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Welcome to the ineedhits Search Engine Marketing blog, where we share the latest search engine and online marketing news, releases, industry trends and great DIY tips and advice.

Monday, November 26, 2007

The Secret Behind Popular YouTube Videos

Posted by @ 12:18 am

With the rising popularity of video sharing sites such as YouTube, a market has opened up for firms who can effectively promote these videos online. With big brands now focusing on viral marketing campaigns, many are turning to these companies who specialize in promoting video clips online.

A post by Dan Ackerman Greenberg on the TechCrunch blog highlights some secret strategies these firms use to make videos “go” popular online. The secrets cover design, promoting the video and optimizing title/description tags on YouTube. Below is a brief summary, but for the full version visit the Techcrunch post.


  • Keep the video between 15-30 seconds
  • Make it easy for others to remix the video
  • Don’t make the video an outright advertisement
  • Make it shocking
  • Use dramatic/fake headlines
  • If all else fails, appeal to sex

Promoting the Video on the Most Viewed Page
Videos need 50,000 views to get to the most viewed page, so how do you get there?

  • Blogs – Reach out to relevant blogs and actually pay them to post your videos.
  • Forums – Start new threads and embed videos in them.
  • MySpace – Embed the video in the comments area of friends myspace pages.
  • Facebook – Similar to MySpace, share the video with friends.
  • Email Lists – Send the video to an email list
  • Friends – Email friends/family with the video and encourage them to pass it on.

Title and Thumbnail Optimization

  • Titles can be changed an endless number of times so work with a catchy headline for the first couple of days and play around with it until you find one that sticks.
  • Make sure thumbnail images are clear
  • Try to include a face or person in the thumbnail


  • Create multiple accounts and have a conversation with yourself to create controversy.
  • Delete comments that post negative sentiments about your brand/startup.
  • Make comments interesting to engage viewers.

The original TechCrunch post sparked some heated discussion between Dan and readers, with many saying this form of marketing was simply spam. Dan the made a follow up post to clarify some of his marketing tactics, but again readers opinions seem to be unchanged.


Matthew Elshaw Matt is a marketing professional at, an international search marketing firm. Matt's passion for online marketing began at university and has proved invaluable in steering product development and marketing initiatives at the company. Matt is a regular contributor to the ineedhits search marketing blog.

View Matthew Elshaw's profile

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