Almost all of the most successful campaigns on YouTube have had dedicated ad spend behind them. Some of the most successful: Kmart, Reed, Volvo trucks ALL had an advertising strategy behind them. They did not simply upload a video and hope it would go viral. You can add viral qualities to it, but ad spend will push it to the right people. If you simply rely on it going viral, you are potentially wasting a good video.
So technically, YES, it is possible to promote your video on YouTube and get 1 million views. BUT this does depend on a few things:
1) Tell a good story. Inspire users, give them a reason to keep watching. Move them and connect emotionally. Awe, shock, tears, humour are emotions video-makers use to hook viewers. A story doesn't need to cost a lot to produce. Look at Icelolly: they filmed this on a handicam running through the streets of Manchester. Through clever promotion, look how many views they received.
2) Make your content original. Is there something that you can share that is far better than what others have shared? Will it add value to people's lives?
3) Promote your video using TrueView. Ever seen the 'Skip this ad' buttons? TrueView Instream is a 'preroll ad' i.e. it appears before a regular video. It shows to the people you target (e.g. target Travel enthusiasts or fashion addicts). AND you only pay if people have watched for 30 seconds (or if you video is shorter, you pay on completion of the video). So you only pay for engaged views! Check out more here:https://www.youtube.com/yt/adver.... The other adformat that is great is called TrueView indisplay. This lets you show a thumbnail static image of your ad to anyone who types a relevant search into YouTube e.g. 'recipes' or 'how to make soup' etc.
4) Be clever about the targeting. When will you launch this to give you maximum impact, and to whom? The more specific your targeting is, the narrower the pool of people, so you might want to start a bit broader and then see who bites. With TrueView your audience selects itself. Still make sure you have some smart targeting options selected.
5) Expect to pay around 7-10 pence (GBP) per view. This obviously varies according to the contents of your video, the industry you are in, the auction at the time etc.