Mythbusting: Engineering a
Viral Video
FutureM 2013
October 18, 2013
#futureM #viralvid
What is a viral video? !
Wikipedia:
"A viral video is a video that becomes popular through
the process of Internet sharing...
The Whole Hog of A Viral Video!

Brain!

Ribs!
Tail!

Heart!
Underbelly!

3
Agenda!
The whole hog of a viral video
•  Heart: creating good content
•  Ribs: social outreach and sharing
•  Underbelly:...
Brilliant commercial that went viral?!

84% of views from paid views

5
Brilliant commercial that went viral?!

59% of views from advertising

6
The Heart: Good Content!

Brain!

Heart!

Ribs!
Tail!
Underbelly!

7
Sometimes things just come together!

3,243,299 times
shared on
Facebook

8
Good content is often a steady view earner!
•  Know your targets intimately
•  Example: Build Direct from Canada

9
Steady view earners deliver better ROI!
•  Know your targets intimately
•  Example: Build Direct from Canada

10
The Ribs: Social Outreach and Sharing!

Brain!

Ribs!
Tail!

Heart!
Underbelly!

11
Real virality is often smaller!

541,296 times
shared on
Facebook

12
The ribs: social outreach and sharing!

Relevance

Passionate
Enthusiasts

Subscribers

Participation

Crosspollination

C...
Seeding promises!
“Get your video seen by the right people.”
“We generate millions of monthly opt-in views on social
netwo...
Caveat emptor: Seeding can be seedy!
A supposedly “organic”
blog post generated by a
seeding campaign.!
!
!
!
“…XYZ — the ...
What are you getting when you seed?!
Click-through rates for
a seeded campaign:
Views: 284,894
Click-throughs: 17
CTR: 0.0...
The Underbelly: Bots and ‘Incentivized’!

Brain!

Ribs!
Tail!

Heart!

Underbelly!

17
Buying robot views: 1M views for $800!

18
Why this is a bad idea: Google will catch you!

19
Slightly better cuts: incentivized views!

20
The Brain: How to Engineer It!

Brain!

Ribs!
Tail!

Heart!
Underbelly!

21
How many people are watching? What?!

22
What is your target audience watching?!

23
Understand the audience and competition!
Look at metrics on:
•  Audience size
•  Most popular content
types and sub topics...
Metadata: what matters and why!
• 
• 
• 
• 
• 

Titles
Tags
Descriptions
Target links
Annotations

25
Track YouTube search and social rankings!

26
The Right Feed: Paid Ads!

Brain!

Ribs!
Tail!

Heart!
Underbelly!

Feed!

27
Paid, owned and earned media work together!
Promoted	
  
Video	
   Ad	
  

YouTube	
  Ads	
  

YouTube	
  Channel	
  

Soc...
YouTube ad placements: Choose carefully!
Best practices:!
1.  Use varying formats (search,
in-display, pre-roll)!
2.  No n...
The Tail!

Brain!

Ribs!

Tail!

Heart!
Underbelly!

30
LUCK!
31
Serendipity can happen!

32
Engineering results: It all works together!
Organic YouTube Traffic
Pre-campaign

Campaign

Channel subscriber growth
Pre-...
Summary!
•  Heart: Know your audience before you
create
•  Ribs: Share the passion and seed carefully
•  Underbelly: Don’t...
Get this presentation?!

Go to pixability.com/futureM2013!

• 

Bettina Hein, Founder and CEO
4  Email: hein@pixability.c...
YouTube Advertising: How It Works!

1. Select:

Choose one or
several of your YouTube
videos as ads.

2. Place: 

Put ads ...
Does it have to be Gangnam Style?!

37
When should you buy incentivized views?!
•  Never to inflate
views
•  Awareness only
– do not expect
any action
•  When the...
Factors that matter: YT’s changing algorithms!
•  Viewing time
•  Total viewing session initiated
•  Channel layout

39
YouTube TrueView Ad Formats!
Skippable* Pre-Roll
(in-stream)

Keyword Search
(in-search)

Display ads
(in-display)

* Skip...
Placement Analysis!
• 

Discover detailed data
on relevant channels
4 
4 
4 
4 

audience size
social engagement
traffi...
It’s magic…?!

42
It’s magic…?!

43
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Pixability Presentation FutureM 2013 Mythbusting: Engineering a Viral Video

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Presentation at FutureM Boston 2013.
Spoiler: We don't recommend trying to do viral. It's not good for your brand, your marketing dollars, and your career.

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Pixability Presentation FutureM 2013 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! Heart! Ribs! Tail! 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 4  4  4  4  4  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  cost-­‐ effec8ve  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 4  Email: hein@pixability.com 4  Phone: (617) 710 5772 4  @bettinahein •  Rob Ciampa, EVP Marketing 4  Email: rob@pixability.com 4  Phone: (617) 774-9600 4  @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
  39. 39. Factors that matter: YT’s changing algorithms! •  Viewing time •  Total viewing session initiated •  Channel layout 39
  40. 40. YouTube TrueView Ad Formats! Skippable* Pre-Roll (in-stream) Keyword Search (in-search) Display ads (in-display) * Skippable after 5 seconds •  Value for money: Charged per engaged video view, not per click or impression •  Extremely flexible: Very different cost per view (CPV) ranges available depending on format and targeting 40
  41. 41. Placement Analysis! •  Discover detailed data on relevant channels 4  4  4  4  audience size social engagement traffic sources search rankings Example: 4x4/Off-Road Cars 41
  42. 42. It’s magic…?! 42
  43. 43. It’s magic…?! 43

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