Being that our firm works with digital video on an almost daily basis, we do a lot of reading and research on the platform. Digital Video is growing at a rapid pace and the platforms that deliver the media is ever changing as well. Recently we came across some interesting statistics we wanted to share. Consumers will dramatically increase their overall time spent watching digital video from the rest of this year to 2021. That is a given. A data based company called Activate recently evaluated extensive data on creators with over 10 million views on YouTube and found that 24% of these creators account for 71% of views. Over on Facebook, 26% of creators account for 77% of views. Both of these groups of top creators have over 50 million views on these social video platforms. Activate’s analysis of the data confirms that influencers and media companies make up 97% of YouTube views in this group of top video creators with more than 50 million views. And 98% of Facebook views come from influencers and media companies. Brands only make up 3% of the views on these platforms. Influencers are defined as personalities, celebrities or public figures with significant social presence. Media companies are defined as organizations whose primary business model is in production and/or distribution of content. This includes some professional influencer entities that have moved upstream.
How Brands Can Find the Right Content Partners to Work With
The data shows that there is a greater ratio of influencers to media companies on YouTube (83% influencers to 17% media companies) and a roughly even ratio on Facebook (52% influencers to 48% media companies). So, if brands are looking for the right content partner to reach the right audience, and get more engagement for less spend, then they need to look in different categories on different platforms.
Activate analyzed the top five YouTube influencers by subscribers in four categories: How-to & Style People & Blogs Comedy & Entertainmen and Gaming. They concluded: Top web video influencers range across content areas and platforms. Combined, these influencers have over 70 billion views on YouTube. And all of these influencers have a strong presence on a second platform, ranging from Instagram (13) or Twitch (5) to Facebook (2). Activate also analyzed data for the top U.S. media company creators on YouTube and found 49% are in the Entertainment category 22% are in Music & Dance and 9% are in News & Politics.
Next, Activate analyzed for the top U.S. media company creators on Facebook and found 61% are in the Entertainment category and 10% are in News & Politics Web video platforms satisfy different content preferences along with media companies which will need to play to each platform’s strengths. Their analysis extends beyond YouTube, Facebook, and Twitch; it includes Instagram and Snapchat, too.
The research summarizes that attracting theses these creators and to capture user attention, web video platforms are attempting to move into each others’ turfs.” So, watch initiatives like YouTube Red, YouTube Live, YouTube TV, Facebook Live, and Facebook Watch like a hawk. The video segmentation matrix is shifting almost in real time i.e. day to day.
Social Video and the Shift to Live-streaming
Activate also analyzed live streaming. The medium has exhibited rapid growth in views and time spent. It shows Twitch, a subsidiary of Amazon.com, as the leader in this category (with 743,000 average live streaming viewers), followed by YouTube Live (with 318,000), Facebook Live (with 61,000), and Periscope (with 23,000. Activate also predicts” Live-streaming creators will use crowdfunding platforms, such as Patreon, to monetize directly through fans. The data given to Activate was provided by Tublar Insight Labs.
While live streaming has been around for a while now, only in the last year or so has this particular form of online video become immensely popular. In fact, according to livestream, 81% of internet and mobile audiences watched more live video in 2016 than they did in 2015. Additionally, research from MarketsandMarkets predicts the video streaming industry as a whole will be worth around $70 billion by 2021. It should come as no surprise, then, that YouTube has recently upped its game to cater to this burgeoning interest in live video. The platform’s live streaming feature, which last year expanded to mobile devices for select users, has grown rapidly in popularity.
If your business has yet to experiment with YouTube Live for your video marketing purposes, you’d find no better time than right now. However, before you dive in blindly, you should make sure you’re following some of the best practices for this platform. Doing so will not only help you get the most return on your efforts, but also ensure you’re properly capitalizing on everything YouTube Live has to offer your brand.
For streams, you want to schedule in advance, instead select “Events,” which gives you the ability to preview your stream before it’s live, have backup redundant streams, and start and stop the broadcast at any time. Like impromptu streams, you will be able to fill in your title, add a description, and more. Scheduled streams can be up to 8 hours long, and their archived videos can also be set to private in your Video Manager.
