Back when YouTube marketing was still in its wild wild West days, circa 2005, it was quite easy to go viral using the video sharing service. Even though there were less people using the service, there were still enough connections with the various online sharing sites such as Reddit and Digg, as well as connections to the search engines and the major blogs, to create enough interest in a standout video to go viral.
Now that everybody has caught on to the viral video as the most cost-effective way to spread the word about a product, a service, or cause, there is much more competition on YouTube to make a video viral, which means that no matter how good your video is, there will be much less eyes on it then there would have been even 10 years ago.
YouTube itself has caught on to the phenomenon and raised its own barriers to entry.
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For instance, YouTube marketing is made much harder by the fact that YouTube itself will delete your videos for no reason it they feel that you are getting too much attention without their help, a la the YouTube partner program or paying them for views as a “featured video.”
YouTube does not allow you to pick your own thumbnail unless you are a partner. You also cannot pick a background for your channel anymore unless you are a partner, nor can you upload videos above a certain size.
With all these new barriers in place, many people are actually finding that they need a marketing budget in order to go viral these days. It may not be free anymore, but going viral can still pay big dividends if you manage your views in the correct manner.
YouTube marketing these days means spreading the wealth between YouTube itself and private services that can give you views and likes and comments. You have to be sure to find the services that can do this using real accounts, as YouTube, backed by Google, is extremely potent when it comes to weeding out accounts that are simply clicking videos over and over again from the same IP address.
In order to go viral these days, you must also take advantage of all of the purely legal ways to make your video stand out from the pack on YouTube. For instance, the basics of YouTube marketing dictate that you use the same techniques for your keywords on YouTube that you would use to place your index marker on Google. As a matter of fact, as Google bought YouTube a few years ago, these systems are becoming more and more similar.
Aside from using long tail keywords and the appropriate tangential synonyms (in quotes, of course), you must make sure to follow all of the DMCA rules if you plan to make partner. That means no copyrighted content.