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December 8, 2014

How to launch a Video on YouTube – LIVE Blogging

A few weeks back I got a request in my inbox that asked if I could help out with a launch of a video on YouTube. Unlike other requests that I receive most of the time, this one was from a person who wasn’t looking to beat the system. He just wanted help with the release of his first single on YouTube.

I read his story and decided to take a call.

On the other end of the phone was Pierre. In his car, with his parents. The first call took about 15 minutes. We talked, I ran through the broad strokes of what a launch on YouTube is about, we laughed, and I guess, decided there and then that we were going to work together.

Another difference from other assignments I take on, was that I decided to do this one out of the fun of it. It felt good, taking on an assignment that I felt like doing. It was evident that Pierre loved what he was doing, something I sometimes forget, when working for big brands who just want the next viral hit. He got to me.

And since he did, I have decided that this launch will be completely different, 100% transparent and just like the project itself – for the mere fun of it!

Thus. I have decided to make this the worlds first ever public launch of a YouTube viral.

This is a huge risk as most of my work is usually being done behind closed doors. I don’t know if it works when in the light of day. But I know that we will do it for real this time around, and thus, we have no reason to stay in the backrooms of Internet tactics.

So. For all that it is worth. Here we go! (I will explain all the steps as I get time. Also, we’ll soon launch a live stream on Ustream to answer any questions.)

Broadcast live streaming video on Ustream

LIVE UPDATES:

07:30 Swedish Time – 30 views – Start TrueView spend (50USD) in Asia

07:35 Swedish Time – 31 views – Contact first influentials in Asian countries

07:36 Swedish Time – 32 views – Begin contacting Facebook pages managed by community managers in Asia

08:30 Swedish Time – 104 views – Curve is looking upwards – moving over to Twitter

09:30 Swedish Time – 200 views – Moving back to Facebook to contact groups and talk to responders

09:40 Swedish Time – 301 views – YouTube view count delay in action

10:45 Swedish Time – we now have a projected view count of 3500 views the last 60 minutes – we now start contacting YouTube influentials

REFLECTION

This is going quite well. The numbers are small, but we are just in the early stages. This is not one of those crazy seeding sprees where we have a budget. Total launch budget this time is 200 USD meaning we have to rely on copywriting, relevance and digging into demand and where it is at. Most of what has happened so far is that we’ve been in touch with a lot of people who might like the video. Now that the public increase in view count has been halted by YouTube we have to continue seeding the video below the surface. Once our vanity metrics become visible again we can push for broader media.

11:13 Swedish Time – 11 251 views (according to real time analytics) – Updating social accounts to take on new traffic

11:56 Swedish Time – 14 753 views (estimated by real time analytics) – Now setting up live stream on Ustream

12:00 Swedish Time – LUNCH

13:14 Swedish Time – Back from lunch Up on Ustream

13:45 Swedish Time – Our Usteam went down so we are setting it up again. Back in about 5 minutes.

13:45 Swedish Time – We are soon looking to move onto the Twitter promotion. The views are slowly coming through to the public view and so we can start moving onto introducing the video to more people

14:01 Swedish Time – We have relaunched our Facebook Page promotion contacting pages that might be interested to use the video as content for their followers

REFLECTION

So far it is actually going a bit better than expected but we still have to work for every view. It is not that it picks up on its own. We believe that the critical mass will be in the vicinity of 20-25 000 views considering the number of comments and shares we’ve received so far. We are now sure we will be able to manually work this up to over 100k views which would be pretty decent considering our budget, but we feel like this song has so much more potential, so we will most likely continue to press it. Remember, we haven’t even begun with pitching stories about the story… except for perhaps… this one 😉

14:23 Swedish Time – Ustream is back up and we’re moving onto better things to do – Facebook PAGES and Tweeps!! Don’t hesitate to help us out here. Either by commenting on the Ustream stream or by simply helping us get this out on twitter. You can also help us pitch this to Mashable by retweeting this tweet.

14:45 Swedish Time – We have now moved onto setting up the Twitter activities for the US. Started to write messages and prepare our first press contacts.

15:20 Swedish Time – We just had our first viewers and shares of the video from Mexico – meaning the world across the Atlantic has woke up

16:38 Swedish Time – Ok so now I got back from some meetings and it is time to start with the outbound Twitter work 😀 tihi….

16:45 Swedish Time – Told the people in the US to start working on their contacts.

