YouTube Views and the Reddit Effect

This week, someone posted one of my YouTube videos on Reddit. What happened next was awesome – but not too surprising:

Reddit Effect on YouTube View Count

What you’re seeing in that graph is a tenfold increase in my daily YouTube channel views. My channel had averaged approximately 9,000 views per day for several weeks – but on the day the video was posted to Reddit, my views shot up to 96,000.

I wanted to post about this just to document it for future reference, but I think there are several points that social media marketers should keep in mind:

  1. No matter how much you spend on social media advertising, there is no substitute for compelling content. In this case, my video is already a few years old. It was shot in 2007 and uploaded to YouTube in 2010, but it is a fascinating video. If you’d like to see it, click here (careful, it contains NSFW language).
  2. The power of Reddit cannot be understated. I call it The Reddit Effect.
  3. Good content is a gift that keeps on giving. This particular YouTube video has been posted to Reddit at least 10 times since it was uploaded to YouTube in 2010.
  4. Long-form videos promote discussion and sharing. Conventional wisdom says that shorter videos are more interesting and are more likely to be shared. Maybe that’s true, but long videos give people (Redditors, especially) more things to point out, discover, and discuss. This particular video is nearly SIX MINUTES LONG. So much for shorter videos…
  5. Don’t use Reddit to self-promote. Reddit is a great community for finding and sharing interesting links, but Redditors don’t respond well to self-promotion. Sure, you COULD self-promote on Reddit and I’ve done that in the past. But I don’t do it anymore – it is an unreliable way to get your content noticed and it really isn’t the way Reddit should be used (bad karma and all that). Focus your time and money on your own website/blog, SEO, YouTube, Google+ Twitter, and Facebook.
  6. If your content is good, Reddit will find it and the rest will take care of itself.