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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.

Last week, industry insiders and industry newcomers mingled, saleswomen and salesmen schmoozed, a veritable lovefest erupted on Twitter under the never-quite-trending #ReelSummit – this was the 2014 REEL Video Marketing Summit.

And this is the highlight reel for the 2014 REEL Video Marketing Summit, carefully optimized with cat gifs.

Highlight #1: 8AM Advanced YouTube SEO & Audience Development for Marketers Workshop with Mark Robertson, Tim Schmoyer, Mark Ballek, and Derral Eves…Or, Everybody Just Wants to Talk to Tim Schmoyer

“That’s a fascinating insight, other panelists; but, I was mostly curious what Tim had for breakfast and if he thinks I’m pretty. #Reel Summit”

Source: http://gifak-net.tumblr.com/

Highlight #2: REEL Summit Intro Video – Evolution of Video Marketing…Or, Everyone Briefly Remembers that Weird/Awesome Poo-Pourri Viral Video from Last Year

“LOL – ‘you won’t believe the mother-load I just dropped’…wait, wasn’t that actually an ad for poop perfume? Yeah, 2013 was weird. #ReelSummit”

Source: facebook.com

Highlight #3: Googler Jon Klaff Addresses, “The Next Big Leap in Video Advertising”…AKA Envisioning a Dystopian Future Where All Consumers are Chronically Attention-Divided, Under-Slept, and Device Co-Dependent to the Point It Destroys All Traditional Marketing Paradigms

“Welcome to the new normal, populated largely by Millenials – a mutant race of Buzzfeed-addicted, Social Media drip-fed, 3-hours-of-sleep-a-night-getting, seamless-experience-demanding super-humans whose data we’ve been mining since they went through puberty. Also, that Brand Relationship Arc graphic is SO COOL. #ReelSummit”

Source: http://gifak-net.tumblr.com/

Highlight #4: BuzzFeed Presents, “Creating Content for How It’s Consumed”…Or, We All Erupt in Applause Over a Friskies Ad

“We don’t care if this video is inauthentic – our love for zefrank1 voiceovers is real. All hail Friskies! #ReelSummit”

Source: iheartcatgifs.tumblr.com/

Highlight #5: JW Presents, “New Innovations in Video Technology”…Or, I Can’t Even with Your Industry Advancements Right Now

“Jesus, we’re talking adaptive streaming, interactive & searchable transcripts, a friggin’ in-video table of contents…just stop – it is literally too much. #ReelSummit”

Source: http://gifak-net.tumblr.com/

Highlight #6: YouTube Strategies for Brands with Jonathan Hunt, Christine Ngo, Brendan Gahan, and Ross Everett…Also Known As the REEL Summit Drinking Game

“Shhhhhhhh – just take a shot any time I say ‘authenticity’, ‘community’, or ‘storytelling’… #ReelSummit”

Source: cats4everyone.tumblr.com/

Highlight #7: Closing Keynote – Is Your Company’s Culture Killing Your Video Marketing Potential?…Or, Sourabh Kothari & Peter Agnus Medlock are a Hyper-Natural Comedy Duo that Need to Start a YouTube Channel Immediately

“10/10 would hit ‘Like’ & ‘Subscribe’ so hard. #ReelSummit”

Source: cats4everyone.tumblr.com/

Highlight #8: Closing Reception & Party…Or, Everybody is Now Drunk

“So, I literally don’t even know how everybody got drunk. There were only 2 drink tickets included with summit registration. Wait – what’s in my hand? Is it Uber? #reeldrunk @ #ReelSummit”

Source: http://gifak-net.tumblr.com/

And that’s the skinny from the Visionaries here @vidIQ. The REEL Video Summit was an unqualified success, with cat gifs.

Be sure to join us next year, where they may or may not be providing more drink coupons with summit registration.

What about you, fellow REEL Video Summit attendees – do you have other favorite highlights? Feel free to write them in the comment section.


Want to watch awesome videos from the REEL Summit, with metrics? Download the vidIQ Chrome extension for in-browser analytics.

As Forbes contributor Rob Schwartz pointed out yesterday, this year’s World Cup was a global phenomenon rife with challenges for traditional marketing. It was a major televised sporting event with “almost no commercial-breaks for advertisers to showcase their message,” making it “incumbent upon marketers to think beyond TV.”

And, boy, did they ever!

With 45 brands spending more than $400 million to promote 97 campaigns, the 2014 World Cup in Brazil represents one of the largest marketing events in history. It also marks the moment that online advertising claimed a definitive victory over television.

Commentators are quick to evaluate the success or failure of these video marketing efforts in terms of “total views”, but at vidIQ we know video virality is more than views-deep.

