The most literal and easy-to-digest explanation of online and social media “video seeding” is via digital-marketing glossary.com: 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 such as YouTube. Stage two involves the promotion of video content through paid or free placements and actions. In some cases, a brand or business may have developed a significant online audience, which helps kick-start the process, but in most cases seeding 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 ads and sponsored recommendations are also available. • Embedded video on influential blogs and news sites. • Direct communication between a video seeding service provider and online video watchers—These are often sent as emails or through direct social media messaging. • “On-page” optimization—Another important ingredient involves optimizing the video for discovery via search engines. This includes developing the ideal video title, using the right tags, and including relevant information in the video description.
Online video seeding companies will use a variety of these tactics to help reach a pre-determined 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. The real purpose of online video seeding is to cut through the YouTube noise by elevating your video content. 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 home page or within the category-specific charts. The “signals” that YouTube looks for include videos, comments, “likes,” and shares. If your video is able to reach featured status, it is like having it on the home page of a major news site. More people see it, watch it, and share it—and the coveted viral effect takes shape. Major news sites such as The Huffington Post and Daily Mail Online scan YouTube’s most-watched charts to see whether any videos are relevant or 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, definitely, but that is often the result of a sustained period of activity that has helped build a subscriber base that organically kick-starts things. If you take a look at some of the beauty vloggers—such as 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 it. How do you choose the right solution? There are many online video seeding providers out there, and each applies a unique approach. We offer our clients 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 overall. It is important to note that YouTube is increasing its efforts to encourage businesses to use its solutions, as opposed to third-party seeding services. Of late, YouTube has been spending more time assessing the validity of views linked to very popular videos to ensure third-party providers are not employing “black hat” tactics, which could undermine the trust people have in the posted view counts.
This clearly makes sense; 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, subscribe to ReelSEO.com. Adam Vincenzini is a PR Daily contributor and the managing partner of Kamber, a specialist content marketing and social media agency based in Australia. A version of this story originally appeared on the company’s blog. Follow Kamber on Twitter @KamberCo.