Sxsw Key tips from today’s SXSW panel on making online video viral.

1. Surprise and add elements of the unexpected, i.e., granny beating up a robber, Cookie Monster eating or saying something unusual, different colors, sounds, tempos.

2. Remember that it’s all about building an audience, not just uploading content. Building a subscriber base is key – the community aspect is more important than most people think or pay attention to. Encourage people to create new content around your content – it gets viewers excited and allows them to participate.

3. Embed, embed, embed. If people can’t easily embed your video across multiple platforms, it’s going to be that much harder to spread virally. People want to be able to grab a video and point to it right away, whether that’s a URL link OR an easy embed into their blog or other sites. Make it easy for people to capture it and distribution.

4. Metadata – make sure you create good titles and relevant tagging. Don’t try to game the system or trick people by false tagging – it only pisses people off. Use unique titles and tailor your titles for your audience. In other words, you could have the same video on Vimeo as you do on YouTube or a blog, but you may choose to create different titles for each of them because your audience may differ in each place.

5. Distribute in multiple formats and be platform agnostic.

One other thing to note was on curation. Sure, you can create great content and have the best tagging and titles in your category, but another effective way to build an audience is to be a great curator of other people’s content. There is increasingly so much content in so many categories on the web. Why not provide a great service by making it easier for your audience to find what is most relevant and interesting to them?

Below is the panel playing with the audience at the end of the session. For giggles:

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