Amplifying Video Content With Social Media To Improve Discoverability

How can you optimize the social amplification of your videos?

By Greg Jarboe


Another one of the seven ways to improve your video marketing strategy is to use social media to improve your content’s discoverability and interact with your audience on multiple platforms. Online video is an inherently social medium. People are drawn to online video and web series because they can interact with the creators in ways that they can’t on television. So, how do you optimize the social amplification of your content?

You can begin by applying the 80-20 rule, which is also known as the Pareto principle. The principle was named after Italian economist Vilfredo Pareto, who observed in 1906 that 80 percent of the land in Italy was owned by 20 percent of the population. Two weeks ago, this rule-of-thumb was corroborated by marketing technology company Unruly, which published a report that found 17.9 percent internet users share videos with their social networks more than once a week. According to Unruly, these “super-sharers” account for 82.4 percent of all video shares.

How do you identify the “super-sharers” in your audience?

Well, they are very likely to have a Google account, which gives them access to many YouTube features, including the ability to “Like” your video and “Subscribe” to your channel. They are also very likely to have used their Google account to create a YouTube channel, which enables them to leave comments. In other words, these “super-sharers” are very likely to be fully vested members of the YouTube community.

Communities will happen with or without you on YouTube. So, make sure that you’re the one leading the discussion in a fruitful direction in order to build a community around your content.

  • Develop relationships with top contributors:
    • Respond to frequent commenters, and share insider news and updates with them.
    • Respond to comments in the first few hours after you publish a video because these commenters are your most loyal fans.
  • Recognize your community:
    • Wherever possible, include your community in your videos.
    • Give them shout-outs by name.
    • Read their comments for the audience.
    • Offer fan merchandise or exclusive content shared through unlisted videos.
  • Engage your community on and off YouTube:
    • Do some research on which social platforms is your community using and jump into the conversation on those networks.

The Unruly report on “super sharers” also showed that the video ecosystem has fragmented. While the majority of video shares (59.4 percent) worldwide take place on Facebook, viewers share across a multitude of platforms, including Twitter (13.8 percent), Google+ (9.3 percent), Tumblr (5.7 percent) and Pinterest (3.9 percent). So, use multiple social media platforms to find and engage your audience.

Finally, share your content with relevant blogs and websites, as well as embed it in your press releases. A lot of viewers encounter videos on other sites, and websites and blogs are always looking for great content to feature. Make it easy for them! Reach out with your most brilliant videos.

  • Get the word out:
    • Create a comprehensive list of sites, blogs, online influencers and niche online communities that are relevant to your content.
    • Pitch new videos to your blog roll. Be strategic: Topical content is typically most attractive to these sites.
    • If you’ve created a video playlist for a tent-pole event, share it with blogs, who often want groups of videos about trending topics.
  • Build relationships:
    • Use the traffic sources and playback location reports in YouTube Analytics to find sites that are driving high levels of engaged views.
    • Share new videos with those sites and blogs first, and let them know they’re getting the inside scoop.
    • Build relationships with blog editors. Thank them when they repost and only share videos that you honestly think they’d want to share with their audience.
  • Track your brand:
    • Know where people are talking about you. Set Google Alerts for your channel name, show names, character names and any other keywords specific to your channel.

For example, Yell, the international directories business, hired my firm back in March to help promote the launch of standalone TV ads for its UK service based on the signature tune of cult Internet cartoon character Magical Trevor. Magical Trevor is the creation of animator Jonti “Weebl” Pickering, whose distinctive style and animated characters have a worldwide following on the Internet. The commercial was produced through Tomboy Films, which represents Jonti’s work for commercials.

Yell’s public relations department handled the traditional media relations and generated stories in Marketing Week,, and Marketing. The TV campaign, developed by creative communications agency Rapier, broke on March 20 and ran for a month, with two 10-second variants running for a further two months to the end of May across major terrestrial, satellite, and cable channels. It was supported by 40-second radio ads. There was also a campaign page where visitors could see the ads, download a ringtone of the theme tune, and participate in a fun poll gauging whether they love or hate the ad. Finally, it included eight videos on Yell’s 118247 Directory Heaven channel on YouTube.

My firm embedded “Yell 118 247 Directory Heaven TV ad by Weebl,” the 30-second TV ad, into an optimized press release, which was distributed March 22 on PRWeb. We also used PRWeb’s TweetIt feature to automatically share the press release through Twitter at the same time it was distributed through PRWeb.

We also conducted a blog outreach and social media marketing campaign. “Yell 118 247 Directory Heaven TV ad by Weebl” ended up being embedded in blogs like Funkadelic Advertising, C64Glen, Welcome to my nightmare, and Your Face is an Advert on March 22, and it was embedded in the Scrambled eggs and mashed bananas blog two days later.

As of April 30, “Yell 118 247 Directory Heaven TV ad by Weebl,” had more than 220,000 views. (It now has almost 329,000 views.)

On April 16, Camille Alarcon of Marketing Week reported, “Yell, the international directories business, is extending the advertising campaign for its directory enquiries service 118 24 7, after recording a 70 percent increase in call volumes to its UK call centres.”

Are you amplifying your brand's video content with social media? What results are you seeing?