how to top the charts on YouTube


Macmillan have been at the social media again. I feel compelled to give another shout-out to them, because, yesterday, they hit the number one spot on YouTube – no mean feat. Pan Macmillan‘s Quirkology: The Curious Science of Everyday Lives has its own channel on YouTube. Albeit with only three videos, but that’s all it needed to earn over 600 subscribers, and 433,000 views of the colour changing card trick within a week. No doubt helped by the fact that you have to watch the video twice (trust me – you’ll want to see it twice).

This sort of video, with unique, quirky content that creates genuine interest in a book through viral marketing, is a great alternative to the more common author-talking-head approach. Not that I have anything against that – but it ain’t gonna chart in YouTube. This doesn’t have to be expensive either. The production values of the colour changing card trick won’t give David Copperfield cause for concern, and nor do they need to. It’s just a good idea, well-executed.

The broader point here is: how did this low-budget marketing approach get the book in front of half a million eyeballs in a week?

  1. it’s intriguing
  2. it relates to the book
  3. it’s something people want to pass it on
  4. it doesn’t plug the book directly. The link is to the website.
  5. the channel is for the book/website rather than the publisher. No-one cares who the publisher is. Really.

About Author

Jon Reed is an author, screenwriter, publisher and social media consultant. He is the author of Get Up to Speed With Online Marketing (2e, Pearson Business, 2013) and the the founder of social media consultancy Reed Media, which offers social media management, training and consultancy. Jon started Publishing Talk in 2007 following a 10-year career in publishing, including as publishing director for McGraw-Hill. More...

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