It's not hard to see why. As humans, one of our deepest desire is to be accepted and appreciated. And that's what the YouTube view count is: a measure of how much people appreciate our clips.
But some may say we should't care about what random people think about us or about our work. While this is nice and dandy, we can't always ignore the feedback or its lack thereof. Actually, the lack of feedback is sometimes worse than bad feedback.
We just get energized by the presence of an audience that acclaims us. We crave that attention. It's human nature.
Stephen King, the writer, said it himself is his book about writing: If your're writing and don't have any readers, you're just someone rambling.
So let's not ignore the fact that winning matters. Of course we wanna get tons of hits to our videos. But we don't have to beg for attention.
We can earn it. We can take it. Let's see how we can do this.
Make it about them
One of the best way to ensure a high view count on YouTube is to make your video about them, not about you.
You can do this in multiple ways:
1. Shoot events where lots of people participate
And let them know you're gonna post the video on YouTube.
The thing is, when you film someone else, you tickle their vanity. Who doesn't like to be in the spotlight even for a short while, right?
For example, when I shot a my first Critical Mass video I got more than 1000 views within two days. That's a lot for a guy who had 50 subscribers at that time.
The video is by no means spectacular, but the guys wanted to see themselves and I guess each of them showed it to a few other friends.
We're talking about the law of large numbers. If you shoot an event where lots of people attend, they'll look for the video to watch it. Once they find it, they'll be the ones who actually spread the word about your video - free advertising.
2. Tutorials & reviews - teach them something of value
If you're particularly obsessed with something, there's a high chance someone else out there has the same obsession.
Teach what you know and the people who know less than you will greatly appreciate your effort. A video tutorial is the best way to do that.
If you're good with software, do a screencast video and explain how you do things. By the way, you can use Screencast o Matic if you don't like Camtasia (professional screen capture software).
If you're good with woodcarving, showing people how to carve wood may be the best way to get yourself known out there. Etc.
Instructional & educational videos materials have a timeless attribute and if the subject you're good at is in high demand, you're gonna get many views.
Newly released hot products can also be a good subject for your videos. You'll get many hits on the latest iPad, the latest Kindle, the latest GoPro camera, etc.
3. Be entertaining
Sometimes, if you can be entertaining, the rest becomes secondary. Personality plays a huge role in video.
That's because people are also frivolous. It's harder to get them to pay attention to something serious, so you need to spice up things a bit.
A tutorial has enough value in itself because it teaches your viewer something he/she wants to learn. But a tutorial that teaches the same stuff in a funny way goes so much further, don't you think?
4. Be specific in your title and make sure you have a good thumbnail
The GoPro HD 3 test video below is not necessarily something that I'm impressed by. But that hot gal with big tits made me click on it... :)
The lesson: a good thumbnail can go a loooong way.
You have to be very clear on your promise. That's what your title is: a promise. Vague and smart titles will confuse your viewers.
If you're a YouTube partner, you can choose your thumbnail. If not, you have to choose whatever YouTube generates for you.
They take 3 snapshots from each third of your video (the half of each third more or less). So this means you can intentionally insert the hottest scenes in each half of each third of your video. Did I loose you here?
Sometimes you can upload the same video a few times and only keep the one that got the best thumbnail (it's not always the same set of 3 thumbnails even if you upload the same video).
A good thumbnail makes you click to watch, doesn't it?
Sometimes you don't have to do much. If you got lucky and captured a funny cat video, it might go viral without any work on your part.
But most of the times you gotta switch the focus from you to them. Appeal to their ego, deliver something of value, be interesting and grab their attention fast.
And if you're a vlogger and wanna talk about you, make sure you present yourself in ways that people can relate to. You can't be too special, you gotta have some things that link you to your viewers. That's how they connect with you.
Over to you
Have any other tips for getting more views on YouTube? Drop a comment and share it with us.
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