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?


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.


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.


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]
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Digital and Offline – Human Psychology Works The Same

It’s easy to get caught up in the next platform, content format, and piece of technology. Oftentimes these platforms create a lot of distractions and its difficult to separate the signal from the noise.

However, people are all really the same.  The biggest challenge is zeroing in on these fundamental principals and understanding out to apply them today.

I was recently invited to go speak at a brand innovation summit and discussed these psychological principals and tactics that work in driving excitement around something offline and online. You can see the entire presentation below, but I’ve outlined the major points here in this post.


YouTube’s evolving strategy to woo advertisers

Two years ago YouTube distributed over $100 million in grants to fund originalpremium content, the majority of which was provided to traditional media companies, celebrities, and production companies diving into YouTube for the first time. Since then the native YouTube creators continue to grow and thrive, while most of the traditional media companies have largely disappeared.

At the time, the grants were considered by many to be an attempt on YouTube’s part to bolster its premium content to woo advertisers to the platform.

Now, rather than bring traditional media companies and celebrities into YouTube, YouTube is turning its top creators into celebrities. In order to gain mindshare among advertisers and bring in bigger budgets YouTube has launched an ad campaign dedicated to featuring many of its top creators.

YouTube’s new CEO Susan Wojcicki stated that, “If you look at our top creators, they have a lot of subscribers; it’s all categories like entertainment, health and beauty, food, cooking, and yet I think a lot of times advertisers and users don’t know about these channels.”

Wojcicki’s comments, and YouTube’s evolving tactics, highlight the lack of understanding of the YouTube ecosystem that many advertisers are continuing to face. YouTube has changed the face of media, content, and celebrity but dollars haven’t caught up with the times.

YouTube is wildly popular with Teens and Young adults, and according to a recent study, “74 percent of 14-18 year-olds and 68 percent of 19-24 year-olds in the U.S. use YouTube, which is above Facebook and significantly more than Twitter.”

While ten years ago teens were watching Jon Stewart instead of 60 minutes, this generation is watching Phil DeFranco in favor of Jon Stewart.

So what’s the holdup?


TNW Europe Recap

I was fortunate enough to speak at The Next Web Europe conference two weeks ago in Amsterdam. Probably the best conference I’ve been to, it was a great mix of smart people who were all there to connect and have fun in the process.

I’m relatively happy with how my talk turned out. It was a large crowd, so I had some early jitters in the beginning, but got in a groove fairly quick. If you’re interested you can see my talk below.

Thanks to the crew at The Next Web, Sophie in particular, for putting together such an amazing event and great group of people!

YouTube vs Facebook Engagement [Infographic]

With a lot of press around Facebook’s self-imposed declining engagement rates. I was really curious about engagement rates for Youtube vs Facebook communities, specifically with regards to brands. Brands have invested a great deal of ad dollars into growing their Facebook Fan bases, but now Facebook is basically suppressing organic reach.

So, I was curious – are the brand communities on each platform equal in terms of engagement? To try and find an answer, I took a look the top 5 from each and pulled the rate of comments per post or upload over a one week period. I chose comments as the sole indicator of engagement because comments are apples to apples. There are no dislikes on Facebook (but there are on YouTube, etc). So I figured focus on what I can measure.

While brands have incredibly large Facebook communities, their average engagement rates (at least for comments) is significantly less than YouTube.


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