17:13 Swedish Time – So. Now we are back on Facebook sourcing pages that seem to be updating regularly and where the content might be inline with our video. This whole live blogging, live feeding, live live live is making me a bit nuts though… haha…

REFLECTION

Without the artificial seeding in the beginning of a project, it goes so much slower as we do not have the natural “reason to speak” we usually do when we have a lot of views of the bat to come running with. However, pace is picking up again. Would be wonderful if the YouTube analytics would be more advanced so we could pick up more of the stuff happening there. We know that some people has embedded the video, but without using the nasty crawlers we cannot find them right away. I think this is a healthy experience considering how simple this is to do with the cheats :). If you feel like helping us out doing this the right way, meaning if you like the video, if you like the story in the description and if you feel like this is a fun thing to do. Look below for some tasks!

18:00 Swedish Time – Just completed the Facebook round for the pages we believe might be interested. Now we just wait 24 hours before we send them a friendly reminder ;). Also, the guys over in the US have started working for real and we should be seeing some results coming up in short. We now see a steady stream of new viewers coming in without us actually seeding that heavily. A few minutes ago there was a bump but just about every other second we are getting a new view. This is nice and perhaps a signal that we will not have to work that much more before it starts carrying itself.

18:12 Swedish Time – We can now see that the video is picking up pace. It has gone from an average of about 0.3 views per minute to 2.1 views per minute as the baseline. We are going to keep an eye on this and see if this is a trend or if it just a result of some link slowly building somewhere. Either or, this is fun as we discount the spikes when we look at this metric – which is in essence the only “go to sleep”-metric we can look at. Once that picks up pace, the work is done and the video has its own life.

18:43 Swedish Time – The organic view count on YouTube is picking up pace and we are now at about 3 views per minute. As you understand this is still REALLY low, but this is without any spikes and the growth has been constant now for a few hours. Hopefully we will see a steady growth over the evening with a few more spikes.

REFLECTION

So. A quick wrap up. We started the day with some TureView purchases of about 50 USD. We then went on to contact people we knew over in south east Asia, then we started contacting some big Facebook pages and Twitter accounts. After that it has been a long day of writing up stories and contacting people. And that is essentially what we have done. As more info gets in, we will be able to give you more information as to where the traffic came from. Especially those sources that are now picking up pace.

00:30 Swedish Time – Got a message from Pierre with a link to Toronto Star writing about his video. One of their “satire” writers wrote about the video. We contacted the author and apologised for our somewhat brute “hello message”. Ha ha… why is it always the shortest, most spammy of our messages that get through ;). Got a really cool answer back. Cudos to them for having both humor and the professionalism to deal with people like us 😀

WANT TO HELP OUT? TASKS:

April 8, 2012

8 Tactics on How to Launch a YouTube video

Sometimes we create campaigns supported by media. The media is aimed to drive traffic to whatever campaigns we have. In the case of using YouTube, an iPhone app or some kind of other product that is full of content that we assume will be consumed by the end user. However, in most cases, all of these media formats need to be launched in order to reach the end user. Ie. in every campaign, you need to launch the launch mechanism.

It sounds odd, but it really is the case now that the web is completely overhauled by content. Much of which is vastly more creative than that of what any agency could ever create. What the agency can do however, which a normal user does not think about, is to launch its content in a way which makes it pop up on the surface in a better way than other content.

This blog post is aimed at describing how to launch a YouTube video:

1. Publish it on Facebook

When publishing a video to Facebook you really need to try and engage your users more than if, let’s say, you were launching a photo. A video requires a “play” action and the content needs to be consumed over time. This is thus a higher threshold than a photo, considering the photo can be consumed instantaneously. Building a page with video content is thus a less recommendable method than with text and image publications.

1 a. Time for Posting YouTube videos to Facebook

Pick your timing – although you get more engagement at around 3 am on a photo, you will do a lot better publishing the video at night. Remember that people are at work or in school during the day and not able to watch a video the way they are able to react to a photo. Videos are typical evening content where the user is in front of their computer or able to play it out loud on their cellphone.

1 b. Increase visibility by tricking EdgeRank

You will fight EdgeRank as you will not get as many likes and comments on a video as on other posts. They watch it instead of like it. Thus you need to seriously think about what call to action you are inducing in the video. Both as the bottom third of the video display (something which I will explain in another post) as well as in the end frame. Remember to put a call to action to share or like the video in the end frames of it. Something such as “Like our page” or a question about the content of the video such as “What happened after 30 seconds – comment on our Facebook page post”.

1 c. Always ask for feedback on your Facebook page

Publish it and ask the user to give you feedback on something that happens 15 seconds into the video. Or ask them to tell you at what time a specific event happens in the video.

1 d. Explaining what the user should do with your YouTube video

In the comment you write with your video, you can write a 1. 2. 3. explaining how you want your user to interact with the content. It is always a good idea to write out EXACTLY what it is you want them to do. On each page you have the followers who will do whatever you tell them to, but they will not do it UNLESS you tell them too. This is extremely important to remember.

