Archive for the 'YouTube' Category

What makes boring interesting?

Tuesday, July 22nd, 2008

What makes a video good for attracting page views? Well, if you take a look at this YouTube video of someone mowing their lawn you might be forgiven for thinking that anything goes.

As I write, “Dom’s Boring Video” has had 39,021 views including me — TWICE! That makes it the most viewed and most discussed video in the United Kingdom and the 35th most viewed and FOURTH most discussed in the world.

It consists of  nine minutes and 43 seconds of a bloke mowing his lawn.

Alternatively, you can “Watch Paint Dry” for 10 minutes and 4 seconds, “The Most BoringYouTube Video ……. Ever” for 7 minutes and 25 seconds or “Most boring movie on YouTube” for a mere one minute and 11 seconds.

However, none of these (or the trillion other pretenders to the YouTube Ennui title) are doing as much business as Dom’s Boring Video. Why?

The simple answer is publicity: Dom’s Boring Video is a production of the UK’s number one youth-oriented morning radio programme, The Chris Moyles Show, and were it not for this there’s no way it would be breaking records.

The only surefire way to get people to watch your video is to make it interesting and make it relevant.

The dream of any content marketer — as far as online movies go — is to strike lucky with a viral  video. A while ago Tech Crunch carried a candid piece by viral marketer Dan Ackerman Greenberg which detailed the lengths he went to with his Comotion Group to achieve viral status.

As I launch a series of videos linked to my day job, one tip springs to mind.

YouTube provides three choices for a video’s thumbnail, one of which is grabbed from the exact MIDDLE of the video.

As we edit our videos, we make sure that the frame at the very middle is interesting. It’s no surprise that videos with thumbnails of half naked women get hundreds of thousands of views. Not to say that this is the best strategy, but you get the idea.