'Trash TV' isn't a term I throw around liberally. I assure you, my recent YouTube rant came from a place of genuine rage.
Once the red mist settled, however, I looked at the YouTube views and realised I'd accumulated 500+ views in under 24 hours. Of course, this modest number is unlikely to attract the advertising purses of Amazon, Apple or Alfred's (the chip shop down the road), but compared to my prior uploads, it was somewhat viral.
From this experience, I learned two critical storytelling hacks that enabled client Raya's videos to perform strongly and attract a new audience during her Eurovision adventure.
The YouTube storytelling hacks were:
1: BE A SURFER
Arguably, surfing isn't about riding the waves, it's about anticipating them. Within seconds of watching the god awful TV programme that inspired my rant, I assumed my disdain would be shared by any human in possession of a moral compass. I knew I was unlikely to be the only person horrified by a mainstream broadcaster displaying such remarkable irresponsibility. I was right.
Immediately, I wanted to exchange thoughts with this online community. The following morning, having seen enough Twitter rage to feel justified, I grabbed my phone, and filmed my vlog.
By the time I uploaded the video, it was the only one on YouTube discussing the TV show in question - a channel 5 offering titled 'One Night With My Ex' . Moreover, it ranked on page one of Google - shining like a furious beacon for anyone scouting information about the show.
And so, returning our attention to Raya - who wanted to share her Eurovision story via YouTube vlogs, I knew to enable her to efficiently find her audience, or rather, for her audience to efficiently find her, she had to share her story like a surfer i.e. we had to anticipate what her new fans would be searching for.
Ahead of Raya posting her debut vlog, we reviewed all her potential vlog titles, and I proposed we name her series 'RAYA: CRAZY FOR EUROVISION'. Critically, this series title features lucrative search terms that any new fan of Raya would be searching.
(Raya was competing in The Eurovision Song Contest 2018 with a song titled 'Crazy')
The results of launching RAYA's vlogs like a surfer were plain to see: new fans, heightened online engagement.
2: SHARKS EAT SURFERS
YouTube is second only to Google when it comes to 'search', thus, as far as its hunting prowess is concerned, YouTube is a shark. Tell YouTube exactly what your video/story is about, and the platform will better find the right people looking to consume such content.
In the case of my 'angry video', this meant ensuring YouTube knew the video was about a programme titled 'One Night With My Ex' and more specifically, it was about the series' opening episode involving 'Tom & Amy'. To guarantee YouTube was in no doubt what my video was about, the search terms 'One Night With My Ex' and 'Tom & Amy' feature repeatedly in the description field. See here.
Using Raya to illustrate this hack further, we added key search terms to (a) the video title, and (b) the actual video description, i.e. 'RAYA' 'CRAZY', 'EUROVISION' 'RAYA CRAZY' and so on - all terms her new fans would likely be searching as her Eurovision adventure unfolded.
NB: For best results, the key terms of your video/story should appear in the first sentence of your description. YouTube prioritises the first sentence of videos when ranking them.
Again, see the description field in Raya's video below for insight.
Your story is important to you, sure, but equally, it will be of significance to others, too - so why sell yourself short? Do all you can to attract & engage with an audience of like-minded thinkers. Be a surfer.
CK Goldiing, Founder of Icons & Machines