Archives For Inspiration

It is the professional opinion of this blogger that Buzzfeed has won the content marketing war and that, shortly, they will rule the world. Resisting the brute efficacy of “listicles,” True Facts, and relatable gifs is – as I’m sure you realize – futile.

Between mobile and desktop users, the Buzzfeed website enjoys about 10 million unique visitors daily…and that’s on a bad day.

For the non-Mathletes in the audience, that’s 30% of YouTube’s total unique user traffic over the course of a month (which is 1 billion) – on a website that is younger, less prolific, and does not rely on user-generated content.

via reactiongifs.com

That share-of-voice takeover escalated quickly, am I right?

Obviously, BuzzFeed is not in competition with YouTube – instead, these two monolithic content platforms function as partners on this epic, shared journey of Social Media domination. And while their business models share little in common, the media giants are both swaddled and secure in the knowledge that they have perfected – together and independently – the Internet-reinforced concept of “content as communication.”

Pictured: YouTube and BuzzFeed’s concurrent sense of self-satisfaction. (via reactiongifs.com)

Both in Ze Frank’s 2013 Vidcon presentation and during Jonathan Perelman’s REEL Video Summit speech last week, the BuzzFeeders tip their hand by declaring that content should be made for how it is consumed – as a shareable form of communication. They’ve cleverly discerned that share-worthy content – taken holistically – keys almost exclusively into 3 drivers of human communication:

1. Identity (“this article/video communicates something about me or my life experiences better than my just telling you would.”)

2. Emotional gift (“this content made me feel X, I want you to feel X too.”)

3. Information (“HEY GUYS – this stuff is factual and cool.”)

By playing to these 3 share-driving principles, BuzzFeed has exploded in popularity over the last 24 months and has, perhaps more notably, rendered Google Search secondary to content discovery. In its place, Facebook – the gold standard of Social Media referral – now leads the bulk of users to BuzzFeed’s content watering hole.

The implications for SEO, by the way, are semi-staggering. (Source.)

Ahh, yes. Share-worthy content is indeed successful content. But, why? Is it because of the complex network of overlapping human needs resulting from our schizophrenic relationship with empathy? Is it because LOL cats have driven us to over-identify with memes? Is it because Ze Frank has perfected mass hypnosis from high up in his ivory, BuzzFeedian tower and we are all victims?

Nay, my friend – it is so much simpler than that.

Allow me to introduce you to oxytocin:

“Sup, bros. I’m basically the neurological foundation of human society and community sentiment. No biggie.”

Oxytocin is a fun little mammalian neuromodulator that most of you will more readily recognize as the “bonding hormone.” This is the stuff that gets mothers (naturally) high after childbirth, the stuff that gets you (naturally) high after sex, and that makes menial tasks like grocery shopping – when shared with someone you like – (naturally) less terrible.

Interestingly, oxytocin is released in small amounts into the human brain during 3 common, share-worthy experiences:

1. Social belonging.

2. Intimacy.

3. Information discovery.

Now, let’s play a game called, “Find the Synonyms.”

1. “Identity” = “Social belonging” (we reinforce our sense of self by seeking out external reinforcement and relationships.)

2. “Emotional gift” = “Intimacy” (shared feelings/experiences are the root of actual and perceived intimacy.)

3. “Information” = “Information discovery” (not really a synonym so much as exactly the same word.)

Wait a minute. Does that mean that BuzzFeed is just exploiting your fiendish biological addiction to oxytocin?!

Not at all, my dear reader – everything good on the internet is just exploiting your fiendish biological addiction to oxytocin. Whether it’s a Wikipedia loop or social media FOMO or LOL cats, your sustained interest is no more mysterious than is a mild heroin habit (for even less mystery, check out the structural parallels between oxytocin and heroin molecules).

Ain’t neurochemical stimulation neat? Evolution certainly thinks so – that’s, like, its entire community-building strategy.

In short, the secret sauce of successful content is also the secret sauce of all human endeavor – a high dependency liability.

Thanks for reading. I got you some oxytocin. (Source.)


More info means more oxytocin. Got a craving? Download vidIQ’s free Chrome Extension to see YouTube video analytics and a whole mess of metrics right in your browser.

Let’s play a game. This game is called, “Spot the Legible Title.”

Here are the choices – you’ll probably want to remember them for later.

TITLE #1 | CAPACITOR EXPERIMENT EPIC FAIL

Title B: Epic Fail Video -- Funny Fail Compilation

Title #2 | Epic Fail Video — Funny Fail Compilation May 2014

Title C: epic fails of history #1

title #3 | epic fails of history #1

Despite the relative newness of online video and online video optimization, this game has been around for a while. From 17th-century book binders to modern-day web designers, the art of legibility has been passed down to each new generation of typographic engineers and enjoyed by everyday folk like you and me (who have little clue that they are being visually manipulated into rapid word comprehension).

