April 02, 2014

Google Spells Out How To Go Viral

Up until recently, learning how to go viral on YouTube was a bit like the Holy Grail of content marketing. We’ve all, at one point or another, asked why it’s so hard to get even a few hundred viewers when videos like “Charlie Bit My Finger” and “Flea Market Montgomery” reach millions.

Suffice to say, watching a video flounder on YouTube is pretty frustrating—especially when you put a lot of time and effort into a masterpiece for your brand, only to scratch your head wondering why it won’t generate any traffic.  

Alas, the clouds have opened up thanks to Google’s latest release, which promises to be a real content marketing game changer: the Creator Playbook for Brands, which is a step by step, how-to guide that marketers can use to plan, create and deploy successful content on the web. As Google explains, the guide is designed to help brands create advertisements that don’t just reach 21st century readers, but resonate with them.

The YouTube Creator Playbook for Brands is divided into seven sections:

  1. Content marketing as part of your brand strategy: “Before making videos,” the guide states, “Create a content plan to ensure that your content both meets your brand’s goals and engages your intended audience.” The guide then walks you through the process of understanding audience behavior, from knowing what you are trying to solve to visualizing what success looks like and tracking related metrics.   
  2. Ten fundamentals to create content people love: Learn how shareable content, collaboration and discoverable topics can help you create videos that are compelling and shareable. 
  3. Schedule your content: There are a lot of conflicting opinions as to when you should post your content—but this guide will offer an in-depth look at programming plans and will even offer a sample schedule that you can use to post your content.
  4. Optimize your content: Ultimately, there are a lot of competing videos on YouTube—and everyone wants to go viral at the same time. This section will show you how metadata, annotations and playlists, among other factors, can help you optimize your content so that you can rise in the search rankings.
  5. Promote your content with paid media: Are you effectively reaching your target audience? Paid media is a big part of going viral on YouTube. Here you will learn how to turn viewers into subscribers, how to promote your content and also how to accelerate your audience-building efforts.
  6. Amplify your content with social: YouTube is a major social channel, but it’s not the only one. By engaging readers across multiple channels over the Web, you can generate excitement and link traffic from other locations such as Google+ by merging your YouTube channel.
  7. Measure: The playbook also tells you how to identify key measurements of success directly over the YouTube platform. Learn how to discover metrics such as share rates, watch times and the number of views.  

The guide offers a ton of other tips and tricks to help your content soar. It even debunks several myths, such as the importance of recognizing the fact that going viral is important, but it’s not the only measurement of success on YouTube. The guide also explains that not all videos must provide utility. In other words, how-to guides and instructional videos are important for your brand, but it’s just as crucial to touch on larger conversations that are taking place in your industry.

The great part about the guide is that it offers strategies that you can use across all of your content marketing efforts. Whether you are blogging or sharing pictures or text across social media or broadcasting podcasts, learning how to manage your content and reach millions of people is the ticket you need to ensure success with content marketing

Edited by Brooke Neuman

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