In the book, Tim shows you how to build an actively-involved subscriber community for your YouTube channel. He covers channel strategy, search and discovery, audience development, video content strategy, and more.
Tim is prolific with his advice and gives incredible tips, tricks and methodologies. He’s as good or better as anyone doing this today.
Now Tim has put all this information into an eBook than anyone can buy. He offered to give me one for free but I refused and bought it instead. I wanted to purchase it myself to support Tim and all the incredible free advice his videos have provided myself, my clients, and the YouTube community.
If you take these lessons to heart, this $30 book will save you thousands of dollars that Tim charges his clients, and you’ll get essentially the same information. But if you’re not much of a reader, hire Tim as a consultant or trainer - he’s the best!
Here is the affiliate link Tim has given me "30 Days to a Better YouTube Channel", but I’m not doing the affiliate link for the commission. Rather I’m using the link because I want it to be trackable, and show Tim that the Hey.com followers are interested in what he has to say and support people doing great work.
Great Tube Talk Podcast this week - YouTube Marketing Tips
Guys we’re very proud of our “Tube Talk” podcast this week, where we bring you tips on how to make better use of your YouTube channel. This week we talk about how to convert your YouTube RSS to an email list, discuss how to manage multiple YouTube channels, and tell you why some videos seem to get stuck on 301 views.
Hosted by Dane Golden, Matt Ballek, and Tim Schmoyer
Zefr is a top company in the YouTube industry, and I’m fascinated by them because, in my view, they’ve found a way to combine entertainment, marketing, technology and big data in a harmonious way. It was very nice of them to have my guest post on their blog.
In the piece, I spoke about how difficult it is to really understand the effectiveness of a YouTube video simply by looking at its viewcount, because that number, while widely quoted and reported and noticed, gives incomplete info at best. I suggest that subscribers, not views, are the holy grail for marketers on YouTube.
And I also say that on YouTube viewcount is the best indicator of past views, while subscriber count is the best indicator of future views. And subscriber growth is absolutely essential for a brand that wants repeat organic viewership. I then go on to speak about three key areas of focus when trying to build an engaging YouTube channel - audience retention, comments, and engaging with your superfans (or, as YouTube calls them, “Top Fans”).
Our new podcast - "TubeTalk: YouTube Marketing Tips"
I recently started a YouTube marketing podcast with Matt Ballek of VidiSEO.com and Tim Schmoyer of VideoCreators.com. These guys are super-knowledgeable about all things YouTube, and it’s great to get them together for a few minutes each week - we have a lot of fun, too. The idea is to give the busy marketing professional a few quick tips each week that they can listen to while they’re commuting. It’s called “TubeTalk: YouTube Marketing Tips,” and you can find us at http://TubeTalkShow.com.
Here’s our most recent episode. [Note: I was traveling last week, so my audio setup wasn’t perfect. It will be better this week.]
This week I again appeared on "Behind the Video" with host Lon Seidman. I filled in for regular host Tim Street who was shooting in New York. Thanks guys for having me on!
This week’s episode was #67 “Latest YouTube Changes and the GoldenEQ with Guest Host Dane Golden, and I presented a number of YouTube news and tips, including what I call the Golden EQ for YouTube.
The Golden EQ (Engagement Quotient) for YouTube is my formerly secret formula for ranking engagement on videos, and enables you to compare your own videos with any video. When I do a channel analysis, I usually rank it on more than 30 factors. But the Golden EQ is the quick and dirty version which tells you most of what you want to know.
Here’s the formula: [Cx3+(L+D)]/Vx1000=”Golden EQ” Where: C=Comments L=Likes D=Dislikes V=Views
The ideal Golden EQ number for a video is 100 (which is extremely difficult to get). I would estimate that 80% of videos have a Golden EQ of less than 33. If you are under 100, you need to work on engagement more than distribution. If you are the 1% over 100, then you need to work on distribution more than engagement. I will write more about this at a later time.
Interesting Tidbit: Lon does a lot of gadget reviews, and I had previously recommended that he respond to almost every non-trolling comment. And he’s done a lot more commenting now (but says he should do more). Here’s what he said in the show: “I’ve been surprised that the more I engage with my audience, the less trolling I see.” And now he says that “people are asking really good questions. I’ve been doing web stuff for a long time and I’ve never seen commenting more productive than I have within my YouTube [since he started with the commenting strategy], and it’s been really nice.” He’s even made videos that reply specifically to his audience, which he’s found to be a very valuable engagement strategy.
Good free video marketing fundamentals course: Video Power Marketing with Jake Larsen @MyVideoPower @JakeLarsen7
By Dane Golden
I wanted to point you to a great new YouTube marketing seminar, currently free, that I recently signed up for. It’s called Video Power Marketing and the host is Jake Larsen, who is a YouTube Marketing Ambassador. Jake is a longtime video producer who has also helped grow sales (and YouTube video engagement) for the ZAGG mobile accessory company. Importantly, ZAGGtv doesn’t just put out videos, but pay a lot of attention to measuring data, conversions, CPCs, CPMs and more.
