YouTube Strategy Tips from A Couple of Chicks

The online buying process is shifting rapidly with consumers in general spending more of their online time on Facebook then on Google, still stopping at review sites, social networking sites, blogs and forums, and now YouTube to round out the buying funnel – and in many cases starting the buying process.

YouTube is the second largest search engine behind Google itself, which means that a properly defined YouTube marketing strategy with the goals of engaging consumers, drive them to continue the research process towards other brand content on social media sites, review sites etc. – and finally leading them to conversion or purchase is a must.

With expanded marketing opportunities such as customized YouTube channels, promoted videos and display Ads, and in-stream advertising – there is a huge opportunity to position ad content around rich media – which is more emotive and “real” than descriptive content on a website or photos and reviews on Tripadvisor. This is especially relevant to marketers of travel and tourism as travel research and buying is an emotive process.

YouTube Strategy Basics:

1. Tag content with proper keywords – According to Google, approximately 1/3 of all videos watched on YouTube use search to be found, this means tagging the content and understanding your target keyword market just, like we do with the SEO for websites, is crucial for any marketer utilizing video content.

2. Consider placing ads alongside content from well known brand channels targeted to specific niche end users (like Home and Garden Television for example) or run Ads against competitor content and user generated video’s that have been tagged to be found for the keywords your audience would likely use to research travel.

Example: A search in You Tube for “Bay of Fundy” serves up video content such as this Local Tourism associations or hotels and Resorts could position Ads appearing on the content and guide the interested consumer towards making travel plans.

These are examples illustrate how effective YouTube advertising can be in leading your customer to transact. These types of ads are available as overlays or in-stream, and can click to a website or a YouTube Brand Channel.

Tip: When setting up a YouTube campaign such as this, ensure that there is a strong call-to-action and a relevant landing page to send your traffic to as opposed to simply sending the click to a home page.

YouTube Beyond the Basics:

1. Promoted Videos: The Ad message and target keywords are tagged to the video. The video then appears on results pages for contextually relevant searches, and alongside other relevant videos. This is a pay-per-click model much like Google Adwords, where the advertiser pays only when a user watches the video.

2. TrueView’ Video Ads: These ads appear in-stream pre or mid-roll, as an option to choose one ad, or as regular commercial breaks.

3. Mobile Youtube Roadblock: For an entire day, all visitors to m.youtube.com will receive the advertisers marketing message, in a variety formats. This tactic would require a large marketing spend and would be effective for targeting a specific niche audience or for overall brand marketing efforts.

4. YouTube Brand Channel: A brand channel or destination page is a customizable interface between your business and users on the YouTube platform. Users click on video’s that have been uploaded and live on a brand channel and the content will play in the brand channel, and the surrounding videos and links belong to that brand only (not other advertisers can place ads against this content).

This is a great way of keeping users involved with your content longer, and to ensure that they are not jumping off your content to a competitor who is buying your brand terms.

YouTube brand channels also allow for in depth tracking and for content from the channel to be embedded into a site or ad. Advertising products available to brand channel advertisers include; Homepage 24 hour Roadblocks and Masthead placements, which allow brands to deliver a creative message to enormous audiences. A brand channel is not for every business and requires substantial budgets to maintain – but it is also incredibly targeted and measurable and a must for large well-known consumer brands at this stage of the game.

With 100 million unique monthly users, YouTube has become an important consideration for marketers. For more on developing a YouTube strategy or to receive the full version of this article, contact The Chicks – and of course you can check us out on YouTube too!

2009 Reflections – isn’t there an APP for that?

The answer is yes, there is an APP for getting a snapshot of your 2009 status updates on Facebook. This APP took me through the sound-bites of my life in a cheesy card-like summary – which is now displayed on my wall for all to see. Looks like it was a pretty fun year!

2009 saw Facebook take a page from Twitter with live feeds of content replacing the display of content listed by friends most frequented – much to the initial resistance from many a Facebook user. Now we have to work to stalk our ‘friends’ because if they are not updating what they are doing by the minute, we are going have to dig deep to see what they are making for dinner.

With live feeds of content from social media channels such as Twitter, and Facebook- integrated media consumption became the norm in 2009.  Google and CNN are no longer the only sources for breaking “news” stories, and live television now leads to online discussions and minute by minute commentary from millions of people in online communities discussing such important topics as which man the bachelorette should choose, and why the dude with the bad muscle shirt should be ousted from the list of hopefuls – if only for his poor choice in wardrobe.

Social networking online went to new levels in ’09 with live content feeds on Facebook allowing us to capture everything from where we are, to how we are feeling, to what we look like in an instant, appearing to hundreds of our closest friends.