To get to the heart of the matter, we’ve decided to pit the top branded YouTube campaign videos head-to-head and see who won the 2014 World Cup Battle of the Brands (in our humble opinion).

How, you may ask? We’re taking the most telling engagement metrics from our Chrome extension’s YouTube video report card and evaluating the real, hard-won, organically-viral winners of this momentous marketing match. We’ll assess…

Share date – time since the video was uploaded, for context and to assure all metrics are evaluated equitably.

Total views – the reported number of times a video has been viewed on YouTube. Be wary, however, since this number can be manipulated and views can be bought.

Minutes watched – total, aggregated number of video minutes watched by YouTube users, regardless of whether or when the video was abandoned. Be wary here too, because creators can withhold this data – sometimes to protect proprietary information and sometimes to obscure a paid viewing campaign.

vidIQ score – this is an optimization score applied to every YouTube video according to our proprietary, cross-platform algorithm that predicts the video’s likelihood of promotion in Related Videos, Search, Recommended Videos, and more.

Creator suggested –  this metric monitors the relative number of videos that YouTube is linking back to a publisher’s own channel, and is a fair indicator of a channel’s level of management or sophistication. Read a more detailed explanation of “Creator suggested” here (if you’d like).

True engagement – the Gold Standard of video marketing metrics, this key YouTube performance indicator crunches the numbers on every social media share and linked referral to a specific YouTube video, relative to its number of views. In a nutshell, “true engagement” shows us what portion of the audience found a video share-worthy.

Tags – these keywords are intended to make videos more searchable or “related” on YouTube and, in the best of cases, are part of a more targeted SEO strategy.

Now, let the games begin!

Battle Athletica | adidas vs. Nike

The contenders.

adidas YouTube campaign video | Messi's Dream

adidas YouTube campaign video | Messi’s Dream

+

Nike YouTube campaign video | "Winner Stays"

Nike YouTube campaign video | “Winner Stays”

The score.

YouTube stats | adidas vs. Nike

YouTube stats | adidas vs. Nike

 The champion.

Nike wins by the power of true audience engagement, which is undiluted despite its high number of views.

Battle Auto | Hyundai vs. Kia

The contenders.

Hyundai YouTube campaign video | "Avoidance"

Hyundai YouTube campaign video | “Avoidance”

+

Kia YouTube campaign video | "Football vs. Futbol"

Kia YouTube campaign video | “Football vs. Futbol”

The score.

YouTube stats | Hyundai vs. Kia

YouTube stats | Hyundai vs. Kia

The champion.

Despite significantly lower total views, Hyundai wins for its unprecedented true engagement numbers – 1 in 10 viewers shared this video.

Battle Royale | Coca-Cola vs. McDonalds

The contenders.

Coca-Cola YouTube campaign video | "One World, One Game"

Coca-Cola YouTube campaign video | “One World, One Game”

+

McDonald's YouTube campaign video | "Trick Shot"

McDonald’s YouTube campaign video | “Trick Shot”

The score.

YouTube stats | Coca-Cola vs. McDonald's

YouTube stats | Coca-Cola vs. McDonald’s

The champion.

McDonald’s wins handily, in a competition so lopsided that it might trigger some PTSD from the Germany vs. Brazil semifinal.


Want more insights on your favorite FIFA videos and more? Download our free Chrome extension or explore our premium software suite.

We get a lot of questions about what metrics we use to calculate the vidIQ Score in Vision, our awesome YouTube Chrome extension for brands and creators. The short answer is – a lot! It’s Big Data science, really. The long answer is, everything here:

Watch Time
  • Average Watch Time
  • Views
Metadata
  • Titles
  • Tags
  • Description
Popularity of Creator
  • # of Subscribers
Virality
  • Facebook Likes
  • Facebook Comments
  • Facebook Shares
  • Tweets
  • Reddit
  • StumbleUpon
  • Google+
Recency
  • Age of Video
Engagement
  • YouTube Likes
  • YouTube Comments
  • Subscriptions Driven

Of course, all these metrics aren’t weighted equally – for the curious mind, here’s a live action reenactment of how vidIQ mad scientist/CTO Todd Troxell came up with the vidIQ Score formula:

How Do I Improve My vidIQ Score?

Since the purpose of the vidIQ Score is to judge the likelihood of your video surfacing in YouTube Search, Related Videos, and the Front Page, the best way to improve it is to focus on discoverability. That means Tags, Average Watch Time, Subscribers, Views, how old the video is, and social engagement metrics are mighty important! To improve these metrics, boost your discoverability on YouTube, and increase your Score check out this article by our CEO Rob Sandie on Five ways to organically grow your YouTube audience, sign up for vidIQ, and keep on creating!