[Side note: ZAGG makes excellent use of YouTube and Google remarketing. If you click on the ZAGGtv Youtube channel or Zagg.com, you will immediately begin to see Zagg ads across your Internet experience on various sites. Whether you believe that remarketing is great or annoying, it is certainly targeted to people who have visited your product info before.]
I can recommend the Video Power course for anyone who needs an introduction to the fundamentals of marketing and growing audience engagement via YouTube. Every day for a week, Jake will email you a five-minute video on a different topic.
I liked these straightforward videos and was also impressed with his example of how you can use YouTube in an email marketing methodology. I believe that YouTube campaigns are executed best when the videos are distributed across the social media and content marketing footprint of a company or property.
I sent Jake an email to ask him a few questions about the program, his methodology, and his overall thoughts on YouTube marketing.
First I asked him what he felt was the most common mistake made by people marketing via YouTube. Here’s his response:
"When I ask people or companies what their marketing strategy for YouTube is, most reply with, ‘We want to make a viral video.’ After I fight the urge to slap them, I set clear expectations and try to correct their understanding. Making a viral video is not a marketing strategy."
"Have you ever read a business plan that was based on winning the lottery to make money? Having a marketing plan that is based on having a viral video is just as ludicrous. You can’t plan on making a video go viral."
"What people and companies should do is focus on creating value through a campaign of videos. Regular, consistent videos that provide value is what your video marketing strategy should be based on."
Jake said his online course is for people and companies looking to increase sales, traffic and their online presence. It’s designed to help marketers better understand how Google and YouTube work and how you to leverage this information to increase their online reach.
And importantly, I wanted to know why he decided to send out the course via email vs. via his website, just posting it public on YouTube, or using other social media to distribute. It’s a novel approach where he linked to unlisted YouTube videos from each email. Here’s what he said:
"I chose to launch this course through email because email is more valuable than social followers. What?! Can I say that? I’ll say it again. Your email list is more valuable than your social media following."
"With email you have direct access to people’s mailbox. With Twitter or Facebook you may post something but it doesn’t guarantee people will see it."
"Email marketing that is done correctly will bring in better qualified visitors and customers."
"Sometimes people ask me how to get more followers or fans on Facebook or Twitter. I ask them why are they aren’t trying to build their email list."
"Emails are money. Sales are the end goal of any company. You should use social media to build your email list to increase your sales."
See me on this week's “Behind The Video" with @LonSeidman and @1TimStreet
This week I appeared again on "Behind the Video" with hosts Lon Seidman and Tim Street where we covered the week’s news in web video, TV, and movies. This week’s episode was #56 “Google Glass Hands On and Keeping Out of Trouble With Interns.” Thanks guys!
Here's why you'll like Vidora, a personalized video discovery engine
OK, let’s face it - you love watching movies, TV shows, and web videos. Often you still watch these on your big screen at home, via your cable provider for the movies and TV, or through set-top boxes like Roku or Apple TV, which also show YouTube and other web-only productions.
But more frequently, you like watching these big-budget Hollywood productions, as well as shows on YouTube and other platforms, on your iPad. So you’ve subscribed to Netflix, and/or Hulu Plus, and/or Amazon Prime. And you’ve downloaded the apps for your favorite cable channels, and/or the apps for your favorite Web TV networks.
And boy, do you have a lot of apps. But it makes you feel prepared somehow. And you sit down on the couch to watch “Tosh.O” or “The Hunger Games” or whatever. But didn’t you read somewhere that “The Hunger Games” is now exclusively on Netflix, and that “Tosh.O” was going to be exclusively on Amazon Prime? And was that going to happen today, or a few weeks from now? And who’s streaming Spongebob now?
And maybe you watch “The Hunger Games” for a while but realize you don’t have time for that long a movie right now, and what you’re really in the mood for some short-form content that’s relevant to your interests. And maybe it’s something you didn’t know you wanted to watch yet, like the Yahoo show “Reluctantly Healthy,” or a documentary from Vice? Or maybe you want to watch a horror film, or something in comedy.
But you don’t want to go to each of your apps individually and search on what each of them are showing on this given day.
You want to find all these videos, shows and movies in one place. And, if possible, you’d prefer them to be assembled in a personalized guide, built just for you, with your likes and preferences built right in.
Enter Vidora, which seeks to solve each of the consumer challenges I’ve presented here. And Vidora also gives content creators, including cable networks, film studios, multi-channel networks, and independent producers, an easy-to-use platform to distribute their shows and find new audiences.