1 e. Posting a link back from YouTube to Facebook post

In the comments section of the YouTube-video, post a link back to your post on Facebook so that users can navigate to where they should be commenting easily. This will boost the EdgeRank of the story and thus it will become more visible on the Facebook platform.

2. Seed it to bloggers

Some people are talking about seeding as the case when they make their video viral. This is absolutely not the case. Seeding shall be seen as a media purchase to support the launch of your YouTube videos. What it really is all about is paying people to embed your video content in their website. Often, seeding companies target bloggers in their own network and put the video on autoplay, sometimes beneath the fold so that it starts playing with the visitor not even aware that there is a video on the page. I say – do not pay these companies – it is MUCH cheaper to build up an organization for this yourself.

2 a. Comment – don’t e-mail your YouTube video

When seeding a video to a blogger, do not send them an e-mail. Make it a comment on their blog that links back to your video. An e-mail takes as much time to write but you will not get the link value to your video if the e-mail lead to no result. Some people turn against this recommendation and want you to contact them via e-mail instead. My general experience however is that those people will not be satisfied whatever you do. If your goal is to boost a video, then you simply apologize and move on if you get complaints. Time is to valuable to you. One thing you should keep in mind though is that you should only post comments relevant to the content of that post. Google is pretty good at sorting relevance and although YouTube hasn’t caught up just yet, I am sure they will move in that direction as they are owned by Google. Thus, you do not want your work only have temporary effect and shall thus spend serious time sourcing before you start publishing your comments.

2 b. Motivation to the blogger

When you seed your video you already need some views which I talk about in the next section. As you usually have no relationship with these bloggers, you need to make them think that they are publishing something popular, or something that will become popular. Remember that their goal is to produce quality content for their users. All you should do is to motivate why this is relevant content. For the most part, large scale video seeding doesn’t leave you with the time to motivate individually, but the effect of it is vastly greater and thus it should be considered.

2 c. Don’t forget the keyword research

Before you start seeding, do your keyword research and URL collection so that it can be re-used in the future. If you already have a send list of engaged users then this is perfect. If you don’t have one, then you should start to collect one. Remember to treasure your seeders like the gold in your vault. Send them an update of the progress of the video and thank them many times. Please also write them an e-mail or two between the times you need help with seeding. If their engagement isn’t treated with respect they will leave you faster than a rabbit says “fuck”.

3. Buy views

There are a series of services online that sell you YouTube-views. Most of them have targeted views for country and other demographics. Some say that this is cheating, but it is nothing else than buying media as far as I am concerned. Large video seeding companies use these types of services regularly in order to boost view count before they seed the video to bloggers.

4. Forum posting

Some marketeers seem to have forgotten the power of the forum. There are several available software out there that can automatically create accounts for you on bbPress and several other such forum types based on keyword. You can thus define what kind of forums you want to create accounts on, then you can hit a button, go have a cup of coffee and then come back with registered accounts to start posting through. Don’t make the mistake that you only post a topic about your video, rather publish the video link as your profile link (most forums allow you to push a link in your profile), then start “bump”-ing popular threads written by others.

4 a. Creating your profile link back to YouTube

Ok. I will take that more slowly. In your forum profile. Copy and paste your link to the YouTube video you want to launch. Next to it write something that will induce people to click. If it doesn’t work the first time, then change the copy. Do not write “This is really AMAZING – Link”, rather use a call to action such as “This is what I do – Link”.

4 b. Bump-ing popular topics

The next step is to start “bump”-ing. The word “bump” is a term that belongs to the forum world. It means that you want to follow the thread, but you have nothing important to say at the moment. By writing bump you will get updates whenever something happens within the forum thread. This is totally acceptable and you have a higher rate of success if you do this kind of bumping than if you write generic comments such as “This is a really awkward discussion.. LOL..” which is regularly recognized as SPAM.

4 c. Making it count – the good profile

You should try to cover your profile by giving it a thorough profile description as well as finding a good profile image. Make sure the profile image you use is also used – if possible – somewhere on the video page.

5. YouTube commenting

YouTube commenting works. It is just that it takes a shit load of time. I would recommend you do this the first 15 minutes in the day for two weeks in order to build some traction to your video. Then you should stop. I haven’t tried any tool that does this without wasting too many good proxies too fast.

5 a. Stay updated with YouTube RSS

Remember to pull an RSS for the most current videos in the category you are posting in. Let’s say you are posting your video within Education. Then pull an RRS feed from the latest and most popular or fastest growing videos within that category. Then use that feed to stay updated on new videos. Go to each and every new video that is posted and write a comment. If you are able to be outrageous in your comment this is better. Some assignments doesn’t allow you to as you are building YouTube accounts for larger companies, however, if you can you shall. Otherwise make it kind of generic.

