In the years ahead, online video will disrupt television in the same way websites have disrupted newspapers, says Bettina Hein, founder of Pixability, a big data software company that specializes in YouTube marketing. YouTube already reaches more viewers aged 18 to 34 than any cable network. That said, it takes a savvy content creator to draw those eyeballs to your low-budget masterpiece.
Fire away. The more content you create, the better the odds someone will find you. Brands such as Sherwin-Williams and L’Oréal offer more than 150 videos on their channels.
Vary the length. Short attention spans be damned. Successful videos run the gamut from 30 seconds to 20 minutes. Find a way to entertain people and help them solve a problem.
Keep it simple. Don’t try to cram too many messages into one video. Make one point and make it well.
Optimize. There’s no magic formula to make a video go viral, Hein says, so don’t expect people to flock to your work automatically. Help them find it with the right titles, tags and descriptions.
Think like Pixar. “There’s as much money spent promoting a Hollywood movie as producing it,” Hein says. “Probably more on average.” Online video is no different. If you want to get your content in front of the right people—women who love nail polish, for example—shell out a few hundred dollars to reach them with YouTube ads.