What to Do Once Your Video Starts Trending

Mar 17, 2017


Internet trends arrive fast and disappear even faster. So when your video starts to gain traction, you want to be ready to engage your new viewers and build on momentum.

There are applications that allow publishers to see the moment their videos gain traction—like JW Player’s Right Now analytics tool—but the question remains: What do you once a video starts to go viral? Sit back and clink glasses? Of course not.

In order to keep the trend going and expand your viewership, you’ll need to get to work quickly. Otherwise, you might miss a timely opportunity and lose your audience to the next big thing.

Here are four actionable steps to take once your video starts trending.

1. Check Your Real-Time Metrics

You need to understand the people that are driving this trend. Where are they located geographically? Are they watching on mobile or desktop? Is this just a lunchtime surge in views or something more substantial? By answering these questions, you can get a better sense of how the trend started and how it might continue to unfold.

Take a look at this wedding video that went viral on LittleThings.com. It shows newlywed Don surprising his wife Shannon with a special tribute to her father, who’d passed away before the wedding. In just 48 hours the video generated almost two million views.

By checking real-time analytics with JW Player’s Right Now tool, LittleThings was able to see that 83 percent of views came from mobile and only 12 percent came from desktop. They also identified the moment their views started to spike between 3:00 and 4:00 PM EDT. Although most plays were coming from the U.S., the metrics revealed that people were tuning in from 216 countries across the world.

With this information, LittleThings had the data it needed to reach new viewers and continue to expand its audience.

2. Track Down Important Patterns

Once you have your metrics, you’ll want to see if you can identify past engagement patterns similar to your current viral video. This will help you identify significant trends in audience behavior.

For example, if mobile views are driving your current trend, you’ll want to know if past spikes in viewership similarly came from smartphones and tablets. Or if your video took off at 3:00 PM on a Wednesday, you’ll want to be aware of other videos that had an uptick in views on a weekday afternoon.

It’s also important to keep an eye on influencers who are sharing your content. LittleThings, for instance, was able to see that 114K plays came from Facebook influencer Adalia Rose’s post alone.

Once you find these influencers, you should figure out if they’ve shared your videos before, or if this the first time they’ve engaged with your publication. Either way, you might be able to prompt them to distribute similar content in the future.

3. Enable Data-Driven Recommendations

Keep people watching by placing recommended videos at the end of your content. JW Player’s Recommendations , for instance, uses real-time data to determine which content your viewers will likely watch next. JW Player’s in-widget feeds also suggest complementary content while your video is still playing.

With these recommendations, you can increase audience engagement and avoid the headache of having to curate new content yourself. In fact, publishers have seen up to a 50 percent lift in views and ad revenue by using this tool.

4. Follow Up With Multi-Platform Content

You’ve potentially engaged millions of new viewers in a short amount of time. Now you have to hold their attention by sharing more content that meets their interests.

One way might be to choose similar videos and promote them to your new audience on social media. Another way is to reach people via Google search results with relevant pay-per-click ads.

Remember, don’t stop once your video starts trending. Yes, it’s a big win. But if you use these key tactics you’ll be able to grow your audience, follow up with relevant content, and replicate successes without ever missing a beat.

Don’t miss out on critical opportunities to grow your audience and monetize impressions. Contact JW Player today to make sure you’re ready to take advantage of your site’s next trending video.

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