We got to thinking about the issue of a video’s shelf life when we read in the Washington Post that YouTube is a key source of news. Pew Research Center published a new report that documents the trend. One of the report’s findings is that people continue to watch the most popular news videos for weeks after news breaks. News outlets move on to the next story fairly quickly, but YouTube viewers show a much longer attention span. Videos such as this one garnered a total of 96 million views for videos about the tsunami in Japan in a 15-month period.
Of course, you’re probably not on the spot at the site of a tsunami to create a video—and you’re grateful for that! And 96 million views may not be attainable for your organization. But you can create videos that have a long shelf life, and that support your mission and goals. A good way to do that is to use a how-to subject.
This football how-to was uploaded by Expert Village in 2007 and has 373,848 views to date:
ExpertVillage subsequently merged with eHow, but its selection of how-to videos still garner many views. The ExpertVillage YouTube page lists more than one million subscribers and 2.5 billion video views—which shows just how popular how-to videos are!
Kitchen Gardeners International is a nonprofit that promotes food self-reliance through the promotion of kitchen gardening, home-cooking, and sustainable local food systems.
This “how to make compost” video not only fits with their mission, but also clearly garners a great number of views (362,872 views as of this writing), which can only improve their visibility. Their YouTube Channel also has a clickable donation button, so we suspect all those views are driving donations from like-minded individuals as well.
Does your organization know how to do something that YouTube viewers might like to know about? Video is an unparalleled instructional tool and a way of getting people to come to your website.