If you’ve tried posting videos online in the past but haven’t seen the results you were hoping for, it might be because a) your video content or production was off the mark or b) your online video distribution strategy wasn’t developed well enough.

An online video distribution strategy is critical to the success of your video towards your end goals. It’s not a 'film it and they will watch' scenario, you must film it and then tell everyone to watch!

Here are seven components to include in your online video distribution strategy.

successful video distribution strategy

Optimize the video for search.

Why do we talk about SEO so much? Because it provides the opportunity for your video to be placed right in front of your target audience when they search for something like it.  SEO is part of the foundation of a successful video distribution strategy. Wherever your video is posted, it should be optimized for search. The title, tag, and description you use for your video are all very important to search engines who rely on that information to tell them what your video is about.

Optimize the video for sharing.

In addition to being optimized for search, you should also optimize your video for sharing across the internet. Things like share buttons, shortened URL’s, and a call to action that encourages viewers to share with their friends all contribute to helping your video go a step further past distribution and into becoming viral.

What is a viral video? Any video that’s shared and becomes popular among a group of people. You may not get a million views in one day, but you can consider viewers in your target audience sharing your video with other people like them a viral success.

Post the video on YouTube.

There’s no other way around it. If you want your video to have the widest distribution and the best chance to become viral, you must put it on YouTube. Resistance is futile and will only result in a huge missed opportunity. Even the biggest companies who can afford the more expensive video hosting solutions turn to YouTube for sharing their videos online. In fact, 69% of Fortune 500 companies have an active YouTube account.

YouTube is the place on the internet for viewing and posting online video, end of story. So, get started by creating a YouTube account using our step by step guide, then add your video to your YouTube account by following this checklist, and you will give your online video distribution strategy a giant push forward.

Add the video to your website.

YouTube is great, but you also want your videos to be displayed right on your website. Follow these tips for adding your video to your website, and then run tests to make sure the video shows up properly in search engines and can be viewed on a mobile device.

Send the video to your email subscribers.

Your email subscription list represents your most invested leads and customers, so you should send the video to them first to start off on the right foot and build momentum. Add the video to your email by adding a video thumbnail to the email that links directly to the video. If you’re linking to the video on your website, make sure your website is mobile friendly! If it is not, you’re better off linking to the video on YouTube.

Post the video to social media - more than once.

If you have thought ahead and developed an engaged social media community, then you should share the video with them according to best practices for each particular social media platform that you are active on.

For Facebook, use Facebook insights to see what day and time your fans are on Facebook the most, and post at that time. Post the video again at another peak time a day or two later. Also consider boosting the post through Facebook ads for even more reach.

On Twitter, you’ll want to post the video multiple times because of how quickly information moves. Post at different times of the day, and use different intro text each time. Also, YouTube videos will play inside of Twitter, so use your YouTube link when posting there.

Pinterest is another great platform to post to if you think your target audience spends time there. YouTube video thumbnails can be pinned and played inside of Pinterest as well.

Instagram can be used to promote your video even if you can’t post the whole thing. If it’s longer than the 15 second limit, then post the first 15 seconds as a teaser and encourage viewers to go to your website or YouTube channel to watch the rest.

Reach out to your partners or industry bloggers.

One of the great features that YouTube has is the ability to embed your video on any web page. This can give your video more reach if it is featured on other websites that your target audience visits. Develop key relationships with influential bloggers ahead of time and approach them with new video content that would be valuable to their visitors. Maybe even consider asking them what kind of video content they would be most likely to share with their audience to get some new ideas.

Once you have distributed your video, don't forget to track and measure the results. Using tools like Google Analytics, YouTube Analytics and Facebook Insights will provide valuable information that will help you optimize your online video distribution strategy the next time around.