Digital Marketing Blog
April 8, 2012
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
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
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.
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.
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
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.
- B2C – Product reviews and user generated tests
- B2B – Tutorials, best practices and demos
- HR – Recruitment and storytelling about you as an employer
- CSR – Production, logistics and distribution
- IR – Quarterly reports, words from the CEO
- 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:
- Distribution and hosting purposes
- SEO and branding purposes
- 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:
- Buy a branded channel and drive traffic from banner ads
- Seed/spam your videos to the top of searches by using seeding networks
- Post your videos on your blog, Facebook page or website to utilize already existing traffic
- Add your video link to your external newsletters footer or “video” section
- Add friends that make the same type of videos as you do and invite them to subscribe
- 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
- Anchors – signs, colors, half baked one liners and songs that the users can pick up in their own videos
- Challenges – always put a question in there that helps people react with their own videos
- Bottom third’s – a message in the bottom third of the video
- Preroll – a little introduction where you ask a question for the user to think about when they watch the video
- Last frame – put a call to action in this last frame such that the user knows what to do next
- 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”
- 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
We’ve just released one of the new Halebop videos for Christmas on YouTube. How do you feel we’re catching the xmas spirit?
Possibly related posts:
September 28, 2010
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 🙂
June 7, 2010
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.
“and while some may see them as the crazy ones, I see genius..”
April 21, 2010
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..
Possibly related posts:
- Related posts on YouTube Advertising
- welcome to youtube.
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