I have been working with the Vidora team on several fronts, and would like to congratulate the engineering team on their successful launch of the Vidora iPad app today in the iTunes store, where it is “New and Noteworthy” in the Entertainment category. It’s an outstanding effort and a great product. Congratulations guys!
Some folks watch whole seasons of TV shows in a weekend, either on Netflix streaming or after archiving a whole season on their DVRs. And there’s still a population that likes to do this via DVD so they can see all the extras and own the media as well. This bingeing takes place after shows have already been broadcast.
But I have had a problem (again, from an audience development/marketing perspective) with Netflix’s new method of releasing entire seasons all at the same time. This has been well-publicized as they have released House of Cards, Hemlock Grove, and now Arrested Development.
I believe that if you ask viewers if they want an entire season released all at once, they will say yes. But really, they don’t want this - they just think they want it.
Viewers want to experience great TV shows with their friends and community, whether in person or online. They want to talk about them, debate about them, share them, disparage the antagonists and love the protagonists. But this shared experience is now becoming increasingly difficult because of the spoilers issue.
Because we’re watching so many episodes of a show at the same time, we can’t talk about it with our friends, either online or in person, without a huge “spoilers alert” caveat.
And from a promotional, social media, and marketing perspective, it’s a terrible handicap to have a whole group of shows that no one can talk about, and the only buzz you can spread is “it’s good, you should watch it.”
I’m still not on board with binge-launching yet. I could, however, get behind the idea of Netflix launching two or three episodes the first week, then one episode a week. This is in fact what Mad Men has done the past two seasons - they’ve launched with a two-hour episode the first week, which was actually two episodes. Of course, after more than a year break between seasons four and five, you needed a couple of hours to get your fix.
When should you think about YouTube Analytics? Some thoughts about Arrested Development.
Question: When in the development of your commercial YouTube video content should you bring in an audience development strategist? Answer: At the beginning.
Audience development strategists, who understand the promotion and engagement aspects of what makes people watch and share YouTube videos, should be at the table at the beginning, because they know what works based on analytical understanding and social media outreach experience.
Here’s a current non-YouTube example that’s relevant because of the cost and process involved. This Memorial Day weekend, Netflix re-launched a new season of Arrested Development, seven years after the original show was cancelled on FOX. Why did they spend $45 million to bring back this show? Because their intense analytics of viewership of old episodes told them that people loved this show.
It’s old-media thinking to think of content creation, promotion and “distribution” as distinct silos. Content creators often only bring in “the YouTube guy” at the end of the process, and essentially throw the content over the wall to him to do his job. Whatever happens related to viewership is therefore the responsibility of the YouTube guy. But in today’s online video world, viewership and social media are, to a certain degree, everyone’s responsibility. YouTube videos are most effective when there are no silos, rather the audience engagement is an integrated, cooperative process.
While not as in-depth as Netflix’s in-house stats, YouTube also provides its own analytics for content creators — far more than the simple public viewcount, which doesn’t measure engagement. Netflix Chief Content Officer Ted Sarandos has said that"When you say ten million people watch a show, that really doesn’t tell you anything." I feel that the same can be said about YouTube viewcount numbers. You really want to understand and be able to predict engagement numbers.
With YouTube’s basic analytics, you can have a general understanding of how your previous videos are doing with audience engagement (and YouTube’s CMS and tools like vidIQ offer more extensive info). This will help you predict your future baseline numbers, and understand where to put your efforts.
Some questions you should be asking yourself about your videos: Do you have audience retention of over 50%? Do you get 2% likes-to-views, and 0.5% comments-to-views? How many new-subscribers-to-views do you get? How many subscribers does your YouTube channel currently have?
If you can’t answer these questions well, you may be in need of an audience engagement growth strategy. Yes, you can wait until your commercial or series is already in the can, but it will be more expensive to accomplish your goals.
Hey - Dane Golden is speaking on YouTube at the @MediaLeaders virtual marketing conference - join me!
Hey guys -
Excited to be presenting at the Media Leaders virtual marketing conference on April 2 (and throughout April). I’ll be speaking on how to use YouTube for marketing your small business (but the principles and tips work for any business).
Here’s a preview of my presentation:
You’ll notice in the preview that I used examples a couple of videos from Scott Jordan’s ScottEVest channel (ScottEVest is a outdoor- and geek-focused clothing brand based in Sun Valley, Idaho). I think Scott does a great job with YouTube and other social media. He is fearless in how he personally engages with his customers and builds a community of ScottEVest customers and fans, one-by-one, brick-by-brick.
I think the MediaLeaders conference is going to be very valuable and I’m going to visit each of the segments myself (you can, too - they’re all included in the one price). Josh Ochs has assembled more than two dozen sharp professionals who share their tips in marketing, public relations and business development. BTW - it looks like he’s still offering an early-bird discount and here’s where you sign up.
