I know most of you have posted videos of yourselves performing stand up comedy online at some point. But I also know you probably feel like you don’t get nearly as much attention for them as you wish you would.
While there’s no way to guarantee your stand up videos gets seen and shared, there are a few things you can do to increase the chances they will.
Here’s some suggestions to help you get more out of your stand up comedy videos…
1. Keep It Short
The most common mistake I see comedians make when they post stand up videos online is they tend to put their full set online in one video that’s 7-10 minutes long (or longer). This causes several problems.
First, online viewers are much less likely to click play on a 10-minute video than they are on a 2-minute video, so you’re putting yourself at a disadvantage right from the start.
Second, unless you have a 10-minute bit about one particular topic, you’re most likely posting a video that covers a variety of bits about different topics which makes it more difficult to market as opposed to a video of one bit about one topic.
Third, the same amount of footage that can be turned into multiple videos (and views) is being “wasted” because you’re using it all on one video, which also means you’re only getting one view per person. It’s also much less likely that somebody will share a longer video with their friends, because they’re not going to share something that people may have to get through 5 minutes just to get to the bit that they want to share.
It’s ok to occasionally have a long stand up video, but I’d really only recommend that if you’re planning to use it as a demo for bookers of your full set. Other than that, you should try to keep the stand up videos you post online to about 3 minutes at most.
2. Make Sure People Can Hear You
As I’m sure you’ve realized by now, the video quality of most stand up videos out there is pretty awful. This is because these videos are often filmed on camera phones and in less than ideal conditions.
Obviously, you want to try to have the best production value possible, but the thing that’s most important is the sound. You can get away with visuals that aren’t great because it’s really just a video of you standing on stage with a microphone, but if viewers can’t clearly hear your jokes, they’re not going to watch or share your video.
3. Include Your Name In The Title
It’s amazing how many comedians post stand up videos online and don’t include any reference to who they are. If somebody stumbles across your video and likes it, you want them to know who you are – isn’t that the whole point? So make sure you include your name in the video title and description.
4. Use Intriguing Titles
Since you’ll be posting shorter videos (after reading item #1 on this list), you should be able to post videos that revolve around a particular theme or bit. Doing this will allow you to write titles for the videos that will appeal to those specific audiences – here’s a post that explains more about how to write good video titles.
5. Post Your Videos On YouTube
Here’s another tip that seems obvious and yet many comedians don’t do it. If you’re going to put a video online, make sure you put it on YouTube. It’s fine to also post it on Funny or Die, or Vimeo, or other video websites, but make sure that you also post it on YouTube.
YouTube is the second biggest search engine on the planet and the biggest video search engine. Not putting your videos on there is the equivalent of telling Google to pretend you don’t exist. It’s really, really dumb.
6. Encourage Viewers To Take An Action
Just like with any piece of content you post online, you want to encourage viewers to take a specific action after they see your content. This could be to subscribe to your YouTube channel, or your mailing list, to visit your website, or to follow you on Facebook/Twitter.
It’s up to you to figure out what action you want them to take, but you can use annotations on the video and/or the video description area to ask them to clearly take that action. If you don’t, they won’t, and whatever views you get will become significantly less meaningful.
7. Get To The Punchline – Quickly
Studies have shown that if a person is watching a comedy video online and they don’t get a laugh in the first 15 seconds, they’re likely to stop watching the video. However, if they do get a laugh in the first 15 seconds, they’ll likely stick around and watch the rest of the video.
So, when you’re editing your videos and deciding what to upload, make sure you upload a clip that gets to a laugh as quickly as possible. On a side note, there’s also no reason to show your introduction or 20 seconds of you walking up to the stage – nobody cares about that but you. Start with a joke, get a quick laugh, and you’ll hook more viewers.
8. Fill Out The Description And Tags
There’s a reason why YouTube has a description and tags section on every video – and it’s not so you can ignore it. YouTube uses those areas to determine what your video is about and to decide when to show it to people in search results and as related videos.
When you ignore those sections, you’re not giving YouTube any idea what your video is about and you’re making it a lot less likely for people to find it when they’re searching. Long story short, by leaving those sections blank you’re leaving potential views on the table.
9. Promote Your Video
After you post a stand up video online, your work isn’t done. If you really want to get your video seen, you should promote it – through social media channels and by sending it to relevant blogs and websites who may be interested in featuring it. Here’s a list of 100+ Places To Promote Your Videos that can help.
10. Post Another Video
In some ways, the online video game is a volume business. You’re not really going to see an impact on your career from just posting one or two videos of yourself online. It needs to become a regular part of your arsenal and you need to give people a reason to keep coming back for more. These videos don’t all have to just be stand up (in fact, they shouldn’t just be stand up), but you do have to regularly put new content out there.
Also, keep in mind that every single video you post brings with it the opportunity for new people to find you and be introduced to your comedy – every single day, forever. This is really powerful stuff and a reason why you should want to put out as many good videos as you can possibly create. You’ll be building a library of content and, perhaps more importantly, a multitude of opportunities for new fans to discover you.