to the site and log in. You should also notify your fans via Twitter, Facebook, and other sharing options.
YouTube introduced AutoShare in 2009, which allows YouTubers to automatically share their Activity Feed to Facebook, Twitter and Google Reader. By opting into AutoShare, when you perform certain actions specified in your Activity Feed on YouTube, AutoShare sends an update to your friends on Facebook, a tweet on Twitter, and notification in Google Reader about those actions.
As "YouTube AutoShare Options (Adoptafeature)" illustrates, it takes about 1 minute and 35 seconds to get started and activate AutoShare for Twitter.
Once you've set up AutoShare, your YouTube Activity Feed will be shared with the sites with which you're connected for AutoShare. Any information you already share on YouTube from your Activity Feed will now also be AutoShared with Facebook, Twitter, and/or Google Reader.
However, Uploads will be posted to the selected sites after the videos have finished processing. This might take a little time.
And you'll need to have a linked Google-YouTube account in order to user AutoShare. If you have a Gmail Account, you already have a Google Account. If you don't have a Gmail Accont, then conduct a search for the phrase, linking my YouTube account to a Google Account.
You can also e-mail influential blog editors and traditional media outlets that are relevant to the topic or that have featured them in the past.
According to Technorati's 2010 edition of State of the Blogosphere, 90 percent of bloggers are using some form of multimedia on their blogs. Although photos are the most popular form of multimedia, half of the bloggers surveyed said they use video on their blog.
This means a public relations specialist, social media expert, community manager, or you should reach out to bloggers who might want to embed your videos in their blogs.
Jonathan Allen, director of Search Engine Watch, combined content worth sharing with social media outreach in his video, "50 SEOs 1 Question - SES London." It tackled the provocative topic, "What should we do with the Black Hats?" And more than half a dozen of the SEOs featured in the video embedded it in their blogs.
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