My friend @BenyEd of #ElectronicPop group @ReadyNever dresses like ChickenMan for YouTube video
OK, so you think you’ve tried EVERYTHING to get out the word about your YouTube video? Done the social media, sent out press releases, etc?
Well, apparently you haven’t tried absolutely everything, because you haven’t dressed like ChickenMan and rollerbladed around LA. My friend Beny Ed did just that for his Ready Never video “Tell Me,” which just came out. It’s electronic dance pop. Hope you enjoy it, I did!
My blog post on @MeghanCWard's @Writerland: "1020 Words About How Writers Can Use YouTube"
If you’re a writer, how should you use YouTube?
Well, I believe YouTube is best thought of as social video, a conversation between you, the writer, and those who want to hear what you have to say.
Sound familiar? It’s probably the same advice you’ve heard about how to engage your fans via various other social media platforms. So while YouTube looks like TV on a smaller screen, it is not. YouTube is another social media environment, arguably the most personal and effective one for growing your audience through authentic discussion.
Hey.com is featured on "Silicon Beach" - they ask about YouTube audience development and marketing
A big thanks to Jude Belanger for featuring Hey.com on the "Silicon Beach: A Tech State of Mind" interview series. Jude is interviewing entrepreneurs in the LA area, and I currently split time between Los Angeles and San Francisco, helping brands and entertainment properties with web video marketing.
Jude interviewed me at the joint space operated by NextSpace and Amplify in Venice, where I can sometimes be found in the coworking area. NOTE: I’m not affiliated with the awesome Amplify accelerator other than sharing a kitchen.
Hey Productions (aka Hey.com) focuses on building and enhancing audiences for YouTube and other WebTV channels (Hulu, etc.) through proven social video best practices. Enjoy the vid!
"As social connections, channels and opportunities grow, so does the sheer volume of video messaging content. And a new factor comes into play: The good stuff rises to the top. Or, in the increasingly busy digital real estate of scrolling social media (see Facebook), the good stuff gets noticed, commented on and shared. Why, you ask? Because it’s either funny, shocking or simply heartfelt. But most of all, it’s authentic."
Testing out Redbox Instant by Verizon, which is going up against Netflix
I’ve started testing out the beta version of the Redbox Instant by Verizon a little bit. It’s way early to render a final judgment, and Rome wasn’t built in a day - networks/streaming services like these take time to build. So they’ve got a good start in a lot of ways, but they have some challenges.
The iPad app is really nice, but so far it doesn’t allow you to filter by subscription-only, as their website does. In fact when I clicked on the first movie on the list, “Footloose,” appeared to be available for streaming but then a dialog box told me the movie was not available. This apparently also happened to others testing the service because they said so in the comments section for the film. [UPDATE: In the top left of the app you can click on “Category” and select “Top Subscription,” which takes you to the 30+ most popular streamable movies.] I like the idea of a comments section, which Netflix does not do well, although you do open yourself up for tech support queries. But that is the nature of community.
I think the way Netflix delineates which movies are for DVD and which are for streaming is a little bit better. Redbox is still pushing the rentals and purchases a little too hard in this environment. I think people are on the website and app to find streaming options, not to purchase or rent a la carte.
I think in the end Redbox Instant will primarily be judged by its consumers for the quality of films and TV shows in their streaming catalogue, and we’ve got a long way to go yet to see how that plays out.
TubeMogul commissioned a study by Forrester last year that said that marketers who bought video ads using real-time bidding were better at reaching their target audience and saw better metrics in a number of areas.
This move clearly shows how important Alphabird feels social video is, and how rapidly this field is evolving. It looks like this is a spin-off of a team and services that were already in place at Alphabird. I haven’t seen any announcements about this yet other than the new website and changes of roles listed on LinkedIn.
The company offers two differentiated areas of service: Paid Social Video and Organic Social Video.
"Through our Paid Social Video campaigns, we layer strategy on media buys in social rewarded environments targeting audiences and amassing viewership for our advertisers videos on YouTube. This strategy effectively gives the video SEO within YouTube so that your audience discovers, clicks, watches, and shares that video all organically. Paid Social Video campaigns are a perfect fit for advertisers looking to drive awareness and earned media efficiently and at scale."
"Through Organic Social Video campaigns, we are leveraging influencers who have your audiences captive and engaged through their subscriber bases across social platforms and having them engage with your brand in an organic nature. Through these tactics we are able to organically activate social video campaigns without a single ad being bought by the advertiser or clicked on by their audience. Organic Social Video is evolving video advertising for the social era by delivering audiences high value branded content in increasingly authentic ways so that they are eager to engage with it and actively share it all while driving real performance for the advertiser."