2009 was also the year that “gone viral” was actually something good – it meant people liked you! Even if your most embarrassing moment was being viewed by 15 million people – instant celebrity can now be achieved. Just ask the poor kid who was living out his fantasy of being a Jedi warrior (which was secretly captured on video and posted to YouTube). Not only did 15 million see this, but they also commented and created spoofs with special effects and music to further add to our experience. Ahhhh the new tools of virtual voyeurism.

And then there is the mobile phone. With the SMS – or text, a whole new language has emerged and has been adapted by multiple generations. Kids are texting hugs and kisses to their Grandma’s, wives are sending reminders to pick up the milk…some are even breaking up with a quick one-line SMS.

It is amazing how 5 letters appearing on our mobile screen can make us feel connected, happy, relieved and loved. When did ‘LOL’ and ‘TTYL’ become code for “you are so funny and I feel that I must validate your last message by telling you that or you might misconstrue my silence for lack of interest” and “I am thinking of you too and can’t wait to send you cryptic messages again later when I have more time to think about how to be smart, witty and and down with the new technology at the same time.

If 2009 was the year of the Tweet, 2010 may be the year of the APP. Mobile browsers in phones such as the Blackberry and iPhone have enabled access to everything online at any time. Want to know the name of the song that is playing? Want help with your golf swing? Want to know what to make for dinner with what is in your fridge? There is an APP for that! Perhaps by 2011 we will rely on APPS to tell us it is time to have a nap or take out the garbage.

The capturing of the sound-bites of my life in Facebook status updates, in video and photo uploads, in daily tweets of conversation (with the 14,000 people that have chosen to listen to my rants) has ironically taught me to be in the moment, to enjoy the people I am sharing the moment with – as it is happening.

My final reflection for 2009? It looks like a pretty fun life on Facebook – take some time to enjoy it in reality too!

2009 Reflections – isn't there an APP for that?

The answer is yes, there is an APP for getting a snapshot of your 2009 status updates on Facebook. This APP took me through the sound-bites of my life in a cheesy card-like summary – which is now displayed on my wall for all to see. Looks like it was a pretty fun year!

2009 saw Facebook take a page from Twitter with live feeds of content replacing the display of content listed by friends most frequented – much to the initial resistance from many a Facebook user. Now we have to work to stalk our ‘friends’ because if they are not updating what they are doing by the minute, we are going have to dig deep to see what they are making for dinner.

With live feeds of content from social media channels such as Twitter, and Facebook- integrated media consumption became the norm in 2009.  Google and CNN are no longer the only sources for breaking “news” stories, and live television now leads to online discussions and minute by minute commentary from millions of people in online communities discussing such important topics as which man the bachelorette should choose, and why the dude with the bad muscle shirt should be ousted from the list of hopefuls – if only for his poor choice in wardrobe.

Social networking online went to new levels in ’09 with live content feeds on Facebook allowing us to capture everything from where we are, to how we are feeling, to what we look like in an instant, appearing to hundreds of our closest friends.

2009 was also the year that “gone viral” was actually something good – it meant people liked you! Even if your most embarrassing moment was being viewed by 15 million people – instant celebrity can now be achieved. Just ask the poor kid who was living out his fantasy of being a Jedi warrior (which was secretly captured on video and posted to YouTube). Not only did 15 million see this, but they also commented and created spoofs with special effects and music to further add to our experience. Ahhhh the new tools of virtual voyeurism.

And then there is the mobile phone. With the SMS – or text, a whole new language has emerged and has been adapted by multiple generations. Kids are texting hugs and kisses to their Grandma’s, wives are sending reminders to pick up the milk…some are even breaking up with a quick one-line SMS.

It is amazing how 5 letters appearing on our mobile screen can make us feel connected, happy, relieved and loved. When did ‘LOL’ and ‘TTYL’ become code for “you are so funny and I feel that I must validate your last message by telling you that or you might misconstrue my silence for lack of interest” and “I am thinking of you too and can’t wait to send you cryptic messages again later when I have more time to think about how to be smart, witty and and down with the new technology at the same time.

If 2009 was the year of the Tweet, 2010 may be the year of the APP. Mobile browsers in phones such as the Blackberry and iPhone have enabled access to everything online at any time. Want to know the name of the song that is playing? Want help with your golf swing? Want to know what to make for dinner with what is in your fridge? There is an APP for that! Perhaps by 2011 we will rely on APPS to tell us it is time to have a nap or take out the garbage.

The capturing of the sound-bites of my life in Facebook status updates, in video and photo uploads, in daily tweets of conversation (with the 14,000 people that have chosen to listen to my rants) has ironically taught me to be in the moment, to enjoy the people I am sharing the moment with – as it is happening.

My final reflection for 2009? It looks like a pretty fun life on Facebook – take some time to enjoy it in reality too!

Toronto, Ontario, Canada
alicia.whalen@gmail.com
905-401-2249

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