There is a kind of panic that sets in once you realize that a video is dangerously close to hitting that coveted 301+ marker. Once a video hits 301+ and stops, it typically means YouTube’s automated system has frozen the view counter to verify that the incoming views are organic and not computer generated.
301+ means your video is racking up views quicker than YouTube can verify their authenticity. It is a great sign that your upload is gaining steam and has the potential to, for lack of a better term, go viral.
Your video has been noticed, people are commenting, and views are piling up. So, what do you do now?
Check Your Analytics and Start Adjusting
If you want your video to hit that 301 count and then really climb into viral territory, you might want to consider checking out your video’s analytics. For this example, we’ll take a look at the analytics for a recent NMR YouTube upload.
For every video, YouTube provides a detailed set of analytics ranging from demographic to playback locations. These stats are key to understanding how and by whom these videos are being viewed.
Take these traffic source statistics for example:
As you can see, the majority of traffic is coming in from within YouTube through either searches, NMR’s YouTube page or through the suggested video feed. However, looking down the list, it is clear that very little of this video’s traffic is being generated from outside sources (Twitter, Google+, etc).
This tells us one thing: we need to step up our social media game. By really pushing this video within the social media sphere, we can snap up additional traffic sources. If your analytics look similar at any point, hop on Twitter or Facebook and promote the holy hell out of your trending video.
The same principles apply for analytics pertaining to in-YouTube search results and suggested video feeds. If any of those fields seem to be struggling to bring in traffic, consider changing your tags or title to be slightly more search friendly.
Tinkering with your analytics comes with a price, however. If you do decide to change any aspect of your upwards trending video, it could offset the initial magic that lead to it becoming popular. A switched tag here or one Twitter promotion too many could result in a loss of momentum.
This line of logic leads to the second route a creator can take if their video seems to be on the verge of viral, which is …
Don’t Do Anything
Listen, your video is raking in views for a reason, and that reason seems to be good enough for your steadily growing audience. If taking that risk of possibly over-promoting or screwing up your analytics seems too dangerous for you then just don’t do anything.
This option is also a gamble though, as more often than not, in the steady flood of daily uploaded YouTube videos, a potentially viral video could easily be washed away. If you decide to kick back and let the views roll in, those very same views could crawl to a stop in days or even hours. By remaining stagnant, you are relying on your audience to share with their friends and so on.
Doing nothing is probably the safest bet, but it’s still a risk nonetheless.
Where do you fall on the great 301+ debate? Should you tailor your video to hit that next level of viralness or leave it alone and pray to the gods of YouTube instead? Let us know in the comments below.
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