There are just a handful of top players in this rapidly evolving arena, and I’d say with the current team and Alphabird experience and backing, Visus begins with a great head start.
Nice video on VHX @VHXtv, which enables direct-to-consumer video sales for indie producers
This is a nice piece on Casey Pugh and Jamie Wilkinson, founders of VHX (NY and SF), which enables direct-to-consumer video sales for indie producers: “Innovators on the Move: Casey & Jamie" on the Unpakt channel.
You’ll remember the great success that Louis CK had with his video last year. Now independent distributors, particularly comedians, are seeing opportunities in this area. VHX and Chill are two independent leaders in this space.
I’m a huge fan of Jerry Seinfeld’s web show “Comedians in Cars Getting Coffee.” I’ve seen every episode, some more than once, plus all the extras. It has interviews with Michael Richards, Larry David, Ricky Gervais, Alec Baldwin, Mel Brooks and others. It’s one of the funniest web shows out…
It's gold Jerry! But not without easier social media and YouTube-like share-ability
I’m a huge fan of Jerry Seinfeld’s web show “Comedians in Cars Getting Coffee.” I’ve seen every episode, some more than once, plus all the extras. It has interviews with Michael Richards, Larry David, Ricky Gervais, Alec Baldwin, Mel Brooks and others. It’s one of the funniest web shows out there (but of course we’d expect nothing less from Seinfeld).
I’m really thrilled there will be more shows. But if you go to the main show website the show has no visible social component. It’s not immediately clear for the YouTube-generation how to link to individual episodes. The episodes can’t be embedded in my Facebook timeline or on my blog. There’s no ability to comment or rate them. And this is the website that is promoted in the media.
The shows are hosted on Sony’s Crackle.com, and the show home there does include a good degree of sharability, but the user interface is cumbersome. It took me a while of looking to figure out how to embed the video to Facebook (it’s in the top right corner of the video and click on submenus), and then it didn’t seem to work properly. I could not embed it to Tumblr.
Have you seen the show before? Had you heard about it?
Upside-down interview of YouTube yoga instructor @TaraStiles via yoga poses with @KatieRosman
Hilarious-yet-informative interview by 40-year-old mom and Wall Street Journal reporter Katherine Rosman with YouTube yoga teacher Tara Stiles. It’s hard enough to interview someone when you are NOT upside down and sweating.
I agree with most of what he wrote, particularly the about “Ratio of Views to Number of User Interactions.” There are a number of commercials that have high view counts on YouTube but almost no user interaction. That tells me that someone bought a lot of TrueView listings in search but it wasn’t as effective as the viewcount shows. And I know by implication that that video does not have good audience retention. I’m a proponent of TrueView to “prime the pump” of videos you expect to be popular, but without engagement (and great content), you’re really just trying to slap the TV model onto YouTube, which is the wrong way to go about it.
Matt Ballek of @OutriggerMedia and @VidiSEO on his four pillars for successful @YouTube videos
I recently got the chance to speak with Matt Ballek. He’s the director of client services for New York’s Outrigger Media and the creator of VidiSEO, a YouTube resource channel. One of Outrigger’s big clients is the Associated Press YouTube channel, which they optimize for highest viewership results.
Ballek has come up with the best overall formula I’ve seen yet for determining the success of individual YouTube videos and YouTube channels. It’s a rough guideline, but still a great place to start in figuring out what you can do to succeed on YouTube.
Ballek’s four pillars of YouTube success are content, promotion, metadata and community.
He weights each pillar by its likelihood of influencing the success of the video or channel. Content is the most important, and values it at 50 percent of the overall effort. Then comes promotion at a 25 percent value, metadata at 15 percent, and community at 10 percent. The idea is that you have the greatest likelihood of success if you touch on each area. Better still if you’ve done sufficient preparation before shooting the video so that all four pillars work together.
Having great content is half the battle.
"Content is so important," Ballek said. "Because if you have a poorly produced, or just ineffective video, then adding all the other pillars together is only going to get you up to fifty percent."
Other factors in a good YouTube video include: topics that are interesting and relevant to the targeted audience, video length and pacing, on-camera personalities, and more. One of the ways I determine the success of a video itself by using YouTube Analytics, particularly the audience retention heat maps. You can click on spots where audience goes up or down, and find out what viewers do or don’t want to see.
Additionally, your individual videos should relate well to the other videos on the channel as a whole. This enhances the power of cross-promotion, referrals and subscriptions.
Promotion of both individual videos and the overall channel will influence about 25 percent of viewership results.
There are many ways promote your video through paid advertisements, but Ballek recommends YouTube’s TrueView.
"I’m a big proponent of TrueView in-search ads, because it’s a great way to connect videos with people searching for a specific topic," Ballek said. "If you did your pre-planning on the content side, and you know your video is concise and helpful and really interesting or a certain topic, TrueView search is a great way to put it in front of those people."