On mobile, the process for going live is a little different. Users will load up the YouTube app on their phones, select the capture button, and click “Go Live.” They can then enter a title, take a small thumbnail photo, and edit various privacy, age restriction, chat, and promotion-based settings before starting their broadcasts, which are saved to the creators’ channels when the stream ends.
YouTube Live: 10 Tips and Best Practices!
Now that we’ve covered what YouTube Live is and how it works, it’s time to delve into some tips and best practices for the platform. Note that some of these suggestions only apply to the desktop version of Live vs. the mobile one, and vice versa; you should also be aware that as Live develops and grows, any of these best practices could end up changing. So staying on top of the latest news around YouTube Live will, of course, ultimately help your brand find success on the platform.
You’ll also want to test different live stream lengths and content types to see what most resonates with your audience. For example, in Tubular’s Q1 2017 State of Online Video report, gaming content ranked as the most successful type of live programming at 53%; technology (15%) and news and politics (12%) content is also popular with audiences. Depending on your brand’s industry and goals, see if you can’t incorporate these genres to help grow your viewership. To get the most out of your and your audience’s YouTube Live experience, follow these tips and best practices:
#1 Aim for Quality
This should go without saying, but you want to make sure your live streams are the highest quality (both visually and audibly) they can possibly be to provide your viewers with an enjoyable live experience. We’ll outline ways you can do this in more tips below; for now, keep quality at the top of your mind. Of course, a beautiful, problem-free live stream isn’t a guarantee, especially if you’re using the mobile YouTube Live option (thanks, wi-fi!), but that doesn’t mean you can’t take steps to ensure your broadcast is in the most tip-top shape it can be.
#2 Promote Early
If you’re not planning on doing an impromptu live stream, you can schedule one in advance via the “Events” option. This allows you to promote your YouTube Live stream far ahead of it actually going live. Using social media or your brand’s email newsletter, you can let your audience know when you’ll be broadcasting live. You can also create a live stream trailer to promote on your YouTube channel, in other YouTube videos, and across your social profiles. Finally, consider updating your channel art to promote the upcoming live stream.
#3 Use the Right Equipment
As part of your efforts to ensure your live stream is high quality, make sure you’re using equipment which can handle the broadcast. For example, you’ll need to have the following:
To use YouTube’s recommended settings for your live stream, check out this help article on which bitrates, resolutions, and encoder settings are best for your live stream. Note that broadcasts conducted through the “Stream now” option won’t require you to choose a bitrate as YouTube will automatically detect your encoder’s settings.
Also, make sure to provide information like metadata, title, thumbnail, description, and even closed captions if you want your stream to be found. Some of this is required, and is in your best interest to provide, anyway. However, the most important requirement to follow is clearing the rights to any third-party content (i.e. music, graphics, images, etc.) you might be using in your live stream.
#5 Plan Ahead and TEST
For pre-planned live stream events, it’s important to plan and test out all of your equipment to ensure streaming works the way you want it to. Some experts suggest testing at least two weeks in advance if you have the time; at minimum, you should test 24 hours before your live stream to ensure bandwidth quality, technical functionality, and redundancy. Test all video and audio settings and tools you plan to use in-stream for at least 30 minutes straight, and turn off any firewalls your computer may be running to ensure the best connection to the internet as possible.
Also, make sure you pick the right kind of streaming before you go live. As noted above, using the “Stream now” option gives you up to 12 hours of continual broadcasting, but the “Event” option is only 8 hours. Therefore, if you’re planning a live stream longer than 8 hours, you’ll need to use the “Stream now” option or your content won’t be saved past those 8 hours. Finally, keep in mind the YouTube Video Editor only allows editing of videos 3 hours or less, so if you want to be able to edit your livestream post hoc, you’ll need to keep it under that time frame.
As for mobile live streams, you should make sure you’re on the strongest internet connection possible before going live. To further prevent interruptions, try setting your phone to airplane mode, which should block incoming calls and texts that would interrupt your stream and draw your attention away from your live event.
#6 Include In-Stream Content
While you obviously have a reason to be doing a live stream in the first place, you want to make sure the broadcast is as engaging for your audience as possible, as well as growing your brand’s presence on YouTube. The easiest way to do this is by including in-stream content during your live event. For example, include both visual and verbal calls-to-action if you want to draw your viewers’ attention to a particular link or action, like asking them to subscribe to your channel. Just remember that if you use third-party content, you must have the rights to show or play it in your stream.
