Posted by: johncardenas | October 30, 2014

View Count vs. Relevance

I’ve produced more than 200 videos for the City of Portland. YouTube analytics shows that the ones I had highest hopes for weren’t always the highest viewed. Creating my “Citizen Kane” doesn’t matter if the video doesn’t find an audience. I was thought view count was the only way to measure success online but it turns out it was relevance all along.

Views usually happen within a day. After that views crawl to a halt like opening weekend for a film. If the video is time sensitive or about a passed event, it loses relevance and not a good use of my time. On page 196 of Spreadable Media, we’re introduced to “The Uncertainty Principle”. Incorporating critical elements like availability, mobility, frequency, variety, and relevance can boost spreadability.

I learned this lesson the hard way. Now I focused on evergreen stories, about people not buildings. I added local music, dramatically increasing spreadability. I make videos shorter and so they look good on an iPhone. Our total view count is over 200K now, good compared to relatively sized cities. Its still important to hit your target audience despite the view count. If its still only 300, is it the right 300?

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