Paid views via TrueView also increases the likelihood that your videos will get more organic views (for free). If the viewer finds an individual video relevant, they’re more likely to share it. “So you’re getting multiple views out of that one TrueView click,” Ballek said.
[Note: I’ve heard YouTube TrueView referred to variously as “YouTube Promoted Videos” aka “Google AdWords for video,” but the basic point is that you’re using your video, even if it’s a stand-alone episode or show, as essentially a video commercial on YouTube. You purchase the views the same way you buy Google AdWords, but you only buy them on YouTube.]
Cross-promotion fits under both Ballek’s content and promotion pillars. He recommends creating a promotional plan before you produce your video, and determine which other videos in your portfolio you’ll want to link to via the YouTube Annotations feature. He uses both in-video linkingand intra-video linking on his VidiSEO channel.
And this drives traffic. Ballek’s video about playlists, for instance, gets a quarter of its traffic from another relevant video he did about channel editing. In it, he links directly from the first video to the second, making the link integral and natural to the viewer who wants more information.
Metadata accounts for about fifteen percent of viewership results. Metadata includes title, description, keyword tags, thumbnails and captions/transcripts. YouTube continues to add new data points, including the recent addition of location tagging, which is helpful for targeting viewers who want to see videos from a particular place or event.
Strategic planning in the video production phase will also help with metadata, Ballek said. Why not find out in advance what people are searching for, and include those topics in your video? Then you can legitimately use those keywords in your description and tags, generating more traffic. YouTube by the way, penalizes videos for inaccurate keywords, pushing them lower in search rankings.
Efforts in the area of community engagement, Ballek said, account for 10 percent of viewership.
"It’s just treating YouTube like the social network it is," Ballek said. "It isn’t just a broadcasting platform, it’s a way that you can communicate and get your audience involved in ways that can’t happen on regular TV."
YouTube channel managers should participate in the community, he said, encouraging responses, staying involved in the conversation, and even commenting on other channels.
Some very popular channels, such as Ray William Johnson and Mystery Guitar Man, incorporate user feedback right into the video itself (which also falls under the content pillar). And some YouTubers do simple webcam chats between their more produced videos to just give viewers a heads-up on upcoming videos, encouraging the audience by requesting their input on what they’d like to see next.
A big thanks to Matt Ballek for developing and sharing his YouTube audience development model. Here’s wishing you YouTube success in all four areas: content, promotion, metadata and community.
Ken Block's Gymkhana Five: Successful, but not a Viral Video
OK so by now you’ve probably seen the San Francisco YouTube “viral” video of driver Ken Block’s latest in the Gymkhana branded entertainment series, which promotes DC Shoes. By my count it has received 7 million views in the 36 hours since it launched.
But I don’t think this video should really be called a viral. To me, viral is something that requires essentially no promotion. Did the millions that they spent in production, including renting out San Francisco streets and personnel for four days, help them create an incredible video? Yes. Is Ken Block an incredible driver? Yes.
But did they just upload it and hope people would watch it? I don’t think so. If you were the one putting millions into producing a commercial, would you just upload it and hope people watched it (aka “post and pray”)? Personally, I would not.
No, I would use every weapon in my audience development arsenal, including many free and paid options, to make sure my huge production budget wasn’t wasted. I would want it to get millions of views, and I’d want it as fast as possible, so the viewcount alone would make news (as it has).
To truly be considered a viral video, I think it would have to get its millions of views with almost no promotion. So let’s break it down.
The “DCshoesFILM" account on YouTube has 211,000 subscribers. Excellent. But in my experience, only 20-50% of those subscribers will see a given video from a channel they subscribed to in the first few days. YouTube says that subscribers are twice as likely to see your video than non-subscribers. But this only puts us at about 100,000 views.
We can assume DC did a huge PR campaign, seeking to get the video embedded on as many blogs as possible. That was successful.
And we can assume that as the Gymkhana series has gotten ramped up over the last couple of years (with episodes 1, 2, 3 and 4) the company spent a lot of money building up their distribution network (aka Facebook channel).
Is that it? I don’t think so. I think the company paid for seeded video views with Google AdWords for video, and possibly with other distribution venues like Sharethrough or FullScreen. Perhaps they also advertised on Facebook or via Twitter’s promoted tweets. I don’t know, but based on my experience, that’s what I think.
Isn’t that cheating, buying views, you ask? To which I say: who gives a crap? It’s an ad! The goal of the ad is to get it seen and if priming the pump with some non-organic video views helps get “real” views, more power to them. You can bet that DC knows how many “real” views they have. In fact, with YouTube Analytics they can tell who watched, how long they watched, and a lot more. Which makes the video, whether you consider it “viral” or just well programmed, a great campaign overall, and still much more effective, I’m sure, than a Superbowl ad.
