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Viral Video Wannabe

Secrets of Making a Great Collab Video

I’m currently hosting a collab video contest, with prizes including promotion from some huge YouTubers, and a copy of my upcoming book, YouTube: An Insider’s Guide to Climbing the Charts. So this week, all of my posts will focus on various collab video topics.

Collaboration videos include more than one YouTube user. Collabs are a great way to make friends, work on creative projects with others, and get some major promotion for your channel. Every time you appear in a collab video, your name is being advertised to all of the viewers and subscribers of the channel you appear on.

If you’re stuck without a collab video idea, try some of the following to get your creative juices flowing. I’ve made dozens of collab videos with some amazing people on YouTube, one of which was just featured on the front page of YouTube last night!

  • Unpredictability. Remember when Elton John performed on stage with Eminem at the Grammys? That’s all everyone was talking about. The performance wasn’t that mind-blowing or buzz-worthy, but the pairing of the two was, at that time. They received a lot of attention for their stunt, and sent a message at the same time. You can do the same. One week after Tyler Oakley and John Cocktoston dueled it out on YouTube, I had both of them in the same collab video. I got more comments about those two being in there than I did Lisa-freakin’-Nova being in the same video!
  • Self-Deprecating Humor. Get a big YouTuber to make fun of him or herself. I made a collab video in which xgobobeanx co-starred as a self-absorbed subscription whore. Her appearance in a video parodying her got a lot of laughs. Viewers love seeing not only inside jokes that they get, but people being able to laugh at themselves as well. Jill was a good sport.
  • A Message. If comedy isn’t your thing, the final sure-fire way to make a successful collab video is to use the medium to send a message. Have a cause you’re fighting for? Find other YouTubers who are fighting the same fight. Part of a sub-culture who you feel is unfairly ridiculed? Go cry about it on livejournal. Make a video with other members of that subculture.

There are of course other gimmicks that have been successful in the past. You could always write a musical, but don’t ask me to be in it, I’m completely tone-deaf when it comes to singing.

A word about editing

Nothing kills a collab faster than bad editing. Spend a little bit of time here. If you’re working on a phone call collab (a popular technique used to include more than one YouTuber in a single video), make sure the conversation sounds natural when edited together, don’t keep long pauses in between sentences. Try overlapping some footage so while you’re talking, you show your collab partner on the other end listening.

And if your collab partner sent you any outtakes, ask if it’s okay for you to use them at the end of the video. The only thing funnier than a big YouTuber making fun of him or herself, is watching that same YouTuber trip over their tongue or suddenly develop Tourette’s-like cursing habits when they can’t deliver a line properly.

Don’t let the idea of a collab video overwhelm you, if I didn’t think you could do it in one week’s time, I wouldn’t have made it the first challenge to win a copy of my book, and promotion on YouTube from WhatTheBuckShow, nalts and myself.

16 Responses to “Secrets of Making a Great Collab Video”

  1. Secrets of Making a Great Collab Video Says:

    [...] Chris F. Masse wrote an interesting post today onHere’s a quick excerptSelf-Deprecating Humor. Get a big YouTuber to make fun of him or herself. I made a collab video in which xgobobeanx co-starred as a self-absorbed subscription whore. Her appearance in a video parodying her got a lot of laughs. … [...]

  2. Ty Says:

    Hey Alan, sorry i forgot to give you credit on the post i made. It was really late when i posted it. I fixed it though. If you want me to take it down though i will. I really like your site, didn’t mean to not give you credit. :)

  3. Ty Says:

    I can’t wait to get your book by the way! :)

  4. Julian (ItTakesII) Says:

    Nice summary of collab tips! I am still trying to get someone that wasn’t already in my other collab (and that was quite a few poeple!). :P I hope I can make it on time to enter the contest!

  5. How to Find Collab Partners » Viral Video Wannabe Says:

    [...] I shared the Secrets of Making a Great Collab Video. But, while you might have a brilliant script and an eye for editing, if you can’t find anyone to [...]

  6. Matt Says:

    It’s a badge of honor to be asked by Alan to be in one of his collabs, even though he’ll tell you he’s not that famous. :)

  7. Collab Challenge Winner! » Viral Video Wannabe Says:

    [...] numerous articles aimed at collab video makers, everything from finding collab partners, to the secrets of making a great collab video, to promoting collaboration videos. I also talk at length in the book I wrote about YouTube for [...]

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Viral Video Wannabe...

authors image

…is written by Alan “fallofautumndistro” Lastufka, co-author of the book, “YouTube: An Insider’s Guide
to Climbing the Charts“. This site offers resources
for readers of my book and new tips and techniques expanding upon what is in my book. Visit the Purchase page above to order your own copy today!