300 hours of video are uploaded to YouTube every minute and although users are collectively watching almost 5 billion videos every day, it’s not difficult to begin to see how so much content gets lost within the vast video ocean.
Of course a lot of this content is of a very low quality but there is a considerable amount of brand content out there that just isn’t getting noticed. This orphan video content is simply failing to secure the reach that their budgets, time and creative thought deserve. With so much content out there, high production values, considered messaging and the realisation of lofty ambitions is simply not enough to guarantee campaign success.
Capturing the attention of online influencers and people on YouTube can come down in part to video optimisation, but creating a real buzz also requires a range of techniques we call video seeding.
In this article, I want to talk about the power of seeding videos correctly and how it can give you the lift you need to get the attention you deserve.
What Exactly Is Video Seeding?
Video seeding differs in its approach to conventional promotion and advertising in that it requires a laser-focused approach and a deep understanding of your target audience and the field or sector you are operating within. Understanding the social spaces your audience frequent, the types of content they like to engage with and the methods of communication they are most receptive to are all part of the planning phase. Skipping over or cutting out this stage will only increase the likelihood of your video seeding strategy falling short.
Once identified, seeding involves connecting with successful influencers within these spaces, securing a series of powerful advocates for your brand who can channel and champion your content directly to their audiences, who - if you’ve done your research well - will be very receptive to your brand. These social media mavens allow you to effectively ‘seed’ your video content so it travels a lot further than it would if you’d simply shared it with your own social follower base.
Where To Seed Your Video Content
Successful seed selection requires not just an intricate understanding of your target audience but also an understanding of your brand’s personality. Without engaging in genuine social interactions and conducting market research, you will find it difficult to forge meaningful connections with the right influential figures within your industry.
Successful social influencers are likely to receive pitches from brands hoping to seed their content on a pretty regular basis, so you need to make sure your video content has a strong narrative and speaks to their audience in an original way. Although there will always be something you can provide in return, like a social share or monetary compensation, these avenues can quickly add up when you’re approaching multiple influencers.
It’s important to realise that the outreach process is time consuming and there aren’t such things as quick wins, unless you’re willing to pay for them. Video seeding needs you to be willing to invest time building relationships with the knowledge that not everyone you attempt to connect with will necessarily be receptive to your approach.
Don’t Underestimate The Power Of Bloggers
Although you might initially think that the power of social platforms now outweighs that of blogs, influencer sites are still where your content will gain much of its organic traction. This is largely because influential bloggers have built substantial audiences who are engaged and resolutely loyal.
Of course, there is SEO value in building links on authoritative blogs back to content that sits on your own site or YouTube channel, but content really is king in this equation. Links really need to take a back seat. What’s important is the genuine social reach of the blog and the relevancy and engagement levels of your potential audience.
Blogger outreach and social media outreach should be viewed as two sides of the same coin. In each case, looking beyond an influencer's follower count is important because while an influencer might have ten thousand Twitter followers, if their audience rarely share content, the potential virality of your video will be low. Quality over quantity is the key here.
8 Steps To Seeding Success
Let’s look at some steps to successful video seeding now.
1. Ensure Your Content Is Easy To Share
Don’t make things even more difficult for would be brand advocates. Include social share buttons for every major platform and don’t overlook the power of RSS, email and sharing your YouTube embed code.
2. Thoroughly Optimise Your Video Content
If your content answers frequently asked questions, offers specific advice, or provides solutions to common issues, there are probably already users searching for videos like yours. Don’t make your content difficult to find by failing to implement a thorough and properly researched YouTube optimisation strategy.
3. Utilise Your Email Marketing Strategy
If there’s one thing the revival of newsletters tells us, it’s that email is not dead. Embedding video content within your email marketing will help you to approach those people who have already engaged with your brand at some level but who you may not be connected with on social platforms.
4. Building Relationships Through Content Curation
This is an excellent way to demonstrate your desire to build meaningful relationships. Sharing content created by relevant industry influencers provides networking opportunities and ensures your social feeds are consistently flowing with fresh content your audience will find interesting. Sharing and commenting on the content of influencers is also a very good way of making them amenable to sharing your content.
5. Conducting Effective Blogger Outreach
Start small by reaching out to niche sites within your industry with guest post pitches on topics that will put your brand on the radar. If editorial rules allow, you might also get your content embedded in a guest post which will further boost exposure. As you begin to gain exposure on smaller sites and social networks, you can begin to move up to approaching slightly bigger fish in the pond, who may have encountered your content or your brand already.
6. Social Bookmarking
Utilising websites like Reddit can effectively draw attention to your content but it is crucial to approach this strategy with caution. Inadvertently attracting negative repercussions is a distinct possibility with Redditors, so only adopt this approach if you know your Subreddit well and you’re providing something genuinely valuable to that audience.
7. Display Your Video Content On Your Own Website
If you’re proud of the content you are creating, you should be displaying it on your own website. This doesn’t mean you have to host it. Embedding YouTube code takes seconds and will help you to keep visitors on your site for longer.
8. Paid Promotion And Advertising
Although a step away from the organic seeding methods we’ve focused on here, it would be remiss of me not to mention the potential “leg-up” that paid promotion can give your video seeding efforts. This should never viewed as an alternative to genuine outreach and engagement, but rather as a supplementary tactic. It is especially useful if you have a light social following and need to kick-start exposure to your content and assert your presence.