Setting Up YouTube
In our previous post, Try a Facebook Ad, we concluded our series on Facebook with a final post about how to set up a Facebook ad, how to target your audience, and how to price the ad.
In this post, we begin a brand new series on YouTube with a introduction on how to set up YouTube for your enterprise.
Setting Up YouTube
“What happens in Vegas stays on YouTube”
Erik Qualman, SocialNomics
“We’re still in the process of picking ourselves up off the floor
after witnessing firsthand the fact that a 16-year-old YouTuber
can deliver us 3 times the traffic in a couple of days
that some excellent traditional media coverage has over 5 months.”
Michael Fox, founder of Shoes of Prey
YouTube has gotten so big, and is so multifaceted, we had to include two quotes about it to begin this chapter. It’s hard to believe that a social computing site that is barely six years old has grown to have such influence in the online and offline worlds.
When Yakov Lapitsky uploaded the first video on YouTube, at 8:27PM on Saturday April 23rd, 2005, he hardly expected he was making history. The 19-second video shows YouTube co-founder Jawed Karim in front of the elephants at the San Diego Zoo. It has had 2,827,204 views as of this writing. And it’s really . . . boring. Nothing special. And 2.8 million people have watched it. Big deal, you might say, that’s the same as the number of people who watch the USA Network on TV every day (how did you know that?)
Consider, though, that the viewership of the oldest video on YouTube represents but the merest fraction of the 15 billion views YouTube garnered in the month of May, 2010. As of January, 2012, YouTube was up to 4 billion views every single day.
Now surely your business has a much more interesting story to tell than Yakov, who spends most of his 19 seconds of fame talking about elephant trunks. Clearly what you do is more significant than some guy’s visit to a zoo. Definitely worthy of a video.
You may think you lack the technical expertise to create a professional-looking video, and you may be right.
But that doesn’t matter. Not even a little bit.
The YouTube phenomenon has been built on poorly-produced, shaky camera, fuzzy-but-sincere videos. It almost is better to not be too slick — people tend to equate homemade videos with honesty and authenticity. Forget the lights and special effects and perfectly coiffed actors. Turn your mobile phone camera on some real people talking about your products, and you may be even more effective than slick, Hollywood-quality productions.
One of our clients paid big bucks to have an ad agency make a series of client testimonial videos. These productions had multiple camera views, tracking shots, graphics that zoomed in and out, and the clients were well-spoken and convincing.
They posted them on YouTube and promoted them on their blog. The result: Over six months the 12 videos in aggregate had fewer than 1,200 views. One video has three views, and two of them were from us. The company probably dropped $120,000 on the package, yielding an outlay of $100 per view. You’d do better handing out C-notes on street corners.
On the other hand, take the case of Shoes of Prey, mentioned in the second quote that opened this chapter. This Australian startup company makes custom — also called bespoke — shoes, and a 16-year-old enthusiast (one might call her an evangelist) known online as Juicystar07 and offline as Blair Fowler created a nine-minute video extolling the virtues of being able to design your own shoes. Blair is quite the businesswoman, and she’s very much at home in front of a camera. She hosts giveaways and Shoes of Prey paid her to pitch their shoes. Her site is an example of a teen-girl phenomenon called a “haul” site, where girls post their latest beauty or fashion acquisitions for discussion.
The result of Blair’s video about Shoes of Prey was more than 450,000 views and more than 90,000 comments on the company’s site, making it the fifth-most-viewed video on YouTube worldwide when it debuted.
Small problem, though: The shoes are probably out of the price range of Blair’s followers. But they’ll grow up someday, and they have older sisters and mothers they can influence.
OK, so they got a big bump in brand awareness among people who probably are not going to become customers in the short term. Shoes of Prey could have left it at that, but they didn’t. Take a look at how they took an integrated approach to this promotion:
- They created a strategy to reach their target market — the older friends, older sisters and mothers of Blair’s 13- to 17-year-old audience — by encouraging the younger girls’ online discussions, and by requiring the girls to comment on Blair’s site about their shoe designing experience
- They changed their Website to make it easier for the girls to share the shoes they’d designed on Facebook and Twitter
- They ran searches on Twitter to find every conversation about their brand (see the Measure Results post), and engaged with the people who were talking about them
- They blogged about their experience
- They tweeted about their blog post, with the goal of getting the mainstream media to pick up the story (they did)
- They got retweeted by social media star Robert Scoble, and more than a hundred others, resulting in coverage by lots of media outlets, including the Wall Street Journal blog
In other words, Shoes of Prey followed many of the recommendations you’ve read about in this book and they achieved a tremendous result: what the company calls “a permanent 300% uplift in sales.”
One very important thing about Blair and her community: Although she is paid to review and promote products, she is very upfront with her fans about this. She has established a relationship of trust with them. They know she’s picky about what she promotes, and does not accept all offers. They know that when she’s enthusiastic about a product, it’s because she likes it.
Because she is dealing with her community with integrity, she can get away with making enough money from her venture to necessitate retaining an agent.
Blair’s able to do this because of the way she portrays herself in her videos. In the Shoes of Prey video, she suddenly stops her pitch and mentions her bandaged finger. She’s lost a nail, and she’s pretty bummed about it. But she felt she should explain and share her experience with her fans. This is pure gold. She’s Being a Person!
The lesson for businesses is not that you can succeed on YouTube if you’re a telegenic 16-year-old girl with a perky personality. It is that you can succeed on YouTube if you are authentic, trustworthy, and honest.
Next up: Becoming Popular on YouTube
Setting Up YouTube is the 132nd in a series of excerpts from our book, Be a Person: the Social Operating Manual for Enterprises (itself part of a series for different audiences). We’re just past page 354. At this rate it’ll be a long time before we get through all 430 pages, but luckily, if you’re impatient, the book is available in paper form at bit.ly/OrderBeAPerson and you can save $5 using Coupon Code 6WXG8ABP2
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 TechCrunch YouTube Reaches 4 Billion Views Per Day: tcrn.ch/wQXtIW
 See Fowler’s video: bit.ly/cXRrIR
 Robert Scoble’s blog: bit.ly/9NMNyh
 Michael’s blog post How we tripled our sales using YouTube: bit.ly/d2qKVz