The need for online self-promotion

In the 1989 classic film “Field of Dreams,” Kevin Costner’s character Ray Kinsella hears an incorporeal voice whispering, “If you build it, it will come.” From now on, Kinsella decides to build a baseball diamond. From time to time the quote in the business world is co-opted: “If you build it, they will come.” The idea is that the mere existence of something is enough to attract a market for that thing. This idea is pure fantasy.

Sometimes overnight sensations and effortless successes occur, just as tossing a coin occasionally causes the coin to fall to the edge. Most successful creators, however, achieve their success as a result of the rush, not only to create fantastic content, but also to promote it and the creator’s brand.

If you consider the most well-known pillars of pop culture, it is tempting to attribute their success exclusively to creative genius. After all, Drake just has to click up on a good handful of streaming platforms to top the lists, right? Maybe JK Rowling just needs to send books to bookstores and they’ll start selling them. Take a closer look and you’ll find multimedia machines that rush to create awareness.


If those at the helm of our cultural zeitgeist are to draw attention, it is clear what this means for everyday creators. Success requires working outside of content creation. It requires campaigns on social media and media involvement. It requires collaborating with other creators and asking for help from those with a larger audience. Sometimes it requires means of payment campaigns.

I have been an open advocate of defining success by means other than subscriber counting and advertising money. For those who do, success can be easier. However, for anyone who uses view counting to measure the success of their channel, it’s likely that content creation is only half the image.

It is true that every person who sees content, there is a small chance that they will share it. But keep in mind that only 1-2 percent of viewers will do so if they ask for it. That’s 2 out of 100 viewers. How many new viewers will a video gain if two people share it once each? Now consider how many of the original 100 people will return for the next video. New viewers may not compensate for original viewers who fall. Organic growth is slow and most creators have to complement it in another way.

Searching for views and recommendations engine views help a lot. However, they need a group of initial viewers to sow data in the algorithms. This helps the algorithms know how to recommend the video. The number of seed viewers varies depending on the subject of the video, but in most cases, it is hundreds, if not thousands, of views. Creators who start with nothing need to be creative about how to get these visuals.

Growing an audience in the tight space of online video rarely happens as a purely organic process. It requires the hard work of continuous marketing, self-promotion and professional networking.


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