5 Tips To Get Your Video Content Views

It seems in the world of online video content, we are constantly trying to recreate the wheel. We are looking for ways to please our consistent viewers while attempting to attract a new viewer with creative genius. There are however, some tried and true concepts that generate hits which have worked for us for years at PokerNews For the purpose of this blog I will be using data and experiences from my most recent video producing experience; 6 weeks creating content at the World Series of Poker.

Well Known Faces

The easiest way to attract clicks on a video is to feature a famous face. A very clear example of this is a video PokerNews did in 2012. This was a video with several of the prominent ladies in poker who were living in Vanessa Rousso’s house over the summer. The video did well in 2012, but slowly tapered off as it became older and older. However, since the first airing of the reality show Big Brother last month, in which Vanessa Rousso is starring as one of the house guests, the video has received 27,000 hits (probably more by now). We didn’t change the video or update it any way. The video received about 1/5 of its lifetimes hits in a few weeks, simply because Vanessa became more recognizable.

This is also a great way to attract a new audience. Obviously PokerNews garners mostly poker fans to its site. But when we do videos with athletes or actors, not only do the hits spike, but we also have the opportunity to capture a new fan. So make sure not matter what industry you're shooting video for, be on the look-out for some potential familiar faces that your audience will recognize. It may seem like a cheap win, but when trying to attract a new audience it's a dog-eat-dog world.

So now we've got a few new viewers, but what do we do with these new fans that may not be particularly familiar with our product? Teach ‘em of course...

How To Videos

There is no question that many of the best performing videos on YouTube are How To videos. Even my mom called me the other day to inform she had fixed her lawn mower after watching a YouTube video about her problem. People have begun turning to the internet for their knowledge, and people desire fast and easy to swallow education. Forbes Insights admits, ”59% of Senior Executives would rather watch video instead of reading text, if both are offered on the same page.”

So, it is up to us as video content providers to satiate the desire to learn on various levels to keep all different types of information seekers coming back.

In my experience at PokerNews, some of the most consistently viewed videos come from our strategy section. They cover wide ranges of expertise, but prove conclusively, everyone wants to improve.

Some of the easiest to make but best hitting videos on PokerNews are explaining trends or concepts in the poker world. This could apply to anything, but for example, this summer I shot this interview with a not particularly well known poker player and it received twice as many hits as the average video.

Sex Sells

This is a long debated topic, but particularly in an industry with a primarily male audience, we would be remiss to not use this to our advantage. One of our most viewed videos we produced at the World Series of Poker in 2015 was this one:

During the WSOP we created at least one video a week that was meant to show off some interesting place in Sin City. The only thing that makes the above video any different than the rest of the Sin City Scene series, is that it is sexual in nature. It attracts a wider audience because it is interesting to gamblers, but might also appeal to someone who is…let’s just say…into spankings. And people who love a good spanking might be well suited for the gambling industry. I’m teasing! But another thing interesting to consider is that in general our average audience is less than 10% female, but the audience for this video was 30% women!

So while something like this might make a traditional bra burner head for the hills, modernity seems to be making woman more interested in sexy. That is the subject for another blog I suppose but is definitely interesting to note.

Ironically many of the comments I received when this video first went live, were negative. I worried I had gone to far. I trekked on, and to my surprise, not only did the positive end up outweighing the negative, but it proved once again that anything that causes a stir, is good for the media. Leading us to...

Controversy

Anyone who has ever watched a soap opera, or has jumped on the reality TV train, knows that people love drama. Drama goes all the way back to ancient Greece and reveals that there is something human about wanting to be entertained by the misfortunes of others.

If I told you that one of the most viewed videos of this year’s WSOP was a nearly thirteen minute rant about the state of playing cards, would you believe it? Well, believe it. The video took almost no creativity; just hold the mic and shoot. It didn’t take much editing either. But that doesn’t matter. The viewer just wanted to see someone reveal why they were angry enough to boycott the most prestigious event in poker. There was a lot of buzz about the cards and the viewers wanted to get a real taste of what the players were feeling about it, and boy did they get it.

Honesty

In that last video David Baker was even worried he might banned for being so open about all the issues he felt weren’t being handled correctly. Seeing a bit of rawness and truth is something we are all looking for in this artificial world built around creating a “brand” or manipulating your social media presence.

I took a risk in a very long form interview with a not particularly popular or well known poker player, Ben Wilinofsky, about Clinical Depression. After reading his blog I felt it was something a lot of people would connect with and they would appreciate someone being so truthfull and so open. I went through moments of doubt because several colleagues in the poker media threw out some fair questions to me like, “what does this have to do with poker? This is kind of a downer. Don’t put that up during an event.” When I spoke to iBus Media's Matthew Parvis about it he shared a similar piece from a professional hockey player, which you can watch below and said to go for it.

So, I decided to push on with the piece feeling that we aren’t just appealing to poker players, we are also appealing to human beings. We released it during the WSOP, and it was a huge success.

People we extremely engaged with this video, and it got a lot of likes, shares and new subscribers.

It seems that while viewers enjoy a ridiculous, cheesy spanking, they also appreciate a heartfelt truth.

Overall I try to live by the mantra, “if you would click, so will they.” I try to stay unattached to things we call “the little darlings.” Just because something takes you a super long time does not mean it will generate hits. There are no clear rules, however, I would always encourage taking risks. But most of all, if we enjoy creating the content, the content will be enjoyed!

Sarah Herring is the director of video production at iBus Media, and extremely entertaining follow on twitter. Check her out @AuntyChardonnay!