What is legibility, exactly? In a nutshell, “legibility” is the quality of being clear enough to read.

Seems simple enough.

Presumably, if you can read English that should mean you can read English words in any typeface. In any letter case. With any stylistic modifications.

Right?

Okay, now try deciphering the names of all the roads that cross “Thames Street” on this 1736 map of London.

Well…maybe not.

Despite this map being written in Modern English (the kind we still read and write in) and using words familiar to most English speakers, the street names are hard to riddle out. Not impossible, of course – just more time-consuming than would be ideal for, say, catching the attention of a YouTube viewer.

Now, you may be thinking, “Come on, vidIQ blog. Obviously, no one is going to be writing YouTube video titles in Teutonic No.1 font with a 45-degree tilt on a #F7E2D1 hexadecimal background. That would be madness (especially since everyone knows YouTube uses Alternate Gothic No. 2 – jeez).”

If only it were that simple, dear reader. Because legibility isn’t just about font – it’s about LeTt3R Ca$iNg too.

For example, PowerPoint has all your letter casing needs covered.

For example, PowerPoint has all your letter casing needs covered.

Letter casing is legibility’s dirty little secret – while web designers try, retry, re-retry, and then meticulously align different fonts against their elegantly engineered landing pages, the real fight for reading comprehension is in the Social Media trenches. With preordained sans-serif letters flung across the World Wide Web in Facebook feeds, on Pinterest boards, and – yes – even on YouTube Watch Pages, user attention spans are shortening while legibility efforts are dwindling.

You see, unless text is completely legible, it takes longer to read. 

How much longer? A fraction of a second, maybe, for each imperfectly-legible letter. But second fragments, as any internet professional knows, are critical when potential consumers are scanning web pages, feeds, and search results. So, if you’re invested in your content’s text being quickly understood (or, really, being not simply ignored), it helps to type legibly.

To understand the effect of shrewdly-chosen letter casing, consider this…

long text strings that are written in lower case letters evoke a softness and nonchalance that is brutally absent when sentences, headlines, or paragraphs are written in all caps. alas, this softly sloped and undemanding case type is not ideal for rapid-scan readers hunting through dozens of videos. it turns out that, when reading titles or headlines, it takes a moment to visually adjust to words being so demurely typed.

AND, IN ADDITION TO CAUSING YOU SOMETHING OF A HEADACHE, TEXT SET IN ALL CAPS IS THE LEAST LEGIBLE BECAUSE HUMAN EYES RECOGNIZE WORDS BY BOTH THEIR SHAPE AND THEIR INCLUDED LETTERS. TYPING IN ALL CAPITAL LETTERS ENSURES THAT EACH WORD HAS THE SAME SHAPE AND, THEREFORE, TAKES LONGER TO READ.

Finally, we have the eponymous Title Case: Human Language’s Gold Standard for Titles and Headlines.

User-anticipated and legible, title casing makes title-scanning a breeze. And while search rank is unaffected by a video title’s letter casing, you can be darn sure that Optimizing a Video Title for Human Eyes will affect viewer click-thru rates and reader comprehension.

Now that you have some typographical context, are you ready to play, “Spot the [Most] Legible Title”? You remember the choices:

TITLE #1 | CAPACITOR EXPERIMENT EPIC FAIL

Title #2 | Epic Fail Video — Funny Fail Compilation May 2014

title #3 | epic fails of history #1

So, my dear and clever and admirably patient reader, which title do you find most legible? And, which title would you click?

Feel free to leave answers in the comments or to address them in a strongly-cased letter to contact@vidiq.com.


Concerned that artful title casing is an incomplete video optimization strategy? Access more of the metrics that matter, right on the YouTube Watch Page, with vidIQ’s free Chrome Extension.

With video marketing moving at the speed of light, it’s easy to get wild-eyed about your workflow.

The general wisdom is to produce, produce, produce – which is the YouTube marketing equivalent of the fool’s adage, “Any decision is better than no decision.”

But content, and its consumers, have been around for a long time. And the thread that connects them has always been simpler than strategy, more powerful than promotion, and greater than hype.

At vidIQ, YouTube and YouTube marketing is our business – so we get it. It seems necessary to surrender to the daily scramble to produce, produce, produce on your channel. It’s easy to lose sight of the real goals of video marketing, to get lost in the endless lists of “YouTube Tips and Tricks” and to worship the newly-deified metrics of “Subscribers” and “Total Views.”

Instead, sit back for a moment – just one moment in this hypnotically hectic world of newsfeeds – to consider the wisdom of great creators who have come before you.

It’s more comforting than cat pictures, I promise.


1. “Every action needs to be prompted by a motive.” – Leonardo da Vinci

You must make content with a purpose.

We can help.


