HOW TO MAKE A VIDEO THAT GETS 2.8M VIEWS.

Here’s a tip, you don’t need a big production budget, all you need is some affordable camera gear and editing software and one more thing — an idea.

Yesterday I wrote a post about how TV commercials have lost their stronghold, now brands and the creators of brand communications have more ways to generate content and connect with an audience.

Casey Neistat is a New York filmmaker, storyteller, and entrepreneur. He has a daily Vlog on YouTube that averages around 250,000 views per day. But in April this year he made a video that got around 1 million views in the first day it was posted, it has so far reached 2.8 million. It was all about him customizing a new Apple Watch. You can see the video here.

These are not exactly Gangnam Style numbers (over 37 million views), nor is it up there with David Goes To The Dentist (130 million views) or any number of cat playing piano videos, but 2.8 million is a respectable number in my books. That’s bigger than the populations of Mongolia, Oman, Jamaica, Macedonia, Qatar, Fiji, The Bahamas, Iceland, and quite a few others. Yes I picked small to medium sized countries to make my point, but I don’t know about you, if I made a video that scored more viewers than the entire population of a small nation I’d be pretty chuffed, I’m guessing some clients would be too.

Now I am not privy to what Casey did when it comes to using tags on his video so as it would pop up in searches but of course using an Apple Watch as the hero of the story just as it was being released would have helped and that was smart on his behalf. He knows what he’s doing.

Casey also posted a video about the making of the video and that was viewed 325,000 times. It’s worth seeing that video too, it’s a good insight into the behind the scenes planning of the project, and thankfully he speaks to the issue of ‘viral videos’, as in you can’t make a viral video, but you can make a video that could go viral. I have lost count of how many times I have had to explain this. You can see that video here.

What I love about the Apple Watch video is that he made and posted it in a day. I have worked on TV commercials that have taken months, even years (yes years) to come to life. We are living in a time of ‘now’, where technology and resources make it easier for anyone to conceive, make, and post a piece of video content faster than ever before. You can pick up your phone or any digital camera and if you have an idea or a story you can make something and broadcast it to the world.

There are some filmmakers/videographers who shoot some great content just on their phones and this will continue. It wasn’t that long ago that I remember telling someone that I would never shoot a TV commercial on anything other than 35mm film, well I guess I am now eating my words. My smartphone, a Samsung Galaxy S5, shoots 4K video; to be honest that blows my mind.

So the next time you come up with a fun, interesting idea or story don’t wait to do something with it, instead do as Casey does and just make the thing.

© Rodd Chant 2015

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