Mitchell Wright recently wrote a great blog outlining how he helped some friends grow their YouTube channel, Warialasky, from 500 subscribers and 25,000 total video views to nearly 20,000 subscribers and over 3.6 million views, all in the space of a few months.
Thanks to the exponential adaption of both mobile devices by consumers, video marketing is becoming hotter than ever. In fact, a recent study by Social Media Explorer found that 76% of marketers plan on increasing their use of YouTube and video marketing, making it the top area marketers will invest in for 2012.
Mitchell credits one simple trick he and the gang at Warialasky used to achieve viral success: “create really engaging content, and get it out there.”
Sounds simple enough.
As much as I’d like to pack up this blog and go get an early lunch, I think Mr. Wright is under-selling both his and the Warialasky group’s efforts.
In fact the rest of his post, which details what steps they actually took to attain such speedy YouTube success, highlights a number of best practices for building up your YouTube subscriber base.
- Have a Plan – Knowing they needed some direction for their channel, Warialasky decided to pattern it after Freddie Wong’s channel and focus the videos on action and video games.
- Adhere to a Content Schedule – Just as in blogging, they recognized the importance of regular content production when trying to build up a user following. Even if you create a video that goes viral, if people come to your channel and find no other content, they will not stick around to subscribe. In Warialasky’s case, they put out a new video each week.
- Twitter Outreach – Early one, they were shrewd enough to reach out on Twitter to the followers of videos similar to theirs. As some of these users followed them back, they began to engage with them.
- Involve Industry Influencers – Warialasky decided to contact a local YouTube “star” and see if he would be in of their videos. He agreed to do so, which gave them instant access to his huge fan base.
- Promote Your Videos – The group formulated a promotional plan for a Star Wars-themed video that involved submitting the video to the Star Wars subreddit; they also had a number of friends vote it up right as it was posted. In addition, they interacted with a number of Star Wars gaming forums.Their video ended up being the number one spot on the Star Wars subreddit. They then got picked up by IGN and posted on their Facebook page, which led to exposure on various video game blogs, Star Wars blogs, and even some of the sites on the Gawker media network.
- Don’t Stop – After their Star Wars video, they posted a few others that didn’t do nearly as well. As Mitchell noted, “unfortunately, we learned that one video is not enough to make you famous on YouTube. You have to continually produce funny, engaging content.”
Hard to argue that one.
For those who think that video campaigns such as Warialasky’s are of little real business value, think again. Thanks to the success of their videos, Mitchell and his friends at Warialasky have had numerous opportunities to “monetize” their success, including an offer to direct a 3-D movie in Poland, various product placement opportunities, a YouTube partnership, and multiple offers to create corporate videos.
Although it’s clear that Warialasky worked hard to promote their video campaigns, there is no secret formula to YouTube virility. One the contrary, as Mitchell Wright points out, the path to YouTube success is quite simple: create great content, and get it out there.