When it comes to promoting your work online, it can be incredibly difficult to generate traction outside of your own personal networks. While begging your friends to share your video on Facebook and Twitter may earn you a couple hundred views, your goal should be to reach passionate audiences that are going to appreciate your work, organically spread it amongst their social networks, and ultimately purchase what you’re selling.
You must entertain online video viewers! The most important element of any viral video is the content itself. In order to motivate social sharing and traction around your video, it has to resonate with people. Typically, the most popular online videos elicit some kind of emotion, whether it’s amazement, affection, appreciation or amusement. In this article, we’ll discuss four of the best techniques you can use to inspire viewership, social sharing and engagement with your promotional videos.
1. Capitalize on an Internet Trend
People absolutely love watching cute animal videos online, so author, zoologist and National Geographic explorer Lucy Cooke created this insanely adorable sloth compilation to promote her new book The Power of Sloth.
2. Use a Time-lapse to Showcase Progress
Video viewers enjoy watching the artistic process from start to finish. You can mesmerize viewers with a time-lapse that captures an amazing painting (or other piece of artwork) evolving from nothing but a blank sheet of paper.
Note the call-to-actions included not only on the video itself, but also in the “About” section on YouTube. You should always make it clear where and how people can purchase your work.
3. Piggyback on Pop Culture
Although creativity and originality are key in any artist’s career, in order to maximize social sharing and exposure think about piggybacking on pop culture. For you musicians out there, this means covering popular songs. People are more likely to search for well-known songs on YouTube and therefore more likely to discover your work.
Now, I’m not saying you should only sing other people’s songs, but having a few cover videos could attract a larger audience and lead them back to your channel where you feature original songs and compositions.
For example, Elizabeth South is a singer on YouTube who recently covered the oh-so-famous “Let it Go” from Disney’s Frozen. This video racked up 1.1 million views on YouTube and won her first place in Ryan Seacrest’s “Let it Go” cover contest. Aside from another “Let it Go” cover, her next most watched video has only 274,000 views. Her channel features original work as well, which has no doubt seen increased views and engagement because of the popularity surrounding her covers.
4. Tell a Story
Videos with strong storytelling tend to do well on YouTube and if you’re a photographer, chances are your photos could tell a pretty compelling story. It is much easier for people to get a sense of your work from a video than from an entire album they have to click through. For example, Alex Levi told the story of a wedding day with his photographs, a well-known song and some cool effects.
Promoting your work through online video is an excellent way to grow your audience, whether you’re a writer, painter, photographer or any other kind of artist. There are people out there that will love and appreciate your work, you just have to be able to reach them. In order to maximize viewership and engagement with your videos, take into consideration the techniques above when you create your promotional video content.