I've started a new blog at http://WebTVSecrets.com
Hey guys - I just wanted to let you know I’ve started a new blog about web video distribution, audience development, and programming/scheduling. It’s called WebTV Secrets, and on it I’ll discuss all things related to planning and executing your strategy for YouTube, Netflix, Hulu, iTunes, Facebook and more.
If you or your company have specific questions, let me know and I’ll try to cover them on the blog.
Why do @YouTube video views freeze at 301, 302, 303, etc?
A video recently went viral about, well, about viral videos, called Why do YouTube views freeze at 301?. You might have seen that a new video has thousands of likes, but only 301 views. This is because Google/YouTube take that viewcount seriously and are on the watch for what they consider counterfeit views.
Why are counterfeit views bad for YouTube? For one, they charge advertisers money by views (via the AdWords for YouTube system and prerolls). If I run a simple script for a bot that artificially ups the viewcount, then that throws of the validity of the entire AdWords system. YouTube considers viewcount a currency, both financially and of popularity. And given a choice between two videos with the same subject matter, viewers will be more likely to watch the video with the highest viewcount. This can incentivize cheating, or as I call them, “trick-thru” (as opposed to the click-thru).
So YouTube puts an initial cap on popular videos at 301 (or 302, or 303) views. Then another script checks for validity. In this case, validity is someone watching the video for a certain duration of time, instead of clicking off immediately. If I put “bikini babes” in my video title but the video is really about home loans, then I’ve misrepresented it and the video might get an initial click, but then the viewer will stop watching, so the view doesn’t count in the YouTube algorithm. But the views YouTube considers legitimate will be added to the 301 view total.
Why are you distributing your videos on YouTube without reading the YouTube Playbook? Terrible! There’s no excuse, so get cracking.
The YouTube Playbook is YouTube’s compendium of how-to tips, techniques, and recommendations. It was originally created by then-third-party Next New Networks. YouTube was so impressed by Next New Network’s formula for producing shows that they bough the company in 2011 for just under $50 million dollars. Next New Networks had $26 million in investment at that time, so think of this playbook as $24 million of expertise.
Next New Networks is now called YouTube Next Lab (Wikipedia), and they do a lot of other cool things, but they still keep the Playbook up to date.
While Liz makes some good points, I think she didn’t really talk enough about the differentiation of web video into multiple formats and viewing habits. While I think audiences will love Leap Year as it gets longer, I think these viewers will be watching it mostly at night, rather than during the day at work. Which is fine.
I haven’t seen any data on Hulu/Netflix viewership during day vs. night. I only have anecdotal evidence. But it’s my opinion that if you’re watching a video during the day (at work or school), then you still can only allot a few minutes to watch a video before than next email or task comes in.
Liz also points to ongoing longform talk shows like Kevin Pollak’s Chat Show. I feel these fall into a different category, because I don’t think most people are watching them… I think rather they are listening to them. Again, I don’t have any hard evidence of this — I don’t think anyone does. But anecdotally, while fans of Kevin Pollak’s Chat Show, This Week in Startups, TWiT and others clamor for video versions of these shows, I think fans are listening to the shows while doing other tasks using the same crowded computer screens. Basically, this means that “viewers” are sending emails, tweeting, reading the New York Times, or whatever, while listening to their favorite video shows. Then, when someone makes a joke or says something controversial, the viewer will click back on the video screen to see that person’s face.
So for talk show content, or any show that can be completely understood if you listened to it while driving, I think the content can be quite long, as long as two hours.
Can’t wait to see the first episode of the second season of Leap Year, which was just released today.
When is it time to think about Audience Development and Distribution?
Q: You’ve just finished your web video or web series. When is it time to start thinking about distribution and audience development for your show?
A: It’s already too late. Too often, audience development and distribution are only an afterthought for many hoping for big audiences on the web. Rather, you should bring in your expert (and, if you’re planning to be on a network like Netflix or Hulu, make those deals) at the beginning of the process, in the conception and deal phase. Audience development should continue to to have an important voice at the table throughout the process. Content and distribution are not separate. Rather they are intertwined.
Q: When should I reconsider or readjust the content of my show based on feedback from my audience development team?
A: Immediately after the very first episode, and continually throughout the life of the show. Viewership numbers, subscriber growth, followers on the various social media, commenting, likes, and things like YouTube audience retention heatmaps should be weighted very heavily in content decisions on a week-by-week and day-by-day basis.
Q: How much should I budget to spend on promotion, distribution, audience development, and social media.
A: A lot. Sure, social media, and even things like posting videos to YouTube or Facebook are free. And that’s why everyone is doing it. It’s a crowded marketplace for the time and attention of your potential viewer. You need to find a way to get their attention, and then demonstrate that you value their time by giving them something that holds their attention throughout. Here’s where audience development and content dovetail into one harmonious mission. This is very important, because your viewer is always just one click away from leaving your video and never returning. Never. Ever.
