Pixability - Mythbusting: Engineering a Viral Video


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FutureM 2013 session with Pixability.

Bettina Hein
Founder and CEO, Pixability, Inc.

No matter how you do the math, there’s no ROI on a video with no views. You just have to make your video go ‘viral’, right? But counting on a video to go viral is not so different from planning your income from lottery scratch ticket returns. Virality on YouTube is often misunderstood and myths abound. It’s a properly engineered video that drives views, amplifies content sharing, and generates widespread community interaction. Look behind the scenes of recent video hits with Bettina Hein, CEO of Pixability, as she discusses the importance of content planning, digital strategy, metadata, seeding, humor, production, community, social, analytics and YouTube in making videos viral.

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  • How free are the most viral videos?I’d really like to dispell some of the myths that abound around video. We’ve collected information on billions of views at Pixability.
  • What are the good cuts?What’s the non-kosher stuff that’s going on?
  • This is NOT actually a viral videoHeineken paid for these viewsThere is more than meets the eye here: Don’t let high view count be all you look at.
  • This had a high budget, a great story, a Super Bowl ad to boost this.
  • In the real world, most marketers have to earn their audience. You can still get a ‘viral’ effect or free views if you produce content that people care about. This is a really small online building materials company from Canada that is giving Lowes and The Home Depot a run for their money.No, a simple video that caters EXACTLY to the needs of your audience is much more important. Kevin Doohan from Machinima will tell you more:Machinima may not have the largest audience, but they know their young male audience better than anyone.
  • Free exposure to the right audience: Slow burners are better than spiking and then crashing and burning
  • What is REAL social outreach and what is FAKE?
  • A Coca-Cola video about Overseas Foreign Workers from the Philippines. It has ‘only’ 1.3M views – but look at this: It was shared on Facebook 500k times. So when you’re evaluating how viral a video really is, look at these metrics, NOT JUST VIEWS
  • For example, haul channels frequently do give-aways of productsAnswer relevant questions: how to apply certain make-up, how to solve home improvement quandries
  • What is seeding?
  • What is seeding?
  • One of our customers sprang for a seeding campaign. Any they got lots of views: almost 300k but only 17 clicked through to their site. The average YT ad campaign gets you 3.5% click-through.Beware when someone tells you that they’ll get this done for youMany operators pay people to blog about your video and include the video in the postsIs social sharing an end in itself? Even if those shares are happening in Hungary?
  • Read quotesThese sites pay people that are desperate to earn a few bucks to watch you videos. Is this really the kind of audience that you want?Mention Facebook games – in game advertising might work if you are advertising snack food or a new game. Just be watchful about the demographics.
  • So how
  • How many people are watching?How are people finding your content?Who is watching?How in-depth is the content that they are watching?
  • Go slower here….How do I find out what the right content for my audience is? You don’t necessarily have day-long creative forest retreats to find out what works, you can look at audience data (like our Caffeine software) to find out what people are watching
  • So earlier I dissed certain types of paid views. Does that mean you shouldn’t pay for views? NOOO. But if you do it, do it YouTube is a unique ecosystemItallows for marketers to do precise targetingIt allows you to use your paid media spend to very deliberately increase the organic part of a brand’s video strategy.Promoted views fuel your earned media views by making these videos rank higher under ‘recommended videos’Those views drive more viewers to your channel, thereby increasing your views even more
  • Example: beer ad at 6 am?
  • Mentos
  • Add Mentos
  • Incredible and on-brand message
  • Does it have to be Gangnam Style to be successful?
  • Pixability - Mythbusting: Engineering a Viral Video

