YouTube is a powerful social engine for users, but what are the best ways for marketers to channel that energy for their brands? I was a keynote speaker at OMMA Video yesterday in New York. If you want to watch the 20-minute keynote, it is available on USTREAM.
Or, you can read Gavin O'Malley's story in MediaPost Raw, Live and Unadulterated, which is entitled, "A Different Perspective."
Now, those of you who have been reading my posts on Search Engine Watch, listening to my presentations at SES, the leading search and social marketing event, or watching my interviews on SESConferenceExpo's and SearchEngineWatch's YouTube channels, are already familiar with my perspective.
But, my keynote yesterday wasn't an instant replay of what I've written or said before. For the OMMA Video attendees, I debunked some urban legends about viral videos and discussed the latest trends in online video.
One of the urban legends that I debunked was: "YouTube is limited to short-form user-generated content." But the latest trends paint a different picture. YouTube currently has over 10,000 content partners with popular videos. These partners range from large media companies such as Universal Music or MGM, through niche media properties such as Expert Village or Mondo Media, to members of the YouTube community who have created such consistently popular videos that we have invited them to join the YouTube Partner Program, like Fred or Smosh.
Another urban legend that I debunked was: "YouTube videos are grainy and of poor quality." But according to the latest trends, YouTube has more HD videos than any other video site. In fact, CNET's WebWare called YouTube the best HD video service on the web ... over a year ago.
The third urban legend that I debunked was: "YouTube is monetizing only 3-5% of views across the site." The latest trends tell a different story. YouTube monetizes over 1 billion video views a week globally. Do you get the feeling that Hulu's PR people are doing a better job of "defining success" than YouTube's PR people?
Then, I shared three case studies of original-content creators and advertisers, large and small, which have successfully used YouTube to generate measurable business outcomes.
The first was an interview that I conducted for Search Engine Watch's channel on YouTube that is entitled, "Product placement on steroids with Jordan Blum, Beautychoice.com at SES New York 2010."
The next was an update of "Light sport aircraft PiperSport social media case study."
And the third example was "Dynomighty YouTube video marketing case study."
I concluded my keynote with the classic observation by Woody Allen: "The future holds great opportunities. It also holds pitfalls. The trick will be to avoid the pitfalls, seize the opportunities, and get back home by six o'clock."
I said the biggest pitfall to avoid is making a distinction without a difference.
Today's video viewers watch "popular content." Whether it's produced by amateurs or professionals, it's all just content to video viewers. So, why limit yourself to running advertising against only "premium" content"?
Advertisers are afraid of "user generated content." But, more than half of YouTube video views are for videos that are over six months old. So, why limit yourself to running advertising against only "scripted content"?
As for seizing opportunities, the best advice that I've read comes from Josh Spector, who recently posted "Five Ways To Build On A Hit Video" on the Online Video Insider MediaPost Blog.
According to Spector, you should:
- Anticipate success and have a goal -- Something you want people who watch a video to do after they see it.
- Have a call-to-action in the video: A clear "next step" for them to connect with you.
- Find your audience: A hit video provides information about your audience.
- Find your audience - again: Go back to the video every couple of months.
- Repeat (but don't repeat): Your audience rarely wants more of what they've already seen.
As for getting back home by six, that's hard -- especially in a rapidly changing field during an uncertain economic recovery.
So, okay, I don't have answers for everything. But two out of three ain't bad.
Greg Jarboe, President of SEO-PR, delivers a presentation on Day 3 of SES New York 2010 as as part of a panel called "Search, PR, and the Social Butterfly."