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October 6, 2009

Pumping Up YouTube

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Learning about and watching cool videos? Sign me up! Heading up this session we’ve got:

Moderator: Christine Churchill, President, KeyRelevance.com

Speakers:
Matthew Liu, Product Manager, YouTube, Google Inc.
Ciarán Norris, Head of Social Media Marketing, Mindshare Worldwide
Manny Rivas, Associate SEO Account Manger, aimClear

panel presents at SMX East 2009

Manny Rivas is up first and will give us an overview and tell us some of aimClear’s findings on Web videos and YouTube.

YouTube is gigantic. It’s the second largest search engine and the fourth most visited Web site. About 20 hours of video are uploaded every minute and an average view in July of this year watched 8.3 hours of video online. There were 3.6 billion search queries on YouTube in June.

Reasons businesses are utilizing YouTube:

  • Externalize resources
  • Focus group
  • Expert advice
  • Advertising: even if they don’t have videos themselves, they use in-video ads and ads on watch pages
  • Video contests
  • Customer service

So how do you take advantage of video in such a saturated space?

Top ranking factors for YouTube:

  • Title, description and keyword tags
  • Links
  • Annotations
  • Comments
  • There are more in this list, and it’s quite a few, but at least it’s not 200 factors.

Here are the steps for taking advantage of YouTube.

Optimize Your Content

Check out competitive intelligence. Do a search, get an idea of what you’re up against, and identify why videos are ranking where they are. You’ll want to note how many views they have and when the video was located. You should check out the statistics and data for the video. You can see total views, comments, favorites, ratings and average ratings.

Dated referrals and views show you where they came from, when, and how many views they sent. Demographic information such as age, gender and the areas where the video is most popular are available, too.

A fundamental part of video ranking is having keywords in the title, description and text. Keyword research is important for this. First place to look is the suggestion query box on YouTube. The Wonder Wheel will give you ideas stemming off of your query. The YouTube Keyword Tool will give you some data, like monthly search volume and related keywords. You can also use Google’s External Keyword Tool.

Getting to the most viewed videos today, this week or this month will get you lots of views. One way to get in there is to submit your video as a promoted video. It will get the ball rolling.

When you’re looking to get more eyeballs on your video, YouTube recently started Find Your Friends, so you should update your GMail contact list. You’ll also want to push your video across several social media platforms. Facebook gives you the ability to add a message that will be seen by your target audience.

Engage the Community

It’s been shown that there’s a direct ranking correlation between engaging the community with videos. It brings visibility to your organization among the YouTube community. When you subscribe to someone’s channel, there’s now info about video ratings, favorites, and so networking is even more valuable.

Monitor Performance

You should master the YouTube Insight analytics. It will show you if people are watching from their phones, it shows community engagement like comments and ratings. Hot Spots shows you play time of your video, where they’re rewinding to and when they’re leaving.

Creator’s Corner

This new addition is a resource for project ideas, how some users found success, how they optimized their videos and more.

Matthew Liu steps up to talk to us about YouTube — direct from the source.

Start by defining what your objectives are. Is it views? Engagement with your brand? Conversions? Get a full picture of what you really want to do.

Basics to improve video ranking:

  • Title, description and tags: Put the same keywords in all three areas and avoid including unrelated keywords. Be consistent in these three places.
  • Community opinion: Share videos with members of the community. Experiment with annotations, video responses and thumbnails. Avoid spamming video other users, rating your own videos; there are mechanisms in place that will hurt you if you do.
  • Embeds: Embed videos on sites to make your videos more discoverable and easier to find on the Web. Some brands are hesitant to allow embeds, but they’ve seen that embeds on is almost always positive.

Viral Videos through “Free” Marketing

  • Guerilla marketing:

    • Use subtle branding and stealth marketing efforts
    • Seed to news sites, blogs
    • Use YouTube, Twitter and Facebook to fan the flames
    • Explicit marketing:
    • Communicate directly with the YouTube community
    • Use video responses, subscriptions, comments to engage in dialogue

Check out the video Tiger Woods 09 – Walk on Water. It was a video response from EA Sports. By finding the right niche, they connected with their user base.

Viral Videos through Paid Marketing

  • Use YouTube promoted videos to seed discovery
  • Use YouTube home page ads for massive reach
  • Use other ad platforms to drive traffic to YouTube watch page
  • Organic traffic oftentimes exceeds paid traffic after initial burst

Once you run your campaign you should understand what you should be doing better and what you succeeded at. YouTube Insights is YouTube’s external facing analytics and reporting product. It enables anyone with a YouTube account to view detailed statistics about the videos that they upload to the site. It provides video-level data about who, what, when, where and how people came to watch your video.

Weezer released a music video on YouTube and saw they had a lot of view from techie males. So they ran ads on sites where techie males are the audience and were able to get more views that way.

What do you want users to see after they get to your video page? They’ll see other videos from you, so it’s good to have several dozen videos to drive deeper engagement. You can use annotations — pop-up bubbles — to draw people to your other videos.

Overlays let you supply a destination URL, an early attempt at driving conversions for direct response advertisers.

Use channels for deeper engagement. It’s almost like a microsite for your brand. Additional features can be added. Add a custom background and give it personality. Comments are always valuable, even if they’re negative. Read it and then delete it. With a channel, it’s more likely that visitors will watch more than one video.

Ciarán Norris is up next. When you’re looking for more insights that YouTube provides, check out his company’s tool ViralTracker. He’s going to talk about viral marketing. Basically, viral content is cool stuff that people like to share. Brand sites often tend to be quite boring. Videos tell a story and get the audience engaged.

Content isn’t king anymore. Conversation is king. Content is just something to talk about.

Keep in mind that you can’t make viral. It helps to have a strategy when you start. Who are the people you want to talk to? What are your objectives? What’s your strategy for engagement? Finally, what technology will you use to get there. Don’t start with the technology and work backwards.

Here’s the ladder of users, from most engaged to least engaged.

  • Creators
  • Critics
  • Collectors
  • Joiners
  • Spectators
  • Inactive

The genius about YouTube is that it made it easy for people to share. The URL and embed links that are right there and easy to copy. Viral was built into the product.

Types of viral videos:

  • Funny (ex: Will It Blend?)
  • Unbelievable (ex: Guy Catches Glasses With Face — it was more or less unbranded but the tagline of the campaign was kind of hidden in the video and the brand ranked for that phrase)
  • Pose a questions (ex: Test Your Awareness: Do The Test. It makes people pass it on because they don’t want to be the stupid ones that didn’t get it. And by making people question themselves it gets them to rewind and watch again.)
  • Informative (ex: Did You Know 3.0)
  • Piggy back (ex: Wonderbra Girl on Drums piggy-backed the Cadbury Gorilla Ad. Though it’s not on YouTube anymore because Phil Collins had it taken down but you can find it on another site.)

YouTube Tips

  • Headline: Make them exclusive, even if that means including “exclusive” in the headline.
  • Thumbnail: Put it in the middle.
  • Comments: Let them roll, generally, since they’re part of the ranking formula.
  • Referrers: Refer them. Video rip-offs are good too because it gets the brand out.





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One response to “Pumping Up YouTube”

  1. Simon Mainwaring writes:

    Hey Virginia,

    Thanks so much for all the efforts you put into collecting all this data! It made for an extremely helpful and informative read, as I have recently begun working with my own youtube account, and this has certainly given me a great direction to head in!

    http://simonmainwaring.com/blog



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