A lot of people open a YouTube or Vimeo account, upload their first video, wait a few days and wonder why they aren’t getting any views. The truth is that without promotion it can be hard to get your video off the ground. It doesn’t matter how amazing or groundbreaking your video is. The good news is that you don’t have to pay a marketer to promote your video for you. One of the best and easiest ways to get views and promote yourself is by taking advantage of the social features offered by online video sites. No one does a better job of spreading the word about your good work than your friends.
Building your connections and becoming part of the online video community takes time, but it is necessary if you want to get yourself and your videos out there. The following step-by-step guide will help you begin building your creative network, get you involved in the online video community and increase the exposure of your videos.
Get Yourself Some Friends
Without friends your online video accounts aren’t worth anything. You need to build a network of friends so that you have people to share your videos with as soon as they are posted. When you share videos with your network of friends they will give your views a boost and if they like your video they may decide to share it with their friends too.
When you first sign up for the online video site of your choice, be it YouTube, Vimeo, Viddler, DailyMotion or another site, you will usually have the opportunity to import your contacts from Gmail, Yahoo, Hotmail, Facebook or other sites. This is a good way to start building your network. Add as many people that you already know using the site as you can to get yourself started out.
Once you have added all of the friends that you know, start looking for friends who would be interested in your videos. You can do this by searching for videos that are similar to the videos you plan to produce. Add the creators to your network, as well as people who have posted positive comments on those videos. Sending the creators a message or leaving them a comment letting them know you enjoyed their video will increase the odds of them accepting your friend request.
You may also want to consider friending power users that have a lot of contacts. These people are opinion leaders and are good to have in your network, as they can help you by sharing your videos with their entire network if they like them enough.
Get Involved Through Commenting & Sharing
Once you have begun building your network of friends it is important to start getting involved in the community. This is especially important on smaller, more creative video networks like Vimeo. Post comments on videos that you like to get your name out there. When people see your comments again and again they will start remembering your name and will usually check out your videos to see what you’re all about.
If someone writes a comment on one of your videos, return the favor. Head over to their channel and write something nice on one of their videos as well. This is one of the best ways to build relationships with your peers on video sites. This way, when you upload a new video your friends will be more likely to check it out, comment and share it with their friends.
You should also consider sharing videos that you really like with your network. If you share someone’s video with your contacts be sure to let them know so that they will consider sharing one of your videos as well. Be wary not to share too many videos, as you don’t want your friends to feel like you are spamming them. Don’t just share for the sake of sharing. However, if you make sure to share quality content your friends will appreciate it.
Announce Your New Work
When you upload a new video, don’t be shy. You can let your friends know about it. Depending upon the site you are using your video may automatically show up on your contact’s home pages. However, you can feel free to send a message to everyone letting them know that you uploaded a new video and asking them for feedback.