    1. 1. Mythbusting: Engineering a Viral Video FutureM 2013 October 18, 2013 #futureM #viralvid
    2. 2. What is a viral video? Wikipedia: "A viral video is a video that becomes popular through the process of Internet sharing, typically through video sharing websites, social media and email.” Why should marketers care? FREE Awareness? FREE Views? 2
    3. 3. The Whole Hog of A Viral Video Brain Ribs Tail Heart Underbelly 3
    4. 4. Agenda The whole hog of a viral video • Heart: creating good content • Ribs: social outreach and sharing • Underbelly: robots and incentivized views • Brain: engineering it with data • Right Feed: paid YouTube ads • Tail: luck 4
    5. 5. Brilliant commercial that went viral? 84% of views from paid views 5
    6. 6. Brilliant commercial that went viral? 59% of views from advertising 6
    7. 7. The Heart: Good Content Brain Ribs Tail Heart Underbelly 7
    8. 8. Sometimes things just come together 3,243,299 times shared on Facebook 8
    9. 9. Good content is often a steady view earner • Know your targets intimately • Example: Build Direct from Canada 9
    10. 10. Steady view earners deliver better ROI • Know your targets intimately • Example: Build Direct from Canada 10
    11. 11. The Ribs: Social Outreach and Sharing Brain Ribs Tail Heart Underbelly 11
    12. 12. Real virality is often smaller 541,296 times shared on Facebook 12
    13. 13. The ribs: social outreach and sharing Relevance Passionate Enthusiasts Subscribers Participation Crosspollination Connecting to your real target audience      Make relevant content Lobby tastemakers and find passionate enthusiasts Build subscribership Encourage participation Use cross-pollination of email, FB, Twitter, Pinterest, G+ 13
    14. 14. Seeding promises “Get your video seen by the right people.” “We generate millions of monthly opt-in views on social networks, mobile devices and YouTube.” “We use proprietary technology to turn target audiences into engaged viewers and engaged viewers into customers.” 14
    15. 15. Caveat emptor: Seeding can be seedy A supposedly “organic” blog post generated by a seeding campaign. “…XYZ — the viral video house behind this clip. XYZ knows. Shop at XYZ.” 15
    16. 16. What are you getting when you seed? Click-through rates for a seeded campaign: Views: 284,894 Click-throughs: 17 CTR: 0.006% Compare to average YouTube ad CTR: 3.5% 16
    17. 17. The Underbelly: Bots and „Incentivized‟ Brain Ribs Tail Heart Underbelly 17
    18. 18. Buying robot views: 1M views for $800 18
    19. 19. Why this is a bad idea: Google will catch you 19
    20. 20. Slightly better cuts: incentivized views 20
    21. 21. The Brain: How to Engineer It Brain Ribs Tail Heart Underbelly 21
    22. 22. How many people are watching? What? 22
    23. 23. What is your target audience watching? 23
    24. 24. Understand the audience and competition Look at metrics on: • • • • • Audience size Most popular content types and sub topics Social media reactions Viewer sentiment Traffic Sources 24
    25. 25. Metadata: what matters and why • • • • • Titles Tags Descriptions Target links Annotations 25
    26. 26. Track YouTube search and social rankings 26
    27. 27. The Right Feed: Paid Ads Brain Ribs Tail Heart Underbelly Feed 27
    28. 28. Paid, owned and earned media work together Promoted Video Ad YouTube Ads YouTube Channel Social Sharing Much more costeffective than TV and online display ads A video channel that you own and control fully Build a community around your video content Website Driving conversions through highly qualified website traffic 28
    29. 29. YouTube ad placements: Choose carefully Best practices: 1. Use varying formats (search, in-display, pre-roll) 2. No need to stick to 30second spots 3. Use time of day according to target 4. Geographic focus if necessary 5. Don’t always optimize for direct website clicks 29
    30. 30. The Tail Brain Ribs Tail Heart Underbelly 30
    31. 31. LUCK 31
    32. 32. Serendipity can happen 32
    33. 33. Engineering results: It all works together Organic YouTube Traffic Pre-campaign Campaign Channel subscriber growth Pre-campaign Campaign 33
    34. 34. Summary • • • • • Heart: Know your audience before you create Ribs: Share the passion and seed carefully Underbelly: Don’t do it Brain: Track and clone yourself to success Right Feed: YouTube ads done right are worth it • Tail: Be ready when luck happens 34
    35. 35. Get this presentation? Go to pixability.com/futureM2013 • Bettina Hein, Founder and CEO  Email: hein@pixability.com  Phone: (617) 710 5772  @bettinahein • Rob Ciampa, EVP Marketing  Email: rob@pixability.com  Phone: (617) 774-9600  @robciampa 35
    36. 36. YouTube Advertising: How It Works 1. Select: Choose one or several of your YouTube videos as ads. 2. Place: Put ads where your target audience already is. 3. Call to Action: Users can click through to your website for more information.  Value for money: Charged per engaged video view, not per click or impression  Extremely flexible: Various cost per view (CPV) ranges available depending on format and targeting 36
    37. 37. Does it have to be Gangnam Style? 37
    38. 38. When should you buy incentivized views? • Never to inflate views • Awareness only – do not expect any action • When there is a good match of demographic • Example: promotion of video game launch on gaming site 38