How to get 5000 video views on a tight budget

Digital Advertising

At Whole Whale, they love to make interns squirm. They challenged us to create a video that had something to do with Whole Whale and get 5,000 views by the end of the summer — or else! Once we had our idea, we had to pitch it to our Chief Whaler and get it approved. Crazy ideas were welcomed and highly recommended. As a team, we decided to create the following State Farm Parody. We were given a $400 dollar budget.

Would you believe we got this video over 6,500 views for less than $400? Well we did, and here’s how you too can maximize video views with a small budget.
Achieve the dream: lots of videos views in a short amount of time (and on a tight budget) Click To Tweet

The Video

The most important part is your video. You want to make sure it conveys your ideas and shows off what you want the user to see. Your video should be informative and convey a clear message; you do not want to confuse your audience. Make sure that the video has high-quality, relevant content to ensure that you spread the message you want your viewers to hear. Another important point to remember is the ideal time for a YouTube video is around 3 minutes, any longer and you risk severe drop off in viewership. You have to remember that people have short attention spans for promotional content.


The first 48 hours are crucial when promoting a video. Make sure to promote your new video on all of your social media outlets and your website. Additionally, it is important to engage with your viewers. Try to encourage things such as liking, sharing, and commenting; all of these things help YouTube realize what videos are trending currently, which will in turn help increase organic traffic to your video.


As soon as we got our task, we knew we had to shell out the majority of the budget towards advertising; we just needed to figure out how and where. We did some research and it came down to Facebook and Youtube, where we decided to split our remaining $340 budget down the middle and adjust if one became more effective than the other. Initially, we anticipated spreading this budget over a 2 week period but found ourselves with only a week to get 5000 views (yikes!). As soon as the video was complete, we set up Facebook and YouTube campaigns with $20 daily budgets. From the start, we realized Facebook was the true winner. Our average cost-per-view (CPV) was 1 cent while YouTube averaged 7 cents. After 4 days, we reached our goal with 65% of the views stemming from our Facebook ad. So, in the future, if you’re trying to get views for insanely cheap, upload your video to Facebook and watch the views pour in.
how to maximize video views on a small budget


So, that’s how we got 6,500 views in 4 days for less than $150. It is worth noting that Facebook views are lower quality views, in that they only require the user to watch the video for 3 seconds for it to count as a view. This means the increased exposure has a trade off of less engagement. However, vanity metrics like views social proof the video and convince others to watch it. For more help check out these great tips to promote your YouTube video.