Swedish Startup Space

My video went viral, what did I learn?

Written by on January 23
Editors Note: This post is part of a series called Sponsored series, presented by Animerad Reklamfilm.

On 27th January 2013 , I was walking home from a friend’s place who had invited me to dinner. As I stood on the platform to the subway, I opened my email.

267 new emails, all from Youtube….

I knew exactly what had happened, the question I was interested in was, how ?

It turned out that they got wind of my video in the U.S., someone had created a new account on reddit.com with my name and uploaded the video there. (Thank you!)

Just a little bit of bragging for good measure:

  • 500,000 views on the first day (now a little over 1,000,000)
  • Coverage on TV4 in Sweden
  • Was interviewed by an American TV channel via Skype
  • Coverage in the Huffington Post
  • Ended up on the front page of Reddit.com, MSN.com and later MSN.se
  • Got an email from a producer at CNN with the headline “You’re famous ,” and a link to CNN ‘s page with my video
  • Was approached by friends from the U.S. who told me they watched the video on various television channels , including ESPN

So what did I learn?

1. When people see the $$$, they will try to take advantage of you

This is nothing new, but it was the first time it’s happened to me. Companies specialising in marketing Youtube videos will get in touch and want to take a percentage of your revenue by marketing your video.

They’ll also offer to buy an exclusive license of your video. They then become the owner of your video and can do whatever they want with it. Sell ​​instead a so-called “non-exclusive” license where you get paid but you are still the owner of the video.

2. Have a plan

When a video gets viral spread, it happens very quickly. “Good Morning America” will get in touch and it’s a bit late to start planning on how to cash in on your video.

If you have the feeling that your video might actually begin to spread, consider what you want to get out of it all and do some research to find out what you may need to do. I had, as I will talk about later, made ​​sure that the link to my website were clickable directly from Youtube, labeled the video, since I had also tried to spread the video even more by doing things such as an ” Ask Me Anything” on Reddit , etc.

3. Tag your videos

If it goes viral, your video will be downloaded and uploaded on more websites than you can keep track of, and even if you had kept an eye on it, it is too late to do anything. By putting a stamp in the corner and at the end / beginning of the video, those who did not plan on giving you credit not able to avoid it. Wherever the video ends up, the viewer to know that the video came from you and your URL is clearly visible .

I’ve missed out on a lot of traffic and subscribers because I did not follow this rule.

4. Don’t forget the http://

When you write a description of your video on Youtube, the links wont become clickable if you just write www.animeradreklamfilm.se. My video was trying to drive traffic to a website and I did not know about this . When I realized it a few days later, the traffic to the video slowed down a bit, but I tweaked it and made the link clickable .

Traffic to the site grew by several hundreds of %.

5. Ask their budget

When those who wish to purchase a license for your video get in touch with you, it is often difficult to negotiate. You want to get as much money as possible, but in many cases, your video is very easy to replace with someone else and asking for too much money may end up that you will not get anything

Many of the people that complain are accustomed to this, and the people you are communicating with have a specific budget how much they can spend on a video. So what do you do? Ask what their budget is, pretending that it is a reasonable price, and then sell a non-exclusive license for that price.

I was recently contacted by a Japanese TV channel. The girl asked if they could buy a license to view the video on TV and I replied that, yes, of course she gets it . “I usually get between $2-500 ” per license I wrote.

Her response taught me that I just called you to do. “Sorry our budget is only $1000 per clip.” She had misread 2-500 for 2,500 and I could have left $800 on the table because I previously used reference points to suggest a price. (A big thank you to her for making me realizing this!)

6. Spread on video

Be Proactive. Attempt to upload the video to sites like reddit.com, bestofyoutube.com , do a ” AMA ” on Reddit , etc. There are many opportunities to maintain and accelerate the spread, which in turn can lead to even more opportunities.

If you for example, have a really funny video about cooking, and manage to get Gordon Ramsay to see and tweet about your video so you are guaranteed a new round with new viewers!


I suspect that you are wondering what the video is, chances are you’ve actually seen it. If you’re interested in talking about how you can work with viral videos and Youtube marketing – check out our site and don’t hesitate to get in touch with me on email!

  • Cod3rror

    Interesting article. Thank You!

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