Vidcon 2015 Recap

Vidcon, the largest YouTube gathering/conference, just wrapped up its sixth annual event.

Over twenty thousand executives, YouTube creators, and fans were in attendance. The Anaheim Convention Center, where Vidcon took place, was packed – the event entirely sold out. For comparison, there were only 1,400 attendees at Vidcon’s inaugaral event six years ago in a Los Angeles Hotel.

Vidcon is a microcosm of the digital video ecosystem, and the growth in attendees in reflective of the growth of the industry. This year there were more fans, brands, platforms, and creators all vying for attention than ever before.

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MCN’S AND THE BUSINESS OF SERVICING CREATORS

Late last year, NewMediaRockstars made waves with their coverage of an exchange Maker Studios had with a potential advertiser, the advertiser had $30k for influencer brand deals and Maker responded stating they didn’t do deals under $200k.

Many creators were outraged by this information, and a reporter for NMR went so far as to say that this should be a “red flag to creators currently signed with Maker because it essentially says that a lot of money is being left on the table strictly because the MCN doesn’t want to deal with helping mid-level and smaller channels — creators who could really benefit from ANY added income — which is the majority of their client base.”

It’s expected that some are frustrated with MCNs – thirty thousand dollars is likely more than most creators in Maker’s network make off their channels in a given year, and I agree that creators need to be cautious.

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MCN Acquisition Roundup [Infographic]

2014 was a big year for the MCN space. Maker was acquired and this kicked off a domino effect of sales and acquisitions. Long established companies such as ATT, Disney, and Dreamworks to jumped into the fray plucking up a number of MCN’s. To help consolidate all this information I put together an infographic of the acquisitions to date–

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Limbic Resonance – The Science Behind The Success of YouTubers

I’ve seen it time and time again with the campaigns I’ve worked on.

YouTubers crash websites with a single mention, drive tens of thousands (if not hundreds of thousands) of fans to visit a website, like a facebook page, submit content, or appear in droves to events at the simple mention of a specific time and place.

For years I struggled to articulate what was unique about video and why YouTubers can wield their audiences at scale. We produced results and made the brands happy, but left brand managers a bit confused on the mechanisms behind it.

What was so compelling about these ‘influencers’? Why do they have so many fans? What’s the appeal?

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Are YouTube Gadgets Worth the Investment for Brands (Infographic)

Shares, comments, and subscribers are among the biggest indicators of success on a channel. However, one thing many brands adopt which impedes these indicators of success are the addition of Gadgets to a brand’s channel.

I always assumed that Gadgets would have an adverse effect on engagement because they create an unfamiliar environment for a viewer. To find out whether or not this was the case I partnered with Tubular Labs to pull the data and compare the performance of brand channels with and without gadgets.

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Growing Brand Communities On YouTube

I recently did a presentation at ReelSummit on how brands grow their channels. I tried to address the questions that I frequently struggle to answer for my own clients.

As a brand why should we develop our own YouTube channel? What should we do to grow? Why aren’t we growing subscribers?

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Campbell’s Law and the YouTube View

A few months back, I was hanging out with some industry friends. We were geeking out over ad campaigns, marketing organizations and tactics and one of them brought up Campbell’s Law, a term that I’d never heard before but have been unable to forget ever since.

Campbell’s Law is a concept that Donald T. Campbell, a famed social psychologist, came up with in 1976. The maxim states that when a person or a group overemphasizes a certain metric, that metric will lose its usefulness, and the individual or group will be harmed.

To take a somewhat oversimplified example, a person who prizes weight loss over everything else could jeopardize his or her health by eating too little and consuming too few nutrients (ie become anorexic). Campbell himself discussed the case of test scores in school, arguing that educators who place a high premium on those numbers risk warping the entire learning process. Their students might in turn study fewer topics and feel extra pressure to cheat on standardized exams.

I think its safe to say Campbell’s law is permeating throughout most any marketing organization and certainly within the digital video ecosystem. In digital video, views have become the de facto criteria by which all campaigns seem to be judged.

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Game of Thrones VS YouTubers [Infographic]

I absolutely love Game of Thrones and I assume everyone else watches it because I love it and I talk to a lot of my friends about it. In fact, I’m always shocked when someone doesn’t watch it.

How is it humanly possible you do not watch Game of Thrones? That doesn’t compute for me.

The reality is, we as advertisers often behave the same way – it’s cognitive dissonance at its finest. The brief says ‘I want to target millennials’ and the outcome is often a TV commercial with an expensive celebrity endorsement. However, celebrities and TV don’t hold the cache and influence they once did.

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Hero, Hub, Hygiene – YouTube Strategy for Brands (w/ Gillette Case Study)

Today, successful brands understand that they need to create consistent, engaging content – hitting regular singles and doubles vs the “grand slam” that a viral video may or may not provide. It’s the adoption of this “always on” strategy that is successfully growing communities and generating earned viewership on YouTube. Over the last year, YouTube has been sharing this strategy with brands. Their framework, the Hero, Hub, Hygiene approach, is a holistic video strategy that places an emphasis on the need for consistency.

[Click to read my updated post on this strategy under it’s new name of ‘Hero, Hub, Help’]

The concept of “always-on marketing,”creating a steady stream of content, is something brands and agencies have adopted with Facebook and Twitter. In recent years, brands and agencies have even created newsrooms to produce content in real time to respond to current events and customer trends. As production has become cheaper and more accessible the principles that applied to text and images on Twitter and Facebook are being carried over to, and, implemented on YouTube. Consequently, the perception that “viral video” is key to a brand’s content strategy is slowly diminishing.

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Hero, Hub, Hygiene – Content Strategy For Brands on YouTube [Infographic]

Hero, hub, hygiene is the content framework that YouTube is communicating to brands and encouraging them to adopt. The idea makes sense and adopts a lot of the practices successful YouTubers have implemented to build audiences. I’ve created an infographic to distill the strategy in a way that’s easy to understand. Click ‘continue reading’ to view!

[Bonus: Click here to download my analysis of how one brand channel grew from 0 to 400,000 subscribers implementing this strategy.]

Hero, Hub, Hygiene - YouTube Strategy For Brands [Infographic]
Courtesy of: BrendanGahan.com

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