#7 Start Ahead of Time
Starting your live stream a few minutes early will enable you to check the integrity of the live stream and your equipment before getting started. You’ll also be able to send out final promotional social posts or emails to help generate more interest in your broadcast. If you enabled chat, starting early also allows users to jump into the chat screen and talk with each other before you officially dive into the content portion of your stream.
#8 Monitor Feedback
During the live event, make sure you’re paying attention to the chat box. Sometimes you may receive feedback to help you improve your stream, like a viewer telling you to move your microphone closer to your mouth so they can hear you better. If you’re not able to keep up with chat yourself, make sure other team members from your brand are available to help monitor and respond to users’ comments.
#9 Always Have a Plan B
If you’re unable to have two encoders for redundancy’s sake, and something with your live stream fails, you’ll need to have a plan B. In the case of a desktop-based live stream, you might have your laptop next to your desk computer to use as a backup, or you could opt for YouTube Live on mobile. If you’re live streaming via the mobile version, you may not be near a computer should your broadcast fail; however, you can do your best to move to a position with better wi-fi or make sure you have a mobile wi-fi device to keep your stream rolling.
#10 Capitalize on the Finished Stream
Hitting the “stop streaming” button doesn’t mean you’re done with your work. If you want to make the most of the broadcast you just conducted, consider adding it into a playlist of related content, or starting a new playlist solely for your live streamed content. You can also edit your stream and turn it into smaller highlight videos for distribution on your channel, or embedding on outside sites. Finally, make sure to promote your live stream archive and related clips via social media, your newsletter, or your website. Always keep in mind that while "Live Streaming On You Tube is great, doing pre-recorded events for your brand is still the real way to go. Live events is obviously exciting and allows for you to create urgency, interaction and other call to action but also mistakes can happen. I hope this helps and as always email me or hit me up on how FDMC can help you!
FDMC Social and Digital Media LLC
Video Marketing has become increasingly important for small businessesof all sizes. And YouTube is one of the most popular platforms for posting and sharing those videos.
If you have a YouTube channel for your small business, or are thinking of starting one, here are 20 ideas for type of content you can post. Hope you enjoy them!
Video Ideas for YouTube
If your business is a product-based one, you can use YouTube as a platform for highlighting specific products such as widgets, bar glasses, Tiki patio furniture..
Then when your business comes out with new products, you can create videos that offer a preview of all the new features.
Video can be a great way to show your products in action. This is especially relevant for products like video games. PlayStation often posts game play videos for the games available on its device. Locally you can do the same with your proucts.
If your product is something that might require a bit of an explanation, you might also consider creating videos aimed at simply explaining it to beginners. This can help them get acquainted enough with your offering to gain interest.
You can also create videos that compare multiple products to help your customers make more informed choices. An example would be if you sell air conditioners, you might show the difference of various sizes of the conditioners as to how many rooms it would cool. This would help your customers out!
If your business releases collections of products, like lines of clothing or similar items, you can also create videos around those releases, Say you offer a new line of home made soap here is your chance to make it a premier star out of it.
Your YouTube content can certainly be intended to inform or persuade. But don’t forget to entertain your audience as well. Lego does this with mini movies that feature some of its popular product sets. You can do it for your business as well. Having good editing software here is something I would suggest highly.
You can also share information about special offers or limited time promotions so that your YouTube viewers are constantly up-to-date with your offerings.
To create more engagement with your customers and share content that’s relevant to your audience, you can create videos that share some of your customers’ stories through interviews or similar formats. I did this for a local insurance company and it worked out well.
Behind the Scenes Videos
You can also create videos that show some behind the scenes views of your company or products. Doing a "Meet The Staff" video or "A day In The.." with one of your route drivers is another example.
When your company reaches a big milestone, or has a big accomplishment, you can create a YouTube video to celebrate and share the news!
People often watch videos to learn how to accomplish certain tasks. So you can make these helpful videos in a way that includes some of your products or services.
You can also create videos that offer simple tips on a particular subject. If you are a real estate person (and boy do we have real estate people all of a sudden here) you could do a video on tips on preparing your home for sale or showing. Tips such as painting or yard work. You get it.
