Step 1: Identify a Video Theme Already "Going Viral" Such as a New Pop Song
Tompkin's third video is a "cover" of Miley Cyrus' pop song, "Party in the USA." If you've never heard it, you can read about it on Wikipedia, here. "Party in the USA" was released on August 11, 2009 and was a huge hit.
Tompkins released his cover on December 2009, about three months after Miley Cyrus. (Timing, as they say, is everything!). This video currently shows 3,462,470 views - not bad, Mike Tompkins, for your third video!
Step 2: "Hijack" YouTube Searches
So how does this work? People are searching YouTube for Miley Cyrus, Party in the USA. Below is a screenshot of the YouTube suggest for Party in the USA. Notice #8 - Party in the USA cover.
Notice how Tompkins titles his YouTube "Party in the USA Cover". So as they search, he hijacks them with his interesting cover. Not to mention that people actively search for "covers" on YouTube, knowing that covers are commonly made and can be very good.
His video is currently #4 on YouTube search for "Party in the USA Cover"
Step 3: Produce an Amazing Video
His video is amazing (especially given how low budget it must have been at that time; his videos have gotten much, much better as he has grown smarter and gotten a bigger budget). And the video promotes his music and his channel; it's sticky! So he grows his subscriber base by "hijacking" successful videos - that's the core of his YouTube strategy!
Step 4: Rinse and Repeat
Much of his channel is built on this same strategy over and over again: identifying trending music videos on YouTube and rushing out covers. Tompkins is like a stock picker, picking the "winning stocks" and piggy-backing on them to ride to the top of YouTube
Learning from Mike Tompkins
If you are into video and video marketing, are there ways you can replicate Mike Tompkins strategy in your own industry? Namely: a) identifying trending videos, and b) hijacking / mashing up / creating covers of these videos? If video matters to you - it could be worth a try. Oh, and he also does a great job with partnering; witness his collaboration with Pitchperfect, here.
Shout Out To VideoTov
A shout out to my friends at VideoTov, a top video editing platform.