1. Humor 2. Goes Over the Line 3. Has a Twist 4. Rides on the Coattails of a Popular Trend 5. Isn’t Too Intellectual
Now, these are all great. But if you’ve spent a lot of money on a great funny commercial, do you just want to rely on the hope that this formula will work for you? No, you’ve got too much money invested in this so far to hope that you’ll get your distribution entirely for free.
You need to follow a comprehensive distribution and audience development plan. Essentially, you need to prime the pump a bit, then you need to help that viral traffic grow with the rest of your strategy.
To prime the pump, you’ll want to do a campaign on AdWords for Video (formerly YouTube Promoted Videos), or possibly go with video seeding folks like ShareThrough. On an ongoing basis, it probably would be helpful to build your social video ecosystem with a service like Attention Span Media.
There are more tips. Keep coming back to this website for more info.
If you're a #MadMen addict like me, you need this weekly recap show on @TWInetwork
Are you a Mad Men addict like me?
There are few web shows, and many blogs that dissect each episode, each plot point, every thematic device, and every innuendo of this intricately designed series. But my favorite is “This Week in Mad Men,” hosted on the ThisWeekIn.com network by Lon Harris, Jaime Fox, and Janie Haddad.
They record it live at 7pm Pacific Time each Monday, 24 hours after the weekly Mad Men episode. You can watch it live here at that time and join in the chat http://www.ustream.tv/thisweekin. It’s available the day after that via YouTube, and on iTunes in video or audio formats. Personally, I listen to the audio format while commuting.
Hey 102: Novelist S.G. Browne @S_G_Browne on his luck-stealing protagonist in "Lucky Bastard"
S.G. “Scott” Browne is the author of the new novel “Lucky Bastard,” about a San Francisco private investigator with a unique talent: He can steal other people’s good luck. If you find yourself lucky one day and unlucky the next, Nick Monday, P.I. may have something to do with it. “Lucky Bastard” goes on sale April 17.
S.G. Browne’s previous novels include “Fated,” about the imperfect-yet-immortal guy who is in charge of humanity’s fate, and “Breathers,” about a maladjusted zombie.
Hey 101: Ocean rower @RozSavage teams with Andrew Morris for @OAtlanticRow from Newfoundland to the London Olympics
British ocean rower thought she had done it all. Since 2005 she has spent her summers rowing solo across the world’s oceans: Atlantic, Pacific, and Indian. She’s set four Guinness World Records en route to becoming a UN Climate Hero, a Fellow at the Royal Geographical Society, a sought-after public speaker and advocate on environmental issues. She even met Queen Elizabeth last year. So it was time to hang up her oars.
Or so she thought. This spring and summer she will join Andrew Morris on his boat as the pair row from Newfoundland to London, hoping to arrive in time for the opening of the London Olympic Games. This will be by far her coldest row to date.
Hey 100: Heather Donahue @aHeatherDonahue author of Growgirl: How My Life After The Blair Witch Project Went to Pot
At age thirty-four, Heather Donahue’s life went to pot. Literally. After starring in The Blair Witch Project—the indie film-turned-blockbuster that Roger Ebert named one of the ten Most Influential Movies of the Century—she became a household name. When the afterglow of the movie faded and her acting career stalled, she had visions of an epitaph reading, “Here Lies the Girl from The Blair Witch Project.” Determined to start anew, she burned the remains of her Hollywood life in the desert, meditated for a few days, and then followed her brand-new boyfriend to her brand-new life—farming medical marijuana.
Hey 99: Comedian Mark Malkoff @MMalkoff talks about his Celebrity Sleepovers on @MyDamnChannel
Comedian Mark Malkoff recently visited L.A. - but instead of spending on money on hotels, he contacted celebrities to see if they’d let them stay in their homes. Thus was born “Celebrity Sleepovers,” showing now on MyDamnChannel.com. Mark slept in the treehouse of his teen heartthrob Justine Bateman from “Family Ties,” and visited the homes of Camryn Manheim of “The Practice,” “Bridesmaids” director Paul Feig, Rob Corddry, Internet superstar iJustine, Steven Weber (of “Wings” fame), the famous houseguest Kato Kaelin, Dave Coulier of “Full House,” Kate Walsh and others. A new episode is being released each week.
Mark is known for his comedic stunts. In the past, he’s lived in an IKEA for a week, lived on an airplane for a month, and has beaten a New York City bus by riding a Big Wheel. He’s been to every Starbucks in Manhattan in the same day, and we had him on last year after he went through a 30-day challenge to see if he could get real six pack abs. Since then he’s brought a goat to an Apple store and proved you can have fun in Holland without getting high.