5 b. Publish link back to your YouTube video

Simple enough. Remember to publish the link leading back to your YouTube video

5 c. Thumb up your comment

Plus your comments to the top. Rarely any comments get thumbs up if the video doesn’t get a shit load of comments and commentators. In order to stick your comment to the top of the video page, you shall have 4-5 people who react to it as soon as you have posted it. If they click thumbs up on it, it will get stuck above the fold before the rest of the comments regardless if it was published previous to those other accounts. Over time, setup a network of people who thumb up each others videos. Then you might have to thumb up 5 videos per day, but in return have something like 100 thumbs at your disposal when you really need them.

6. YouTube Video responses

Video responses are a bit more tricky than commenting. YouTube has blocked you to only publish video responses to a certain set of videos. Sometimes they remove your video as a response if they don’t find it relevant enough. Thus when posting a video reply, make sure you only do it where it is highly relevant.

In a more thorough post I describe how to make video responses on YouTube here.

 7. Publishing update to your subscribers

If you have the luxury of having subscribers that have already signed up to your channel, then go ahead and publish an update to them at this point. I have described how to do this in a previous tutorial that you can find under the YouTube marketing section of this blog.

7 a. Increase your number of YouTube-subscribers

If you haven’t got any subscribers yet, there is one way that beats them all in order to build more and that is to subscribe to other peoples channels. I know… nothing sexy here… like me and I like you back :).

8. And all the other things important before you launch your YouTube video

8 a. YouTube video name

Remember to name you YouTube video correctly – PLEASE use the word Video in the title. If you want to appear in Google searches for video related searches, people use the word video, please use it in both your title and description.

8 b. Choosing your category

Remember to put your video in a category that is less popular than the one you want it to end up in later. You can always change this later on. If you want it to show up at all in the toplists without having a million views, then pelase don’t put it in the entertainment category.

April 11, 2011

Personal: Found some inspiration for a song

A few days ago I found the inspiration to play music again. Staying in line with what I’ve said previously, I am going to make some more “personal posts” in this blog. Although completely irrelevant to some of you out there, it helps my view count on YouTube, plus, perhaps, shows that there is more to me than just tutorials and bashing posts. hehe..

Please comment on YouTube if you feel like it. I open up so that you can get back at me if I ever stepped on your toes. Every comment counts…. literally… And in line with the other YouTube experiments I am running right now, it is pretty cool to see how much comments count. (plus a million other reasons for posting this video, which is clearly just a symptom of my extreme desire to stand on a stage in the future… hey… my moma tells me I can sing… )

March 19, 2011

YouTube Community Violation

As you all know, I don’t care too much about rules when I test the boundaries of what is doable in the online environment. Today, I got busted in one of my attempts to create a viral video. Here is the story.

Showing signs of becoming a viral video

I saw a clip about a boy who hit back on a bully. It was a very engaging clip and I most sincerely thought that it had the potential of going big on YouTube if remixed into a more aggressive format. I was correct. In 24 hours the clip had 643 organic views, and in 48 hours it had 4100 something views, and thus showing an exponential growth curve, indicating that it was about to blow up.

As you can see from the curve below it is showing a viral pattern, meaning a positive acceleration. (If a video turns viral this curve will eventually turn into an S-Shaped curve as it moves towards filling the quota/population share of its full potential.)

I had optimized the title of the video so that it would turn up for searches about bullying and getting back. As I have a pretty well visited and linked YouTube account, it didn’t take long before my video started showing up in searches.

This optimization also showed some initial results in the insights available for your YouTube vids. YouTube shows what keywords and searches you show up for in your insights section of each video or in your admin/my videos section.

How I did the remix

I basically downloaded the clip you can find here about Casey being bullied and striking back. Then I downloaded a tune called Bully by Eminem from YouTube. I used iMovie to detach the sound from the Eminem video and attach it to the Casey video. I posted three commenting slides, “What every bully should think about”, “Daang, let’s see that again” and “Thank you Casey!”.

The first copy was to set the right frame of “revenge” yet tap into the bully motion of the online environment. The second one was to pitch the video to the aggression within youth. Celebrating violence can really make anything go viral. Sadly enough. The last one I wrote in order to get back to the core message, also making the video possible to share for people who do not enjoy watching violence, but who do want to support those who are bullied.

I then optimized the video in the title, the description and by posting it into a much less popular category – education – in order to get it on a toplist fast if it would show signs of growing. This is a trick that should not be forgotten. Don’t put your videos in the entertainment category. There is simply too much competition there.

Anyhow, here is what I ended up with.