Similar to how you might discuss various topics on a blog, you can create a video where you simply share your expertise or some thoughts on a particular topic. Let's say you own a gym and you do a series of videos on fitness or running. This would be a great example of discussion videos.
Video can also be a great format for showing off content from your audience, especially if you can collect clips from people as part of a contest. GoPro is one example of a company that has done this well but make sure you follow all laws before doing this.
Even if a video doesn’t directly relate to your products, it can still offer value to your target audience. Inspirational videos can sort of break up all those videos that specifically relate to your products or services. Assist a non-profit for example and shoot some video be kind and don't make a big commercial about yourself out of it.
If you create enough video content regularly, you can turn it into a web series. Red Bull does this with some of the behind the scenes content it shoots with various extreme sports stars as an example.
You can also partner with influencers relevant to your audience and ask them to star in your videos as a way of creating quality content and growing your audience. Examples would be factory reps or distributor reps that you buy your products from for re-sale.
On or around holidays, you can also make special videos intended to show some festive spirit and have some fun, We had a blast making a bunch of these for some of our customers last year. Yes, you can get them done professionally if you wish.
You can also simply have some fun with your audience by posting funny commercials or other video content on your YouTube channel. Brevard County Sheriff's Office has been getting thousands of hits and national publicity doing these while bringing up awareness on crime protection and safety.
I hope you enjoy these tips and if our company can be of any assistance to you in getting you started, please call or email us. We are YouTube certified partners and we can help you with that next video project as well.
FDMC Social & Digital Media LLC
In the past week, Facebook and YouTube have both announced some changes to their video advertising formats. These changes won't take place until later this year (or perhaps early next) but I know video marketers, too. They HATE to change things. But, with that kind of advanced warning, who can really complain?
So, what are these changes? Nothing too super radical but they are going to be noticeable. And why did Facebook, whose mantra for developers has long been “move fast and break things,” and YouTube, which changes at a rate of 33% a year, decide to alert us to these alterations in their video advertising formats several months in advance? Well from my research, here is what is coming down the pike.
New Ways to Watch Facebook Video
On Feb. 14, 2017, Facebook announced four news ways to watch Facebook video. The biggest change involves bringing sound to videos in the News Feed between now and the end of the year. As video marketers know, videos in the News Feed have played silently up to now — unless a user tapped on a video to hear the sound. But, as younger people have been watching more Snapchat videos on their smartphones, they’ve apparently come to expect sound when the volume on their device is turned on. Who knew? So, Facebook has decided – after testing sound on in its News Feed and “hearing positive feedback” – to carefully follow in Snapchat’s footsteps and slowly bring sound to more people, as well. When this update rolls out, sound will fade in and out as Facebook users scroll through videos in their News Feed.
Now, if your smartphone is set to silent, then Facebook videos won’t play with sound. And, if you never want videos to play with sound, then you can disable this feature by switching off “Videos in News Feed Start with Sound” in Settings. Facebook also says it will be showing in-product messages to tell people about the new sound on experience and controls.
In other news, Facebook also announced changes to make vertical videos look better on mobile devices. It made it possible to minimize the video you’re watching to a picture-in-picture view that keeps playing in the corner of your screen while you browse other stories in News Feed. And it announced a new Facebook video app for TV. But, these changes are less likely to ruffle anyone’s feathers.
All media companies have to carefully balance what their readers, listeners, viewers, and users want with what their advertisers would like to have. Back in the 1980's when I still had hair and "gag me with a chainsaw" was a popular catchphrase, two-thirds of the advertisers in PC/Computing (an example) wanted their ads to appear in the first third of the magazine, even though reader research showed that the most popular part was the middle of the publication where the cover story ran. Today, advertisers may prefer that their videos autoplay with the sound on, but that may or may not be welcomed by the vast majority of Facebook users. Snapchat users are used to sound because the audio they hear instantly typically comes from their friends videos. Not from advertisers.
