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One of the most common questions we’re asked is what is online video seeding and how does it work?
So, we thought it would be useful to develop an online video seeding 101 blog post to shed light on the subject.
In order to do this we’ve consulted a number of resources to help create an aggregated summary, providing you with the opportunity to discover more if you choose to do so.
Now that the context has been established, let’s get stuck in.
What is online video seeding and how does it work?
The most literal and easy-to-digest explanation of online /social media video seeding is via digital-marketing glossary.com (with additional commentary from us):
Video seeding is the process of announcing, distributing and promoting video content online.
The first stage of video seeding is to publish the content on a video sharing platform like YouTube.
Stage two involves the promotion of the video content through paid or free placements and actions.
In some cases, a brand or business may have developed a significant online audience over time which helps kick start this process, but in most cases the seeding process starts from a very low base.
No matter the scenario, the following techniques are examples of what can be done to give your video a boost at launch:
- YouTube’s promoted video product – YouTube offers a number of solutions to help make videos more visible. Pre-roll placement is one of the more popular options, but more traditional adds and sponsored recommendations are also available.
- Embedded video on influential (and targeted) blogs and news sites (via paid placement or PR)
- Direct communication between a video seeding service provider and active online video watchers – these are often sent out as emails or via direct social media messaging
- ‘On-page’ optimisation – another important ingredient involves optimising the video for discovery via search engines. This includes developing the right video title, using the right tags and including the right information in the video description
Online video seeding companies will use a variety of these tactics to help reach a pre-agreed minimum view count target (this video provides some useful insights into the targeted blog placement tactic).
It is really important to note that the view count target is a means to an end, not the end.
The real purpose of online video seeding is to cut through the noise within the behemoth that is YouTube by elevating your video content beyond the other videos.
YouTube wants to make popular videos as easy as possible for people to find, so it takes a number of considerations into account when it features selected videos on the homepage or within the category-specific charts.
The ‘signals’ YouTube looks for includes videos, comments, likes and shares.
If your video is able to reach featured status, it is like having it on the home page of major news site. More people see it, more people watch it, more people share it and the coveted viral effect takes shape.
Ironically, major news sites like the Huffington Post and the Daily Mail Online scan YouTube’s most watched charts to see if any of those videos are relevant / interesting to their audiences.
If they choose to embed this content, another spike in views and sharing takes place.
Now, the quality of the content does play a vital role in this process, but for the most part, the minimum view count targets will be reached no matter what.
What happens after that is icing on the cake.
What is the point of it all?
Brands and businesses employ online video seeding companies because that investment made up front can lead to an eruption of ‘free’ views which means less money (overall) is being spent to reach an audience.
One of YouTube’s best features is that it is a global platform, providing people with access to any video they desire.
However, most brands and businesses produce content for specific markets, which often means the content in question is irrelevant outside that target market.
Online video seeding companies are able to target by location to a degree, but registering views beyond the target territory is inevitable.
Is there a more ‘organic’ solution?
Yes, there definitely is, but that is often the result of a sustained period of activity which has helped build a susbscriber base that organically kick starts things.
If you take a look at some of the beauty vloggers, like Tanya Burr who has 1.8 million subscribers of her YouTube channel, every video she publishes goes ‘viral’ because her audience /community promotes the content on her behalf by watching, liking and sharing.
How do you choose the right solution?
There are a number of online video seeding providers out there, and each applies their own unique approach.
We offer our clients a solution which uses a number of different tactics to kick-start a campaign, but always advocate that taking a long-term approach to online video is going to reap the best rewards in the long run.
It is important to note that YouTube is increasing its efforts to encourage businesses to use their solutions as opposed to 3rd party seeding services.
Of late, YouTube has been spending more time assessing the validity of views linked to very popular videos to ensure 3rd party providers are not employing ‘black hat’ tactics which may undermine the trust people have in the view counts they are presented with.
This clearly make sense as YouTube wants to retain as much revenue as possible.
If you want to keep up with the latest news relating to online video and social video seeding, ReelSEO.com is a great blog to subscribe to.