Bully

Violation of Community Guidelines

Third day of my test and I receive a message from YouTube with the following text:

Regarding your account: jesperthegreat

The following video(s) from your account have been disabled for violation of the YouTube Community Guidelines:

  • Casey Strikes Back – Think twice before you bully someone next time – (jesperthegreat)

Your account has received one Community Guidelines warning strike, which will expire in six months. Additional violations may result in the temporary disabling of your ability to post content to YouTube and/or the termination of your account.

Sincerely,

The YouTube Team

Naturally I wonder what in this video would be against the Community Guidelines. Yes it does include violence, but there are loads of other videos on YouTube that are a lot worse. It might be that I used Eminem’s copyright protected song, but that might not be it either as Eminem is one of those artists that don’t have that many restrictions on their content. I am not too sure what exactly was the reason, but it might as well have been the hostile comments posted. Sadly I didn’t have time to take a screen dump of them but they were basically about “he should have stomped his head as well”, calling out for Casey to finish his bully off.

About the content published on YouTube

One thing I do know is that it was not my content to start with, however I optimized it and remixed it. It was not my music to begin with, it was only a remix. Perhaps this is why they removed it. I suppose it was a close call and that this penalization is generated by automated algos, rather than from a person viewing and disbanding the content.

This is what YouTube wrote:

A reason for concern – YouTube censorship?

The only problem I see with YouTube’s action is that they seemingly remove content that is ok:d by the users. They are taking on a role where they decide what content is inappropriate or not. They didn’t remove me because of copyright problems, that looks differently. They removed me because the content was offensive. However, I didn’t get a single dislike on the content.

As you can see from the screen dump above, the video has 36 likes, 0 dislikes, 19 comments and 5700 views. Within 48 hours. That seems like a pretty popular content rather than a very offensive content. I will ask YouTube about this and see how they respond.

Do they impose censorship although the content is not offensive to the users? Can violence be liked, and not offensive? I am unsure about the consequences and the analysis at this moment, but I will continue to update this post the more information I get.

Creating a viral video – lesson learned

Lesson learned. I have to continue searching for my 1 million views video. This one truly had the potential, but next time I’ll try to put some content up there that has a better structure and that also complies to YouTube’s guidelines.

What can you learn from this little experience I had. Basically two things.

1. YouTube organic marketing (unseeded) works if you focus on keyword optimization and building your YouTube channel over time (I’ve spent 1 year on mine) although the content you post isn’t related to the previous content on your channel.

2. Always post your own content… but that one is pretty simple for you as that is normally all that you do. However, try to include what is being hot right now on YouTube in your content so that you engage people. Perhaps not as direct and violent as I did right now, but get within the groove and you’re be more successful than if you just post your commercials.

December 12, 2010

7 YouTube Marketing Facts you Need to Understand

There are several things you need to consider before putting money into a YouTube channel for your business. The first and most obvious question you have to answer is “why do it at all?”. For me, YouTube has become a great HUB for sharing tutorials which I find difficult to explain in writing. The problem, as we all know, is that people really hate reading long blog posts. Regardless of how well written they are. Thus I write this blog post… hehe…

This shall be seen as an overview and I will probably dig into everyone of these topics as I go on making tutorials. Just wanted to keep it all in one place. If you have any questions I’ll try to find the answers. Please comment and give your suggestions below.

#1. Why use Video at all?

Well… I won’t go further into the topic than writing a couple of ways in which you can utilize video to simplify stuff.

  1. B2C – Product reviews and user generated tests
  2. B2B – Tutorials, best practices and demos
  3. HR – Recruitment and storytelling about you as an employer
  4. CSR – Production, logistics and distribution
  5. IR – Quarterly reports, words from the CEO
  6. Press/Com – News broadcasts showing the “other side of the story” and EPK’s

If you got a challenges making your point come across, video has the answers to many of them.

#2. Reasons to consider YouTube Marketing

But for a company there are a variety of reasons you should consider using YouTube for your marketing campaigns. Here are the three I find the most valuable:

  1. Distribution and hosting purposes
  2. SEO and branding purposes
  3. Technology and integration purposes

1. Distribution and Hosting purposes

Basically, you should make it as easy and cheap to host video online. Streaming is expensive and hosting video is as well. Why pay for it when you can do it for virtually no money at all on YouTube. Don’t fall for the old argument of YouTube delivering poor quality. Even TV ads are usually delivered in SD whilst YouTube offers you HD at no cost.

Yes, there is a limitation of 10 minutes per video if you are going to run it without any pro-account features, but c’mon… Seriously… if you can make a compelling enough video to have users wanting more after watching it for 10 minutes, then they are more than willing to click the second, third and fourth part of your cut up video in the related videos section.

