Winning the Internet

Video title = email subject line

After a great run, the Winning the Internet blog has been retired. However, you can still keep in touch with New Media Mentors here.

Making a great video is hard, but once you do it’s still only half the battle. The second part is getting people to watch it. And before they can watch it, they need to click-to-play it.

To solve this problem, it helps to think like an email campaigner.

Every online organizer knows how important crafting good email subject lines are. Along with the “sender,” subject lines are how people decide whether they are going to click-to-open your email. And with people’s inboxes getting more and more crowded, it’s more important than ever to stand out by writing better subject lines. No matter how beautifully written your email is or how good the graphics are, it won’t matter if you can’t get people to open it first. The same is true for video.

Besides sending your video to your list in an email and through social media, your challenge is to also get organic traffic from YouTube. After all, YouTube is the #2 search engine and #3 website on the web. It only makes sense to go where the viewers are. But just like people’s email inbox, the challenge is standing out from all the other things that people can click on. One way to encourage people to click-to-play your video is to simply write a good video title.

But there is a twist. Video titles are also important for YouTube’s SEO. So, write titles that are descriptive, interesting and use keywords. Let’s look at some examples.

Good example:

Image and video hosting by TinyPic

Are you interested in pimping your Facebook profile? Sure, everyone is!

Bad example:

Image and video hosting by TinyPic

The RNC Chairman appeared on Fox News…. and what happened? Why should I care? Unless you love it whenever the RNC Chairman goes on Fox, there’s no apparent reason to click on this video.

The larger lesson here is not to get lazy when it comes to distributing your video. Far too often, I see nonprofits throw their video in YouTube and assume they can “set it and forget it.” Don’t make that same mistake.

About Danny De Bonis

Director, Political Media at IB5k & homebrewer & vintage motorcycle enthusiast & climate hawk.


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