2. “Of all our inventions for mass communication, pictures still speak the most universally understood language.” – Walt Disney

It’s not enough to communicate, video marketing can make you understood.

We can help.


3. “Wherever you go, go with all your heart.” – Confucius

Commitment to your content and campaigns is integral to success.

We can help.


4. “Pleasure in the job puts perfection in the work.” – Aristotle

Do only what you enjoy, if you want to do it well.

We can help.


5. “Time you enjoy wasting, was not wasted.” – John Lennon

Don’t waste time on pursuits you don’t enjoy.

We can help.


6. “Information is not knowledge.” – Albert Einstein

5. Einstein - Info Not Knowledge

Quote Credit: BrainyQuote
Original Photo Credit: Marius B

Data without direction is trivial.

We can help.


7. “A fool thinks himself to be wise, but a wise man knows himself to be a fool.” – William Shakespeare

You don’t know everything, and that’s okay.

We can help.


8. “Alone we can do so little; together we can do so much.” – Helen Keller

It takes a village to succeed in content.

We can help.


The last 20 years, and the mass adoption of the internet, have created the illusion that human beings can build complete digital worlds, will new markets into existence, and create content for viral consumption, all at once and all by themselves. But, as with all human endeavor, we stand on the shoulders of giants.

Moreover, we stand together.

Look to the history of marketing – or, heck, just the history of history – and you’ll find an unbroken chain of collaboration, experimentation, and creation.

At vidIQ, we know YouTube and we know you know content.

Maybe we should create something together?

Click here to request a demo of our YouTube marketing software.

Or, click here to download our free Chrome extension.


See this blog as a presentation by checking us out on SlideShare. Followers welcome!

If there’s one thing that the Amy’s Baking Company PR trainwreck proved, it’s that trolls are legion. Nowhere is this more pronounced than in the YouTube comments section, which is famous for its seemingly endless assortment of unsavory characters claiming “First!” post or bashing a video just to elicit a reaction from other viewers or the video’s creator. Seeing their comments section regress into an episode of Jerry Springer is every brand’s nightmare. Today, we’d like to provide some tried and true options in how to deal with YouTube trolls:

1) Don’t Disable YouTube Comments

Faced with the prospect of dealing with illicit commenters, many brands and agencies choose to simply disable YouTube comments rather than playing moderator and dealing with the mess. This, however, is an enormous mistake! Engagement (and especially commenting) is factored heavily in whether your video appears in YouTube Search and Related Videos – if you block YouTube comments you will limit the viral potential of your video and cripple your SEO. In fact, there’s a direct correlation between videos that receive engagement from the owner of the video and views, as well as whether that video is likely to receive additional engagement in the future.

More YouTube comments and more engagement results in more views, more subscribers, more comments, and more engagement

2) Don’t Feed The YouTube Trolls!

Probably the most obvious lesson that the owners of Amy’s Baking Company chose to ignore is the old Internet adage “don’t feed the trolls!” Ignoring a troll is a troll’s kryptonite – as a YouTube creator you should always err on taking the high road and staying out of a good ol’ fashioned flame war. Instead, focus your efforts on the commenters that matter. Identify influential viewers by looking into which commenters have the highest number of subscribers, and then respond to those users. These “influencers” are your most important viewers, and unlike trolls (who usually don’t have many subscribers) are actually worth your time! Many partnerships and cross promotional agreements between channels have been forged within the YouTube comments section, resulting in thousands or even millions of views.

Sort your YouTube comments by reputation and commenter influence with vidIQ

3) Turn The Bad Into Good

Instead of responding negatively to your audience, if you’re going to respond at all try being positive! A perfect example of this in practice can be found in the video Low Calorie Chicken Wraps Recipe by the culinary masters over at Being Fat Sucks. In a previous video, a viewer commented that one of the hosts had an uncanny resemblance to our good friend Severus Snape from Harry Potter. The comment snowballed into a frenzy, and every video with the Snape-ish looking host was spammed with YouTube comments about his appearance. Rather than responding negatively, the creators acknowledged their audience by having the host dress up as Snape in their next video. And guess what, their audience loved it!

4) Set The Tone

Believe it or not, YouTube is a social network. In fact, it’s now the 3rd largest in the world (behind Facebook and Google+)! Adopting Social Media Best Practices will go a long way in setting the tone for your YouTube comments and creating an amazing community around your content. By rewarding constructive commenters with thoughtful responses you’ll create an environment that fosters positivity rather than thrives off the negativity that trolls love. Home Depot is a great example of a company that has done this extremely well. In the example below, a viewer expressed his frustration that Home Depot didn’t provide a link to the second part of the video. Home Depot acknowledged the commenter and replied immediately, currying the favor of their audience and increasing engagement.

Home Depot YouTube comments are an example of the best YouTube comments you can make as a brand

Know of another technique to successfully stymie YouTube trolls? Respond in the comments section below!