Distribution is also a no-brainer. Why the heck spend millions on building your own embed player, streaming format and platform, when you have millions of users who already know how YouTube works. They are comfortable with embedding the format and the platform is already integrated with Facebook, Twitter and many other such social platforms which make video a lot more “shareable” from the get go. Don’t spend unnecessary money on stuff that gives you poorer results just because you’re a pixel fascist with to much of a IT budget.

Give the users what they want, and remember the bottom line.

2. SEO and branding reasons

Why the heck do I put SEO and branding in the same reason bullet for? Well, because they are highly related. How many of your brand search results do you “own” on the first page of your SERP in Google? How many do you “own” in the YouTube SERP?

Users search for information about you. Regardless if you are a B2B or a B2C company. You need control and one of the best ways to gain control of how your brand appears in search results is to actually be visible with indexable content in the most popular search engines out there.

This does not only mean that you should be present in Google, Yahoo and Bing, but also in YouTube and Facebook. Then, using SEO skills, you should interlink these online instances in order for them to rank 1 through 10 in Google, Yahoo, Bing, YouTube and Facebook. That’s what search engine optimization is all about. Not only making sure you rank number 1 for a specific keyword, but make sure you dominate the whole SERP for that specific phrase.

Through the sharing of video on YouTube, you have a much higher likelihood of appearing in blogs with YOUR content rather than with other peoples, home made stuff, which makes the internal mob go lawyer up. Modern online branding is about sharing easily accessible content so that you become the main source of information about yourself. Easy enough right?

3. Technology and integration purposes

YouTube has a wonderful API. They have a chromeless player which you can use and they have a video editor that you can all integrate into your own website or online project. This means that even those of you who really dislike the raw flavor and easy to use interface of YouTube, can mess it up all on your own, and still get the sharing and distribution benefits of the YouTube community.

There are several creative and new ways of using YouTube as well. If you contact your local Google office I am sure they can help you out a lot. I love Tippex use of YouTube and the fun game usage of StreetFighter. The limits are next to none and if you’ve got the creativity, the technology is there to support it.

#3. Proper settings for a YouTube video

You should play around a bit on your own but I have found the following settings on my videos to render the nicest outcomes.

  • 640×480resolution or HD 1280×720pixels
  • Do not change the frame rate of your video
  • MPEG or MOV is the best, then WMV and AVI
  • Up to 15 minutes (for some even longer than that)

#4. YouTube channel design

There are many ways and best practices on how to design a YouTube channel. What can be said as a pointer is that you get extra space above your channel if you get a branded channel in which you can put your own HTML, banners or navigation alike elements.

  • Channel is 960 pixels wide and thus anything bigger than that will show up as the visible background
  • Use web safe colors so that you can fill out what ever is on the sides with the background color available from YouTube for those who use sick browser resolutions

#5. How to Market your Videos on YouTube

There are several ways in which you can market your business through YouTube. When I say market, I mean ways in which you can create creative concepts that you then PAY to get to their audience. Marketing is still about one to many and you usually pay for both the relevant and the irrelevant receiver of your message. Marketing also gives you the control to decide the message of your campaign prior to its launch. In contrast to social media, or organic/viral use of YouTube, this kind of promotion is less target/goal driven and more “brand control” driven. Here are a few suggestions:

  1. Buy a branded channel and drive traffic from banner ads
  2. Seed/spam your videos to the top of searches by using seeding networks
  3. Post your videos on your blog, Facebook page or website to utilize already existing traffic
  4. Add your video link to your external newsletters footer or “video” section
  5. Add friends that make the same type of videos as you do and invite them to subscribe
  6. Submit your video to Stumbleupon and Mixx

#6. How to leverage YouTube and as a part of Social media

YouTube in itself is not a very social media. Yes, it does allow for sharing and commenting and reviews, but it isn’t very social and engaging in it’s creation before you make it social. This is where many companies go wrong with regards to YouTube marketing. They spend too much time considering how many people have viewed a specific video rather than spending time on how many have interacted with its contents.

How to create a YouTube video suitable for Social media

  1. Anchors – signs, colors, half baked one liners and songs that the users can pick up in their own videos
  2. Challenges – always put a question in there that helps people react with their own videos
  3. Bottom third’s – a message in the bottom third of the video
  4. Preroll – a little introduction where you ask a question for the user to think about when they watch the video
  5. Last frame – put a call to action in this last frame such that the user knows what to do next
  6. Use of surroundings and knowledge of interface – point to the subscribe button when talking about how to subscibe, point at the comments or on banners you want them to notice or click, by doing this you are not only directing the user, but you are also helping inexperienced users find their way, always end with a note about “if you’re watching this video embedded on a blog the pointing didn’t make much sense… goto youtube.com/namename to have a look at what I’m talking about”
  7. Links and annotations that lead to other related videos on YouTube

#7. How to update an old video on YouTube?

