Youtube offers the perfect microcosm of how the web has changed since the early days of high-speed internet. When you watch a mid-’00s video like Evolution of Dance now, it’s charming, but it’s hard to explain why it has more than three hundred million views.
The ’00s and early 2010s were a time when internet content was all about these smash hits, the big-time viral videos that scooped up millions of views seemingly overnight. You could reference the video at work, at the gym or to your grandmother and everyone would know what you were talking about. The novelty of having high-quality video on command was a big part of the appeal, and it was relatively easy to get a lot of attention with any content that was just weird, unusual or amusing enough to be worth posting to your Livejournal or MySpace page.
Whenever we engage in content marketing, what we’re chasing after is attention. There’s plenty of that to go around on Youtube, with users watching over a billion hours a day on the platform. But, where the top one percent of that attention used to go to a handful of popular videos, it now goes to a handful of popular channels. Creating a one-hit-wonder was a reasonable goal twelve years ago, but that’s not going to work in 2019, and the era of the viral video has given way to the era of the Youtuber, the full-time content producer who rarely breaks 100,000 views per video, but manages to spread their message, and maybe even make a living, through consistent, regular content.
Of course we’re not just talking about Youtube, here. Any content you use to spread your message, be it blogging, vlogging, podcasts or social media, you can forget about having that one smash hit that solves all of your problems in one fell swoop. That’s simply not going to happen. Attention on the web is too divided, and the only way to really have an impact in 2019 is to stick around.
Once A Day, Every Day
The best approach to consistency is to engage once a day, every single day. If your core platform is long-form Youtube videos then it might not be realistic to produce those on a 24-hour turnaround, but Tweets, Instagram updates and Facebook posts can make up the difference.
When you’re a daily presence, something that your subscribers can look forward to when they start their day, you’re buying yourself a much stronger foothold in your base’s collective consciousness than someone who delivers similar content but only updates when they feel like it.
Big Isn’t As Big As It Used To Be
Evolution of Dance has three hundred million views. You don’t need three hundred million views. In fact, that much attention can crush a small business or tech start-up that’s not designed for it. If you’re relying entirely on Google AdSense pennies to make your income, then sure, the more views you get, the better. But if your end goal is to deliver a product or a service to your viewers, going viral might not mean a number with two commas in it.
The focus for content marketing going into the next decade isn’t going to be on the largest possible audience, but the smallest viable audience. Ten thousand views on a Facebook video might not sound like a lot, but in a community of twelve thousand people, it’s just about everyone.
Build An Asset
A one-off viral video isn’t much of an asset. Ten years ago, sure, maybe you could write a song for the internet and wind up in a Dr. Pepper commercial. In 2019, that video is gone from memory a week after its release.
Instead, think about building an asset. Not necessarily a financial asset, not something that you need to monetize right away, but a reputation, a brand, a presence that does not hang solely on any one article, video or blog post.
All of this is simply to say: show up every day, and build something that lasts. The fleeting fame of a viral video won’t get you very far in the long run, but a dedicated following can carry you anywhere you want to go.
Of course, it’s easier to be consistent with a bit of help, and that’s what WriterAccess is all about. If you’re looking to produce daily content but you just don’t have the time, get in touch.
Gilbert S is a professional writer with over a decade of experience writing everything from research papers and catalog descriptions to tech magazine articles and music reviews. Gilbert’s interests outside of writing lie in marketing, film, and advanced technology.