Thursday, October 3, 2013

How I got 2 million views on Youtube

This week one of my room mates asked which one of my video's had the most views on Youtube.  I told him, "besides 'Why Men and Women Can't be Friends?' this one."

I made this thing almost 3 years ago.  It had been awhile since I watched it, and in a way sorta forgot that it even existed.

I pondered about the journey I had making this video get so many views and becoming the 1st thing to pop up when you google, "Taylor Swift Enchanted Music Video."

A little background:  My friend wanted to be in a Taylor Swift Music Video.  We chose two songs from her new album that didn't already have music videos.  I was leaning towards "Back to December," because it was currently winter, and would fit the setting of the song, but I decided against it because I had a feeling that Taylor Swift would be releasing one soon.  I just had a gut feeling about that.  (about a month later, she released it.)

After writing, shooting, and editing the Enchanted music video, I could tell it had some potential, so I posted it on Youtube.

Here's the first week of search word analytics:

At the time Youtube was favoring "new" videos in it's searches.  So for 7 days my video was marked as new, and appeared on the first page of the search "Taylor Swift Enchanted" , and possibly on the first page of the search, "Taylor Swift" for a couple hours.  I got 1,500 views in one day!  I was excited! but my "new" status was on search results was expiring, and my views dropped to nearly zero.

Luckily by this time, the questionable service started kicking in.  I ordered a package that would give me 300 views per day for a month.

This is the trafic sources graph for the first month and a half.  The first green spike was from the "new" status searches that I was getting.  The next phase you see is the purple part.  That was my 'paid-for' views.

For about a week or so, most of the views I was getting were fake, but during this time, I was toying around with words in my description, tags, and the title of the video.

Youtube pulls words from your description, tags, and title to put it in certain searches, and to have the video appear in certain related videos.

So basically what I did, was I found the videos that I wanted my video to be next to, and I copied the tags, and the description, and put it into my own video.  A big keyword that would link my video to Taylor Swift's Back to December music video was this gem, "2011 Big Machine Records, LLC.

Incidentally, that helped relate the video to other T-Swift vids.

So, for awhile the fake views carried my video, so once my video started getting a couple thousand views, it gained more credibility, and ranked higher in searching and was seen in more related videos.

I was getting about a thousand views per day at this point, so I was getting excited about that.  I remember checking the stats every day, and modifying my tags and description frequently to have it be included in relevant but trending videos.

Little by little, it was getting more views per day.  The interesting thing is originally most my views were coming from youtube search, but eventually, related videos was by far my primary source.  About 8 months after I released it, the video had finally hit it's prime:

I was getting about 15,000 views per day, and as you can see, about 95 percent from related videos.  During that time, my video was sitting right next to 6 of Taylor Swift's official videos, and ironically enough, it was sitting right next to "Back to December" the video I was originally racing against.

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