My tweep @beantin has written an excellent post about how to update your videos on YouTube when they have gone old or outdated. The only thing I would like to add to his “best practice” manual is to always include a reference to your YouTube channel in the end of your video with a text such as “To watch updates, new videos and messages, please subscribe to our youtube-channel”. Or something with a little bit of a better copy… hehe..

November 26, 2010

Christmas with Halebop

We’ve just released one of the new Halebop videos for Christmas on YouTube. How do you feel we’re catching the xmas spirit?


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September 28, 2010

Halebop TV-Campaign

We launched some TV commercials with our client Halebop the other week. These videos are now available from the Halebop YouTube channel. I will get back at you with more on how we re-launch the Halebop brand in later posts. For now I’ll just leave you with the videos and a “this is just the beginning” for the future 🙂

September 6, 2010

YouTube’s Change from Website to Hub for Social Objects

When I look at marketing technology I have some things that I cannot do without:

  • It should be fun
  • It should be user friendly and accessible by most people
  • It should be easy to measure
  • It should be easy to share
  • There should be a clear funnel from attention to attraction to purchase

YouTube has been yet another video website for many years. It has never been the best one, but it has, for most of the time, been the biggest one. It is just lately though, that they have changed the platform to actually suit the modern web and marketing environment that we’re living in, online today.

YouTube on YouTube.com

In the beginning, YouTube was a website located on YouTube.com. Sure, you could quite early embed the videos onto your own web platform, but the website YouTube was structured for viewing videos on YouTube. There were categories, there were video comments and ratings and there were quite sophisticated ranking models for search in the early days.

Google bought the thing and started indexing it in its Universal Search. For most this is quite a logical step as we sometime search for video material and possibly want it to be mixed with other stuff on the topic. But still, the YouTube.com platform didn’t change. It was still the same. Wanting users to search the website, or browse through the endless videos on the platform.

This is kind of odd as YouTube has known that about 80% of the video views occur elsewhere than on YouTube. Perhaps they were scared that people would stop using YouTube if they would change it. Possibly, they were low on staff and high on maintenance. Possibly they just didn’t care. The latter would be strange though as YouTube didn’t make any money. They bled insanely. So at least they needed to find a way to monetize on the fact that people were not visiting YouTube when watching the movies provided by YouTube-users through the platform.

YouTube goes Social

Then something happened, and it happened earlier this year. YouTube finally started making some changes. Not only in the most surprising way, when it connected to Facebook (considering it’s owned by Google), but it also started making changes to its analytics, to its embedded video formats and to its search/disposition.

YouTube started turning into a hub for social objects rather than a website. Think about it. First they added the new logged in view. In a very short period of time, and with out a lot of fuzz, YouTube turned from this:

Into this:

Never mind I am logged in on the second one of these images. It is quite the radical change and you really need to think about it when YouTube makes a change like this. They have adapted to the way the users use their website. The no longer rely on that people come to their website to browse categories. They believe people have a purpose when coming to the website, they believe that people subscribe to other peoples feeds, that they are given links, that they are interested in what other people they are interested in are doing, rather than just what is popular to the general crowd.

In a sense, YouTube has shrunk the scope of YouTube.com whilst they have opened up both its business model as well as its platforms to new ways of sharing. They have adapted to a dynamic, vibrant and social web rather than letting it exist in the static, navigational way a website works. It has become a resource hub, rather than being a website.

So why is this good for Online Marketeers?

Well, it is not if you are used to buying yourself out of trouble. But it is really good if you are creative. Even buying yourself out of the problem needs to be done creatively on YouTube nowadays. You can choose to cheat, naturally, but if you don’t, then you have to engage yourself in the websites content in order to become noticed. You cannot simply advertise yourself out of the mess, but you actually have to put something on the platform worth noting.

When I say that YouTube has turned social, I mean just that. As a marketeer you have no chance in marketing yourself on the YouTube platform any longer unless you choose to engage with the same means all other users are engaging. Videos, comments, likes, sharing.. … social stuff.

YouTube need not to worry as they are working with their branded channels, special access to neat analytics through integration with Google Analytics and other such things which makes marketing worth while. They are turning their business offer into something actually interesting for business. This wasn’t the case previously.

Annotations, linking videos together, subtitles and indexation, prominent placements of links, their wonderful API… all of which makes a digital creative go boner and a digital business developer to actually see a value in video production.

Business from YouTube

Now, the last statement in the last paragraph might meet some objections so I will argue why I believe that YouTube is better suited for business now that it has turned social.