With the advent of Facebook Live, we may see a similar response, but it’s too soon to tell. So, why would Facebook hear “positive feedback” after testing sound on in its News Feed? Well, not every Facebook user sees videos in their News Feed. The stats sate that only 500 million Facebook users even see videos, so the test may have been conducted using the most video-friendly segment of the social network’s users. And 85% of these Facebook users currently watch videos with the sound off. So, did Facebook conduct its test using the 15% that currently watch videos with the sound on? And as the social network rolls out videos that autoplay with sound, will the feedback continue to be as positive? In other words, kudos to Facebook for giving everyone a “heads up” that changes are coming down the road. For a company that just celebrated its 13th birthday, the social network is showing a lot of maturity. But, video marketers should still watch this particular change like a hawk, because sound may not be welcomed by as many Facebook users as advertisers would like. The jury is still out.
YouTube to End 30 Second Unskippable Ads
Google provided an official statement on Feb. 17, 2017, that said YouTube will drop the unskippable ad format beginning early next year. A Google spokesman added that YouTube will “focus instead on formats that work well for both users and advertisers.” The 30-second unskippable ads were popular with advertisers. So, apparently this format didn’t work for YouTube users, who have apparently come to expect the ability to choose which video ads they want to watch – which is what TrueView video ads gave them seven years ago. Advertisers will have until 2018 to make adjustments to their plans. And video ads that are shorter than 30-seconds, including 20-second spots, can still be made unskippable. Plus, YouTube has been touting its six-second unskippable bumper ad format since its introduction in April 2016. Again this is nice that YouTube gave consumers and advertisers a “heads up” that changes are coming down the road. For a company that just celebrated its 12th birthday, the video-sharing site is showing a lot of maturity. But, video marketers should recognize that YouTube appears to be giving its users want they want while Facebook is testing the limits of what its advertisers would like to have.
Although both video platforms and trying to balance the two competing forces that any media company feels, one is zigging, while the other is zagging. That means this isn’t a horse race where both competitors are trying to pull out ahead of each other on the same well-defined track. This is more like cross-country running where two different teams are competing in a race across open-air courses over natural terrain that is not well marked. That makes the changes to Facebook and YouTube’s video advertising formats well worth watching – even if we won’t know the outcome until next year.
FDMC Social & Digital Media LLC
With more than a billion users, and billions of daily video views, gaining user attention on YouTube may seem a daunting prospect.
However, the sheer size of the audience (a third of all web users) means that the rewards are there. As a certified Partner, allow me to offer some tips to help you get the most of your YouTube videos.
Invisible ranking signals
A distinct YouTube channel can help give brands (or anyone) a longer term and more effective YouTube presence. There are some useful tips on this from YouTube.
I have had previous discussions that video is going the be the "Go To" platform in Social Media. YouTube is fast becoming one of those platforms. With 1080p video available from your smart phone and free downloadable apps to edit them, most people with any common sense can upload a video and get hundreds of hits. So the question is, "Why can't I do that?" Why do some go viral and get millions while others don't get squat. When it comes to marketing, going viral is not so much important over the fact you have the right content and you are reaching your target audience. While it is exciting to go viral many videos that are doing that have nothing to do with business but are silly or funny videos that some kid made. Not all are that but don't concentrate on viral videos but quality and getting your message out.
Some simple tips to do quality YouTube videos are found right within YouTube. Use a good title, allow people to rate your video if you wish and enable sharing. Link your videos to your Facebook landing page or your website. Feel free to link your videos via texts or emails. Create a YouTube channel and keep your videos on a channel line up. (You simply need a gmail or google+ account) The bottom line is promote, promote, and promote.
As far as the production itself, keep it short and sweet. Try and shoot and upload in HD. (minimum 720p) Today's viewer attention span is very short. I suggest a two to maybe a 3 minute video but no more. If you are not throwing up a cell phone video that is "self descriptive", make sure you have a script that tells what is happening at the beginning and a cool ending. Add music and a good narrative. Have your contact info as well. Know your target audience. It has to be entertaining, engaging, and offer the viewer a reason to watch. You must capture them in the first 5 seconds or forget it. A boring video goes nowhere. You can spend thousands with a production company and still come up with nothing. If you chose to do your videos yourself remember this. Good production, good script, be entertaining, and don't expect your first few videos to be academy award winners.
Allow time to develop a following. If you get negative comments, embrace that and learn from it. Today's viewers are critics but they also are the ones spending time trolling for videos. If it gets to you, block allowing comments but you won't learn how to improve. Best of luck on your YouTube Videos!