5 Ways to Build on a Hit Video
If you produce online videos you've probably spent a lot of time thinking about what it will be like when your creation goes "viral." But the chances are you've spent significantly less time thinking about what will happen after your video takes the Internet by storm.
Here's five tips for how you can best capitalize on a successful video so that you don't just become a one-hit wonder.
1) Anticipate success and have a goal. It's important to set a goal for your video before launching it -- not a desired view count, but something you want the people who watch the video to do after they see it.
2) Do you want them to buy a product? To subscribe to your mailing list or YouTube channel? To join your Facebook page? To watch another one of your videos? Have a clear plan of action for how you hope to convert a viewer into a "fan" before you launch the video. Remember, every view is an opportunity to launch a deeper relationship with the viewer, so don't forget to show, tell, or ask that viewer what you want them to do next.
3) Have a call-to-action in the video. Once you've determined what you'd like viewers to do after watching your video, make sure that you actually ask them to do it. Ideally, you'll do this in the video (or on it, using something like YouTube annotations) where you suggest what they should do next. But even if it's not in the video itself, have the plug in the description or title. You want to make sure that if somebody watches your video and likes it, there's a clear "next step" for them to connect with you and see your next amazing production.
4) Find your audience. One of the best things about a hit video is the information it provides about your audience. Every time somebody leaves a comment on your video, shares it on Facebook or Twitter, and posts it on their blog, they're leaving a trail of information about themselves and presenting you with a way to connect to them. Reach out to these people individually, introduce yourself, thank them for watching/sharing, and start developing a bigger relationship with them.
5) Find your audience -- again. One of the interesting things about the Web is that hit videos tend to be relatively timeless. Once the initial excitement of your success wears off, you'll tend to forget about the video and move on to your next project. But in the meantime, the video will still be picking up new views and being exposed to new people. Don't forget to go back to the video every couple of months to see what new people are sharing, commenting on, and posting it, and bring them into your growing fan base.
Repeat (but don't repeat). In order to capitalize on a hit video, you're probably going to want to put out another video. That's a good idea, but what's not a good idea is to repeat the exact same thing you did in the first video. The chances are that one of the reasons your first video became a hit was because it was different, surprising, or unexpected. That's the lesson you should take away from its success. The temptation will be to produce a carbon copy of your first video and give the audience "more of what they want," but they rarely want more of what they've already seen.
Josh Spector is Senior VP of Content and Marketing for Comedy.com.