First of all, your content has the ability to reach far beyond the static of website embeds. Even though discussion was previously made possible through comment fields, and sharing of links on social networks and blogs, it was a lot of hustle to do it. You actually needed a blog or a website in order to embed the stuff. Adding the post to wall functionality of comments, likes and all other interactive stuff you do on YouTube makes it spread a lot more easily and naturally. Thus the inbound reach of a YouTube video is greater today than previously, even without considering its content.

Secondly, using annotations and transcripts you can actually prompt the user to actions which was previously not possible. You can use the bottom third to push messages and you can use layovers to create call to action which suits the social web a lot better (as it is based on dialogue) than the old version of YouTube.

Third, and possibly most importantly, you can now measure and follow where your videos are being shared. Where is the discussion going on about you and your brand. Where do they use your tutorials as reference material and how can you in turn use these people to run your errands… I know… I shouldn’t say that… but that is really where all the dialogue turns to green. How can you make people talk about you in the way that you want them to. It is NOT about you wanting them to promote your offer. But IT IS all about making them talk about you in a way which is valuable to you.

Do they link to you? Do they use the latest version of the video? Do they spread rumors or facts?

Previously, you didn’t know this as dialogues weren’t on the web, but offline or in e-mail or on forums where YouTube embeds weren’t possible. But as you can measure it all from the YouTube interface it is finally easy to integrate into your other business practices.

I feel my arguments are pretty weak today… but I see increasing traffic from YouTube to my website. The traffic I get do all that I want them to on the website. I don’t even have to tell them. They read a lot of my blog posts, they sign up for everything, they visit my “contact me” page and some of them write e-mails to me asking questions. I think I will better structure the business value of YouTube in another post cause my inspiration just died…

Please add to this post below in the comments…

//Jesper

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June 7, 2010

Think Different

Most of the time I do not only feel a bit crazy, I get told I am. That’s why I find peace in watching these kind of video clips to make me realize that what others might think of as insane, actually is what makes me sane. Change is nothing that comes automatically. It is something we have to work to achieve. I cannot work without change and I have always hoped to change some part of the world for the better. In times where I find a lot of friends working their asses off, I want to give them the hope that inspire their inner voices to continue strive for change.

No matter how difficult it might seem. Never use your brain to solely decide what is the right path. Use your stomach as well. Dare to take decisions as it is the decisions that will invoke your gut to respond. Dare to be brave. Dare to get fired if that is what it takes. If you have kids, then inspire them to dare where you didn’t.

So. Here’s to the crazy ones. The misfits. The rebels. The trouble makers. The round pegs in the square holes. The ones who see things differently.

“and while some may see them as the crazy ones, I see genius..”

April 21, 2010

YouTube’s annoying Advertising – Here are 3 of my Alternatives

Have anyone else been exposed to YouTube’s new ad format? Well, basically it goes like this. You search, click a link and then expect to see the video right away. Sadly, you are now put on hold for a few seconds (30s max) and have to watch a commercial. Luckily this doesn’t play out for every video you watch, and I haven’t seen at what frequency they are going to use this, but I sure as hell hope they charge BILLIONS for it as it really f**ks with my user experience.

Alternative 1 – Flashvars CPC

I don’t think any ad format that interrupts user experience will be good in the long run. They should work with dynamic annotations and cpc within videos. Allow for the use of flashvars so that the advertisers can make interactive video-formats and CPO deals. Naturally, the marketeer would have to pay for this as a service, but I think most would as the limits… well there are no limits to what you could do with such a system.

This actually worked before YouTube put a stop to it. Was one of my favorite “creative” tactics for YouTube videos.

Alternative 2 – Ad rating

Put a section where you only display ad-videos and make it a contest. The users will then like/dislike the different videos. This would create a toplist of commercials. I am sure that companies would pay a small sum each month to be added to a list like that.

Alternative 3 – Related products

Now, the long tail on YouTube is fantastic. We know they can index the content of a video by looking at what they did over att Google video. Why not put related products that are relevant for the video itself. For poker, put poker products, for fashion, put fashion products. Not on the side, but as a part of the main content area. Especially as you are working with flash and annotations you could create a “product annotation” where an advertiser puts in a link to an xml-document listing products for different places in the video. That way you could actually buy the dress that someone is wearing by clicking it, or adding it directly to your purchase basket.

I guess that is about it for now, but there are no limitations on how YouTube easily could monetize if they would just move away from the traditional display ad format. I guess this format was produced in order to be able to push advertising to the 80% of the views that are not taking place on YouTube. I wonder what Facebook will say when they find out that Google earns money from ads on their platform 😀 haha..

//Jesper

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