For more information on vidIQ Vision check out the White Paper or download the extension here.

October has been a big month for a much-unloved fixture of air travel – the dreaded FAA mandated airline safety lesson that precedes every takeoff. Alas, no matter how many times you’ve learned how to buckle your seatbelt and return your seat back to its full upright position, you’re still obligated to re-learn every time you fly. Luckily some clever aviation brands have taken it upon themselves to relieve their passengers of their woe by snazzing up their videos and unleashing them on the YouTube masses – and they’re really popular.

In the last three weeks alone four airline pre-screening videos accrued 4.7 million YouTube views – the most popular of which, a collaboration between Disney and KLM, nearly topped the vidIQ/Adweek Top 10 YouTube Brand Videos chart last week. These brands are leveraging collaborations and influencers in extraordinary ways in order to drive earned media and build brand equity – all things we’re very fond of here at vidIQ. Watch the videos below, check out their stats, and discover what they’re doing right or wrong.

chart

Air New Zealand’s “Betty White — Safety Old School Style #airnzsafetyvideo”

Betty White’s collaboration with ANZ solidifies this air safety video as an instant classic.

ANZ

Pros:

  • Great number of shares on Facebook and Twitter.
  • Well tagged!
  • Solid, engaging description.
  • Includes an end-card and annotations promoting other content.

Cons:

  • End-card/annotations could be more engaging.
  • No brand engagement with their commenters (proven to improve views by 4X).
  • Could be promoting more links in description.

KLM’s “Disney’s Planes: spectacular pre-screening on board of a KLM plane”

While it’s not a safety video per se, KLM’s pre-screening collaboration with Disney builds awareness for Pixar’s forthcoming “Planes.”

KLM

Pros:

  • Above average Watch Time.
  • Great number of shares on Facebook, Twitter.
  • Well tagged!
  • Good description length.

Cons:

  • No end-card promoting other videos/a CTA!
  • No links in description.
  • No brand engagement with their commenters (proven to improve views by 4X).

Virgin America’s “Safety Video #VXsafetydance”

Virgin proves everything is better with a robot-dance ensemble wearing flotation devices.

Virgin

Pros:

  • Great number of shares on Facebook, Twitter.
  • Well tagged!
  • Solid, engaging description.

Cons:

  • No end-card promoting other videos/a CTA!
  • No brand engagement with their commenters (proven to improve views by 4X).
  • Could be promoting more links in description.

Delta’s “Holiday In-Flight Safety Video”

Delta proves it’s never too early to start advertising Christmas with a creepy human-sized nutcracker.

Delta

Pros:

  • Above average Watch Time.

Cons:

  • No tags! Huge loss of organic traffic because of this.
  • No description! How is your viewer supposed to know what action they should take next?
  • No end-card promoting other videos/a CTA!
  • No brand engagement with their commenters (proven to improve views by 4X).
  • Could be promoting more links in description.

Know any other great airline industry video examples? Let us know in the comments!

As we all know success on YouTube is about more than just views. There’s a lot of confusion about what metrics YouTube marketers should be paying attention to, so we developed vidIQ Vision to eliminate that confusion. Just install our Chrome extension and we provide you with key insights into what the top creators are doing to drive growth, increase engagement, and create viral content.

How It Works

So for every video you view on YouTube (not just yours) you’ll now see the vidIQ Vision “widget” that ranks every video with vidIQ’s proprietary Score as well as shows you Key Performance Indicators, including:

  • vidIQ Score: Helps judge the likelihood of a video being promoted in Related Videos, Search, and Recommended Videos.

  • Average Watch Time: You’re now able to see Watch Time not just for your own videos but for any video you’re looking at.

  • Facebook Likes/Shares/Comments: See how many times someone on Facebook has Liked, Shared or included your video’s URL in a comment.

  • Tweets: See how many times someone has included your video’s URL in a Tweet, as well as the actual tweets themselves.

  • Words Per Minute: WPM shows you how many words per minute a video has. According to our dataset (from 8k+ channels) the most successful videos have higher WPM (~220). In other words, the faster you talk & the more jump cuts you add the more engagement + views you’ll get (surprising, I know!). This would explain why Jenna Marbles talks so fast (people have short attention spans!).

  • Tags: YouTube recently started hiding video tags. We surface them. This is extremely valuable for brands (if I’m Pepsi I probably want to see what Coca Cola is tagging their videos with).

  • Description Link Count: We tell you the best number of links to add.

  • Description Word Count: We tell you whether your description is too short or just right.

Chrome users can install vidIQ Vision for free by visiting www.vidiq.com/vision

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