Saturday, 1 June 2013

Leverage Free YouTube Data for Competitive Intel

I just wrote an article on my (other) blog about Orabrush, as an example of how to do YouTube and social media marketing right. If you’re looking for some inspiration for your marketing efforts and your budget is non-existent, I highly recommend Orabrush’s marketing strategy.
One of the things I did in that piece was to list some success metrics:
  • Within 2 days, the video was featured on the home page of YouTube
  • Within 4 weeks, they had over 10 million views
  • Using features already in YouTube, they offered free samples to people who made it through the first half of the video
But I don’t work for Orabrush, and I was never part of their marketing team. So how do I know what happened?
On YouTube every video has a “statistics” tab underneath that lets you get some good insight into that video’s performance.
It’s the little picture of a graph on the bottom right – click on that.

When you open that up, you can see what video milestones have happened. Things like the first ad campaign, view from a mobile device, referral from another website; all of these count as milestones. You can also see how quickly views grew over time. Most importantly from a marketing perspective, you can also see engagement and audience metrics.

Milestones look like this:

You can see, for example, that it was the ad they ran at point “G” that drove significant growth in views. However, you don’t know what that ad was or how it ran. Does it matter? Maybe. If you’re a competitor, you might want to target the same audience that Orabrush targeted in their ad campaign. Running on the same website or ad network might be handy.
If you’re a smaller player or just a marketer looking for inspiration, it’s enough. I’ve now learned that even a brand that had lots of previous success on YouTube still needs to “feed and water” new video content with ads and referrals. I now know that it takes more than great content to drive page views. It takes a larger strategy to build that audience, and I’d better consider how I’m going to drive people to that content.
Not sure what your target audience looks like? This is where the demographic data comes in handy.
I’ve learned that this video is popular with teenagers and older men in the US, Canada, and Australia. That helps me generate ideas for my own content. As a brand marketer, I might make my message or content a little less serious and more fun to engage this audience. I probably don’t need to worry about translation or subtitles in non-English languages.
I can also see that despite having a lot of views (over 1.8 million), engagement is never very high. Of the total audience, only 0.11% “liked” the video and less than half of that number commented or favorited the content. (Incidentally, never use YouTube comments to measure brand satisfaction. That’s like checking the writing in your bathroom stall to see if customers are satisfied with their store experience.)
This data appears under almost every video on YouTube because most subscribers and brands don’t realize it’s there. So what’s the best way to use it? Find out what your competitors are doing and check the stats. Watch several videos to get a feel for engagement, who’s sending traffic, and what their audience looks like.