This article began with a little bet we made our children. We bet them they could not get 10,000 YouTube views on an original video they created. We even tried sweetening the deal with a prize if they succeed. They made a couple of attempts but were easily discouraged because creating a compelling viral video was not as easy as they had hoped.
In order to show them how best to accomplish the 10,000 view goal, ABD Promotions set out to better the goal to 1,000,000 hits while using this as a method to attract more traffic to our website. Below are the 10 steps we took to get the ball rolling:
1. Browse YouTube to research what kind of videos are getting traffic. No, not Justin Beiber videos, producing one of those would be out of our reach. You need to come up with a simple concept for the video. It’s also a good idea to stick with a topic you know about. We channeled our inner nerd and focused on Anamorphic Pictures. Quite simply these are pictures that appear greatly distorted, yet when viewed at the right angle appear 3 dimensional. We also needed a category, so we chose one of the most popular YouTube tags…CATS!
2. Create your own YouTube Channel. Easy enough, we had a Gmail account, so simple from there.
3. Customize channel to resemble the look and feel of your website. This will create some continuity between your channel and website allowing viewers to feel comfortable to click from one to the other. Make sure to include your website URL in the background. There are a bunch of links on the signup pages that will help you through the process. Only problem though, was that the template link on the Google Support page was a broken link. Broken link on Google? Do they penalize themselves 🙂 ? Any I recreated the template and it can be found here Channel Art Specs.
4. Create the video. Anamorphic Cats. Unfortunately we don’t even have a cat, but I was able to bug a friend for a few pictures of their cats. After some research, it turns out that creating an anamorphic image is not that difficult. With a little PhotoShop knowledge I was able to create the two images below:
5. We used an iPad to take the video. Edited it to make sure it was short then added some free, royalty free music in the background. Once this was done we were ready to go to our new YouTube channel. We also made sure to keep the video short.
6. Next, we uploaded the video, waited until it rendered and then the actual work begins.
7. Videos don’t go viral by themselves, you need to publicize them. We started by going to YouTube and finding similar anamorphic illusions and posted comments pointing to ours. We also sent email blasts to all of our contacts, Tweeted all our followers, and reached out to our Facebook friends. Lastly we searched Google for other anamorphic effects and posted our YouTube links in any possible comment areas.
8. Create accounts with Pinterest, Stumble Upon and other social media sites to help promote the video. We also recruited our kids and their iPhones to post the video to iFunny. A popular app for sharing interesting and funny content.
9. Keep publicizing the video.
10. Count the views. Give us a week to get our publicity machine going and I’ll update this article with the results.
The final video can be viewed here: