- It pays to submit your video the earliest, for a slight first mover advantage. This way you will also get clicks from Youtube reccomendations and the top videos when people come to the competition site. Add a few more clicks purely from the perspective of having spent more time in the gallery.
- You need to really promote yourself really well to get many clicks. This is where the strength and depth of your social network matters. I generally participate in 2-3 competitions a year which involve public voting, but even then I guess my friends would be fatigued seeing my entry for some competition or the other.
- I started my promotions with Gtalk Status messages, requesting them to share my link on their status. This helps as a status message stays for a longer time and pops up whenever you sign in and sign out. A Facebook status or a twitter status doesnt catch your attention quickly, as it may be submerged in a zillion other updates, but Facebook has a better hit rate when it comes to friends being influenced and perusing your link. Gtalk is incremental growth channel as it involves your friends only, and if it is compelling content, friends of friends may want to have it also as a status, while Facebook is an exponential growth channel.
- When I started off, I did my math as follows to set the expectations.On Facebook- 700 friends, 10% of whom may want to pass the link(70 people). 70 people having an average of 400 friends, means reaching a potential consumer base of 28000 people views. Now given that reality lies between 5-10%, the page view numbers expected from Facebook could be around 2000. It now turns out that the total views are 2000 so far, and Facebook has contributed around 750 views. So just as every marketing launch plan, I over estimated the strength of the network, but nevertherless its interesting to go and see what makes a viral tick.
- 18 friends shared my link on Facebook, I wrote on the wall of about 20 friends, and I gave 2 reminders on the contest on my wall. With my link shared 40 times, I have noticed Facebook contributing 36% of the page views. It matters at what time of the day friends post your link. It generally helps if friends post between 7 pm and 10 pm on weekdays and anytime between 4 pm Friday and 10 am Saturday(Post that, everyone is out for the weekend, away from the virtual world).
- I noticed that having Youtube embeds helps, as opposed to just posing a short URL external link on Facebook. I guess the preview of the video and a short description helps in people click on the content.
- Since You dont want to be the scourge of your friends on Facebook by spamming them, I did a few incremental activities to help drive traffic. I sent out emails to friends, sent messages on Orkut, Wrote articles for other social media sites with a subtle hint of my link, wrote comments on other cricket based facebook groups where I had to wait patiently in the conversation to provide my video as a relevant link.
- One learning is that unless you have compelling content, its going to be tough to sell the video and get clicks and go viral. Promotion on Youtube is largely binary. It is either slow incremental growth( of about 150 views a day) or exponential growth of about 500 or more views a day. I belong to the former, where I see that the growth is linked to marketing. Initially heavy marketing, gets you page views and then any amount of marketing doesnt help, as most in your social network have seen the video, and your clicks come largely from Youtube reccomendations and from other videos.
- Today, on Friday the 3rd September, I have about 1950 views, at number 7 and in reckoning for a trip to South Africa. The contestants who are ranked 1-6 have managed to do heavy promotion on youtube and through their social networks to get page views in the range of 2600-5800 page views. I realise its tough to grow further and even beat the guy who is 6, but I guess if my growth is just enough to be at the poistion where I am by Sunday evening IST, I should be and also hope that numbers 8 9 and 10 dont really scale up. If they do scale up, I'd just have to surrender to the fact that I have been washed away in this tsunami of page views, and I'd need to understand the web much better to manage a promotion, sustained for 3-4 weeks.
So here's hoping that I manage to win this contest and travel to South Africa for the Champions League Final. Meanwhile do check out www.fanlogue.com, a place where I have decided to write articles for this edition of the CL20. Its good to be in touch with writing articles all over again.